What Is Web Hosting Bandwidth Understanding Bandwidth for Website Owners

What Is Web Hosting Bandwidth? Understanding Bandwidth for Website Owners

When choosing a new web host, one of the most important factors you must consider is the amount of bandwidth that will be included in your plan.

If you are not sure how much web hosting bandwidth is or how much bandwidth your website requires, please continue reading. This guide will explain how website bandwidth works and help you estimate your ideal bandwidth limit.

What we will cover:

  • What is virtual host bandwidth
  • Why you need to carefully consider choosing a bandwidth plan
  • How to determine which bandwidth plan suits your needs

What is website bandwidth and why is it important?

So, what is virtual host bandwidth? Bandwidth refers to the rate at which data is allowed to flow between your website and visitors.

It can be useful to visualize bandwidth as a sieve. Your website data is water, and your customers are cups. The wider the opening at the bottom of the sieve, the faster the water will enter the cup.

In other words, the greater the bandwidth, the faster the client load time.

Don't confuse bandwidth with data transmission. Data transmission refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted, and bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted within a specific time frame.

Bandwidth measurement
Bandwidth is usually measured in Gbps or billions of bits per second. The more bits per second, the faster your content loads. In some cases, the slower bandwidth rate may be measured in Mbps or megabits per second.

What is the importance of web hosting bandwidth?

Now that we have introduced what web hosting bandwidth is, let us discuss what makes it so important. If you want to maximize load time and minimize hosting costs, bandwidth is definitely something you should consider carefully.

According to Neil Patel, 40% of Internet users abandon web pages after only three seconds of loading time. For e-commerce customers, 47% of customers expect a load time of less than two seconds. Essentially, no one has time to stare at the loading screen and wait.

As Moz pointed out, optimizing load time can also help your website rank high on the search engine results page (SERP). For example, Google tends to support sites with a load time of two seconds or less.

Optimizing your bandwidth plan can help you maximize loading time. From a search engine optimization (SEO) perspective, a fast-loading website provides a great user experience and performs well.

When your website has an unusually high number of simultaneous visitors, bandwidth becomes a particularly important factor. With higher bandwidth rates, you will be able to include high-quality dynamic content without risking website crashes or failure during these peak hours.

How to estimate the optimal amount of bandwidth for your website

Each website has slightly different bandwidth requirements. Factors such as average page size, average monthly visits, and average file size will affect your bandwidth requirements.

For example, a new website with relatively few visitors and a small page size does not require as much bandwidth as a large website.

Therefore, you may ask, "How much bandwidth does my website require?" In order to estimate your bandwidth requirements, you need to collect the following information:

  • Average page size
  • Average monthly visitors
  • Daily visitors
  • Average page views
  • redundancy

Redundancy is a fixed number used to solve unexpected traffic spikes. Think of redundancy as a safety net. This number is usually between 1.3 and 1.8.

The simple calculation to determine the required bandwidth is:

Average page views x average page size x average daily visits x 30 x redundancy

Most web pages are mainly composed of HTML text and some images or videos. According to HubSpot data, the average web page size is 2,080 KB (kilobytes), or close to 3 MB (megabytes).

If you can’t find the size of a page in the metrics, try using the Pingdom website speed test to quickly determine the size of each page.

Check the traffic report on your cPanel to determine your average monthly visits. According to Forbes, a successful website may have 20,000 unique visitors per month, while a new website may have fewer than 1,000 people.

Divide your average monthly visitors by 30 to determine your average daily visitors. For example, if you have 3,000 visitors per month, your average daily visitor rate is 100.

Finally, analyze your traffic metrics to determine the average number of page views per visitor. Most visitors will visit a few pages on your website before leaving. In this example, suppose they visited three on average.

Using these numbers, your monthly bandwidth usage will be:

3 x 3 MB x 100 x 30 x 1.5 = 40,500 MB

Therefore, using these numbers, you will need 40,500 MB or 40.5 GB (gigabytes).

If this calculation is confusing, try using the website bandwidth calculator to roughly estimate your average bandwidth needs.

The most common bandwidth plan options

When you search for a web hosting provider for your website, you need to consider the various bandwidth plans of the host. You will find that some hosts offer an "unlimited bandwidth" option.

Unlimited bandwidth

Unlimited bandwidth is a hosting plan that does not set any limits on the bandwidth rate of your website. Although this may sound like the best option, in reality, it is a bit complicated.

In fact, completely unlimited bandwidth is impossible. There is always a maximum speed capability, so even with unlimited plans, the web host will limit the bandwidth.

If your site experiences an unexpected surge in traffic, you may still find that it cannot support all visitors.

At Bluehost, we offer an "unlimited bandwidth" plan. Unmetered bandwidth means that you will get a certain amount of bandwidth, but you will be able to transmit as much data as possible within that rate.

Although the speed of your server will be limited, the amount of data that can be processed is unlimited, and the bandwidth is unlimited.

Other common bandwidth types
If you don’t need unlimited bandwidth, most web hosts provide hosting services with various Gbps options.

Most websites do not require unlimited bandwidth. In fact, according to the hosting manual, 99% of websites use less than 5 GB of bandwidth per month. This is why you will encounter a large number of hosting options that provide specific bandwidth limits.

Common bandwidth options include:

  • 1 GB: This is one of the lowest bandwidth limits you may find. If you are a brand new company or blog and plan to start small, this option may be for you.
  • 2 GB: This is a slightly larger option, suitable for sites with a small but consistent follower or small sites with advanced graphics and Flash files.
  • 10 GB: If you know that your website will attract relatively high traffic, this is a good choice.
  • Here is a guide to choosing the best Bluehost plan for your needs:

What is the bandwidth usage of the virtual host?

Since different websites have different bandwidth limits for their hosts, you may find that your bandwidth requirements change over time.

If you want to know if your plan currently has enough bandwidth, checking your current bandwidth usage is very simple.

If you are a Bluehost customer, just log in to your Bluehost cPanel, go to the statistics page, and click Bandwidth to find your planned web hosting bandwidth.

Increase or decrease bandwidth
If you use Bluehost, you can easily upgrade or downgrade your account to increase or decrease the bandwidth limit. Just follow these instructions.

Most web hosts should allow you to easily add additional bandwidth in an emergency or change your plan as the website grows.

Optimize your bandwidth usage

Excessive use of bandwidth is one of the most common website problems. If you think your website is using more bandwidth than it needs, you can take some steps to make things go faster again.

  • Use external hosts for images and other graphics. Saving images and videos on external servers means you will reduce the average page size.
  • Compress your images. If you really want to save the images on the same server, please compress them to reduce their size.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to host content. You can also use CDN to host other content externally.
  • Monitor bandwidth usage as the website grows. As your audience and website continue to grow, pay close attention to your bandwidth usage to ensure that new content on the website does not cannibalize it.

Optimizing the bandwidth of your website will help you reduce costs while ensuring your customers are satisfied. We hope this guide will help you understand what web hosting bandwidth is and give you insight into the bandwidth usage of your website.

Bluehost provides high-quality hosting services for your WordPress website. With unlimited bandwidth options, our hosting plans can serve websites of all sizes.

Learn about the various plans we started today.