How Much Bandwidth Does Your Site Really Need?

When researching providers to host your domain, one factor to evaluate and compare is the cost of the amount of bandwidth required,

Yes, many providers offer “unlimited” plans, but on closer inspection you will find that it is not really unlimited. means. That said, knowing how much bandwidth your site really requires can be a bit of an art form.

So what exactly is bandwidth, anyway?

It is basically a term for quantifying the rate of traffic and data allowed to flow between users and your site through the internet.

The term “bandwidth” is used loosely to describe “data transfer”, but in reality, these two aspects are separate.

Bandwidth is the measure of the maximum amount of data that can be transferred in a given time, usually measured in seconds. Data transfer, on the other hand, is the amount of data to be transferred; while bandwidth is the data transfer rate.

You can think of bandwidth as the width of a water pipe, where the data transfer is the amount of water coming out of the pipe. How wide the pipe is (bandwidth) determines how quickly water can flow (data). Basically, data transfer is bandwidth consumption.

For site owners, the amount of bandwidth offered by a hosting company site can usually be a good indicator of that host’s capabilities: the higher the bandwidth, the better the speed; network; connectivity; and systems.

Nothing In Life Is Free – Let’s Explore Unlimited Bandwidth

As mentioned above, many hosting organizations offer cheap hosting plans that include “unlimited bandwidth”. For the buyer, this means they can run as much data and as much traffic on their site as they need without a cap. For the hosting provider, this means a way to give a flat rate cost to a buyer that will usually work.

As always, the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Put simply, it’s just not possible for hosting companies to offer unlimited bandwidth (that’s why unlimited bandwidth/storage #1 dumb stuff in the web hosting world) – it is too expensive to provide unbridled access to every client. That said, most companies fall somewhere within a “normal range” of bandwidth usage by default, and this range is what hosting providers use to create their “unlimited” packages.

By “unlimited”, hosting providers can meet the needs of the majority of their customer base. However, bandwidth is absolutely capped at the bid price; The trick is knowing what it is.

By comparing the bandwidth actually required of your site with the bandwidth offered in this “unlimited” form, you can better determine the level of hosting you really need and whether a given provider will actually meet your needs.

How to calculate the bandwidth you need

Formula used to calculate needed website bandwidth. The formula used to calculate the bandwidth needed by the website is not that complicated!

Think of bandwidth like pants: you need the size you need. Buying a size does not make much sense, but at the same time a number that fits. If your size is a size 36, you’re just not going to fit into that size 32. Simple math.

Basic Bandwidth Calculation/Assessment

In the case of bandwidth, buyout also makes no sense. That’s why it makes sense to work with hosting providers that offer scalable solutions. As for small purchases, it will only cause you trouble. Know your real need to obtain the service that suits you. Here’s how to calculate your required bandwidth:

Estimate your site’s average page size in kilobytes (KB). * Multiply this average page size (in KB) by the average monthly number of visitors. Multiply the result from step 2 by the average number of page views per visitor.


* If you don’t know, use Pingdom’s Load Time tool . Test on a few pages and take the average of those tested pages for your base test number.

This is the basis for knowing your required bandwidth – however, you are not done yet. You should also include an allowance for extra “space” in case your traffic increases. Generally speaking, I recommend giving a spread of at least 50%. However, you should allow more room for growth and spikes in traffic – leave a tolerance of at least 50%.

Bandwidth redundancy required for website (no user download)

To perform this calculation, use the following formula:

Bandwidth required = Average number of page views x Average page size x Number of daily visitors x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundant factor

Average Daily Visitors: Total number of monthly visitors / 30. Average Page Size: Average size of your webpage. Average number of page views: average number of page views per visitor. Redundant factor: A safety factor between 1.3 and 1.8.

Bandwidth redundancy required for website (with user downloads)

If your site does not use or allow downloads:

Bandwidth needed = [(Average number of pages viewed x Average page size x Average number of daily visitors) (Average download per day x Average file size)] x Number of days in a month (30) x Redundant factor

Average Daily Visitors: Total monthly visitors / 30. Average Page Size: Average size of your web page Average Page Views: The average page viewed per visitor Average File Size: Total file size divided by the number of files Redundant factor: The safety factor varied from 1.3 to 1.8.

How does this affect your web hosting selection?

Not much, especially if you’re just starting out.

Bandwidth is hardly a factor these days as they are in abundance. 99.9% of new websites can’t even complete half the bandwidth allocated by their hosts. Even if you try to drain your host bandwidth – in most cases you hit the bottleneck in server RAM or CPU power before hitting bandwidth limits.



Once you know how much bandwidth you need, you can make a better decision to find the right web host.

When evaluating host organizations, carefully consider the bandwidth allocated in each of their plans. If you are considering an unlimited plan, dig carefully to find out the allowed bandwidth they will accept in that plan.

Be aware that many hosting providers won’t share their exact threshold upfront – you may have to dig in and even then some won’t quantify it for you. I always believe that transparency is important in business. Therefore, if you can’t find out the allowed bandwidth included in the unlimited plan, you might want to raise the red flag.

That said, most providers will share this information with you, and you can use it, pairing it with your bandwidth needs, to make the best possible decision on the hosting environment for your business site.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this
Scroll to Top