Avoiding Hidden Bandwidth Charges

Description: The amount of bandwidth your web host lets you have determines how much traffic your site can receive. But what happens if your traffic reaches - or surpasses - its limit?

Bandwidth overage, as it is known, is viewed as a dreaded curse by some webmasters. Whenever you sign up for a particular hosting package, you are allotted a certain amount of bandwidth every month.

The problems can start if your website grows to the point where you reach the outer limits of your bandwidth. Depending on the web host you are with, one of several things can happen:

  • You will be charged for the extra bandwidth you are using
  • The web host will take down your site as soon as it passes the limit
  • The nicer web hosts will notify you of the fact that you have gone over your limit and give you a number of options, including choosing a more advanced web hosting plan that allows you to receive more traffic

 

Obviously you will want to make sure that you pick the company that opts for the third course of action with you. No one wants to choose a cheap web hosting plan only to find themselves on the receiving end of a hefty bill for bandwidth charges they previously knew nothing about.

Fortunately there are some things you can do to make sure this doesn't happen to you. Firstly you should read everything the web host tells you about the particular hosting package you are considering. Even if you have to squint at your computer monitor to read all the tiny words at the bottom of the page, it's worth doing so to make sure you won't be slapped with a huge bill should your website be a success.

Many of the best web hosts will state very clearly that they don't have any hidden bandwidth charges. This does not necessarily mean they don't charge for bandwidth overage - it simply means they don't hide those charges. This is why you need to make sure you read everything, just in case you miss something obvious.

While some web hosts will tell you that they give you a huge amount of bandwidth with their plan, they will still charge you for any extra that you require if you go over your limit. Before you opt for any particular plan, make sure you know exactly how this works. Do they warn you if you are getting close to your limit or will they cut you off? Finding out beforehand can make life a lot easier.

As with so many other things to do with web hosting, a little advance knowledge can go a long way. Make sure you know what you are getting into before you make the leap.

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