Bandwidth Useage
How much is enough?

If you don't want to run out of bandwidth you need a plan that will allow for enough to keep all the pages open. So how much is enough bandwidth and how much will it cost?

Consider a website with 200 web pages where each page is 100KB in size (including images and other files). If this website gets 400 visitors each day and each visitor views 3 pages on an average, the web site would be transferring 400 (visitors) * 3 (number of pages viewed by each) * 100KB (file size of web page) = 120,000KB or 120MB each day or 3.6GB per month.

1200 pages a day is a very low estimate when you factor in bots that could potentailly crawl every page on the website downloading the entire contents of the pages in just minutes. Bots an really upset the normal flow of bandwidth and even cripple a server if the download rate exceeds the users allocation.

Since most bandwidth plans are numbers like 3000GB then why are so many websites closed for bandwidth overages?

Either the isps are fudging the useage numbes or sites are getting much more traffic than expected.

I see a typical site being over 1000 pages. With 400 users a day, 385 of those may be bots and many will download everything on the website.

People will often add videos, big pictures and even software downloads without realizing the cost of sharing these files.

I saw a website with a video download of fishing that was 600MB. If 385 bots download a 600MB file that is over 220GB a day or more than 6500GB a month.

A simple family website with an innocent video of the family fishing is now going to cost that family a heafty sum of cash.

It is unlikely a family website plans for those circumstances and it is easy to see why th site would exceed its bandwidth allocation.

An average website should not use much bandwidth at all. Most people will never see the million dollar a month bandwidth bills of myspace, youtube and ebay. But its not impossible to get over your head if the site has a bunch of heavy files or is overloaded with pictures.

People are just not prepared for the cost of sharing files. They are used to downloading files at broadband speeds of 3MBS and up. But the cost of that to the website owner is around $1000.00 a monhs for 3MB of dedicated bandwidth.

How much is enough?

A basic $10 hosting solution is usually enough for a small e-commerce website. If you want to share video, it could be 10 times that up to millions.

To determine what is enough, you need to know your website. How much will you post, what traffic will you achive? It is all relative to how much bandwidth you need.

Companies like Bumblebeeworks will give unlimited bandwidth but mange the volume of content you can post. This limits the actual bandwith you can use by keeping the site lean and efficient.

Of course like any unlimited plan, its not really unlimited. Although there are not overage fees and the site wont close for using too much, if a client uses more than a basic amount on a regular basis, then they have to upgrade to a more suitable option.

There are cases where people get lucky and get huge amounts of traffic for short bursts. That is where an unlimited plan is great. But like any other good thing, if you use a steady flow of 1.5MB and it costs the isp $500 a month, they can't resell it for $10. So you will be forced to pay more or move to a different solution.

Unlimited plans only stipulate that you wont be charged more, but not that you can really use as much as you want. It is a safety net and not necessaryily a long term solution.