When you decide that you want to build a blog or website, first question which will usually come up is how much bandwidth do I need?
When comparing different hosting packages one of most important parameters is bandwidth.
What is bandwidth?
Amount of data which is transferred to a website and from a website in a certain period of time is bandwidth.
Data is transferred in 2 ways.
1) When you upload something on your website, like video or file.
2) When someone opens a webpage on your site or downloads a file from it.
Why is this important?
It is important because the price of your hosting package will usually depend on the bandwidth size that you plan to use.
How much bandwidth do I need for my website?
This depends on several factors.
First you need to think about the structure of your website and its main features. If you plan to build plain textual site with some pictures included your bandwidth need will be lower.
In case that you plan to build multimedia site with videos, animations etc. This will increase your bandwidth needs.
If you are looking for web hosting provider my suggestion is to use Bluehost.
There are thousands hosting providers in the world, but based on my experience so far I can recommend Bluehost. There are few reasons for this.
1) Simplicity Bluehost is very simple to use. This hosting provider has worked on making hosting service very simple to install and use for ordinary people.
2) Webhosting uptime of 99,9%.
3) Support. They provide support by email, chat or phone ( very important).
4) WordPress recomended. WordPress recommends Bluehost as one of best hosting providers. They also offer super simple one click install of WordPress.
5) Affordable Price. Last reason is that they offer very affordable prices 5$-6$ per month wich is very good for this level of service.
This blog is hosted on Bluehost as well as many other famous blogs on internet.
Signing up with them is very simple just go to Bluehost web page and click the Sign Up Now button.
How is bandwidth calculated?
Calculating how much bandwidth you need is actually relatively simple.
Multiply the average size of your page with number of visitors to your site.
Why it is important to know average size of your pages?
First of all not all of your pages will be equal in traffic, people will visit some of your pages more often than other, your homepage for example, especially should be well optimized to increase speed of your site and avoid wasting bandwidth, as it will probably be one of more visited pages.
Your bandwidth need will mostly depend on what you want to place on your website.
Step 1. Determine what will be the average size of a page or post on your website.
You have several possibilities here, if you plan to have mostly textual site your page size will be quite low.
Including some pictures will increase the size of your pages.
Including a lot of big pictures on your website will significantly increase the size of your pages.
One common mistakes we see in blogs are posts with a lot of unoptimized pictures.Pictures, especially unoptimized pictures, increase the size of your pages!
Placing videos on your pages will also increase the average size, even more than pictures.
If your pages contain a lot of video content expect that the average size of your page will be quite high.
If you want to place files for download on your website, it can significantly increase the size of a website.
Especially watch out for the size of your most visited pages. Usually one of most visited pages will be your homepage. It is very common to find big unoptimized homepages. Try to avoid this.
When you have finished with assessing what the structure of your website will be and you have some idea of average size of your pages go to step 2.
How can I asses the average size of my pages? Easy. Use this tool to check speed and size http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/.
Step 2. Try to asses the number of visitors to your website.
Be realistic here. When you asses potential number of visitors build in some buffers. Multiply the number of visitors with certain buffer factor to allow yourself margin of error.
Step 3. Multiply the average page size with the number of visitors and your buffer factor.
This is how you will detrmine your website bandwith need.
Website with small average size of webpage can sustain higher number of visitors with the same bandwidth than website with bigger size of webpage.
If we have monthly bandwidth of 20GB ( 20.000 MB) and our average webpage size is 1MB.
This means that we can have 20.000 monthly visitors to our websites before we run into troubles with bandwidth.
Complicated pages with lots of visual content and size of 10MB mean that we can have only 2000 visitors to our site before we exhaust our bandwidth limit.
Or imagine that you build your site with files which can be downloaded. The size of this files can easily exaust your bandwith limit.