How Much Bandwidth Do I Need?

Description: Bandwidth is an important part of any hosting package, but it's not something that every webmaster thinks too much about. Find out why you should be thinking about it up front, to make sure you don't hit any snags later on.

Bandwidth may not be the top of your list when it comes to choosing which web host to opt for, but it can have a huge effect on the success of your website.

Put simply, if you choose a hosting plan which offers less bandwidth you won't be able to receive as much traffic as you would if you had a hosting plan that allows you to use more in the way of bandwidth.

But it's not just traffic you need to consider when you are deciding how much bandwidth you need. You also need to consider how big your website is (or will be), both in the number of pages you have and the number of features those pages contain.

If your website is a basic information website then you will generally need less bandwidth than a site which has lots of audio downloads available, for example. So if you offer lots of downloads it's a good idea to opt for a plan which offers more bandwidth than the average site uses.

As a general rule of thumb however, most webmasters end up buying more bandwidth than they really need, and it is virtually impossible to judge correctly how much you need before you actually start using it. The general consensus is that one gigabyte of bandwidth is sufficient for the majority of basic sites. If you have lots of pages, you are selling plenty of stock, receiving lots of visitors or supplying lots of downloads, then you will very likely need more.

Once you reach the happy stage of needing lots of bandwidth every month, you will probably find it easier to get your own server, to ensure your website is always up and running and you don't have to worry about whether your hosting provider is going to penalize you for using more bandwidth than you are entitled to.

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