When you’re out choosing between web hosting companies, one of the most common selling points is higher or unlimited bandwidth. More bandwidth is better, right?
Well, how much bandwidth you need really depends on the kind of website you’re planning to build, how many website visitors you expect to receive, and which sort of content you’ll provide.
While unlimited bandwidth hosting plans might seem like a no brainer, paying for too much bandwidth is just as silly as not having enough for your bandwidth usage.
Since your bandwidth needs are likely to be unique to you, your company, and your website, in this post we aim to help you better understand bandwidth, what role it plays in the performance of websites, and help you calculate exactly how much bandwidth you need.
What is bandwidth
Put simply, bandwidth is the volume of data that can be transmitted via an internet connection (data transfer) in a set period of time. This is why bandwidth is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
With this analogy in mind, you can understand how a bigger bandwidth will facilitate faster data transfer, while a limited bandwidth will slow down data transfer.
The amount of bandwidth your website has will determine how quickly your site runs, the average download speed for large media files, and how well your website responds to spikes in traffic.
The bandwidth of your website is determined by your web host. Most hosting providers will offer different hosting packages depending on the needs of different site owners. Higher bandwidth usually costs more.
If you use a website builder like Zyro, you will usually have free web hosting as part of the builder package. Some Zyro plans also offer unlimited bandwidth.
Although bandwidth is an important factor for determining the speed of data transfer, it is not the same as internet speed. Bandwidth describes the volume of data that a visitor can access in a given time, while speed describes how fast that data moves.
How to calculate the bandwidth your website needs
As mentioned in the introduction, your specific bandwidth requirements are entirely subjective.
This means that if you have a small website with a reasonable average page size and low average number of visitors, you could probably get by with very little bandwidth.
However, if you have a bigger website, with a bigger average page size and more visitors, you’ll require a higher bandwidth limit.
There are three key metrics you should be paying attention to in order to calculate your website’s bandwidth usage:
- Daily number of visitors. Most basic analytics integrations will tell you this. If you use Zyro, you can use the Google Analytics package to see your visitor count.
- Average page views per visit. How many different pages on your website, on average, do visitors look at? This is something else analytics will tell you. Take a monthly average number.
- Average page size. How much disk space does your average page take up? You’ll likely need to use a third-party tool for this and should take an average page size of your 10 most visited pages.
With these three numbers, you are now able to calculate your bandwidth requirements. Say you have 100 visitors per day, they each visit 5 pages, and you have an average page of 1,000kb. You’d need 500,000kb per day in terms of bandwidth, which translates to 15GB per month.
Remember to leave plenty of room for growth and traffic spikes, though. It’s best to give yourself about 50% wiggle room to protect against the unexpected.
How bandwidth improves website’s speed, performance, and data transfer
The higher the bandwidth you have, the greater volume of data can flow. When you think about visitors accessing your website as them requesting data, you see how having a greater ability to send that data helps keep your website performing its best.
High bandwidth correlates directly with faster website loading speeds, meaning that your visitors are able to access your website faster, and are more likely to stick around and spend longer exploring your content.
Search engines like Google use loading speed and downtime as factors in determining the ranking of your website. This is why higher bandwidth makes search engine optimization of your website easier.
The more the bandwidth, the better? 🤔
In general, yes. While you might not always need more bandwidth, the more your hosting plan allows, the more reliable your website will be. More bandwidth means your website can perform at its best no matter how much traffic it gets.
Consider the scenario where your web hosting offers enough bandwidth for normal operation. Say you have a really successful marketing campaign and experience an influx of visitors. Is your hosting package going to stand up?
This is bad in the short term as you may lose out on trade, but since high bounce rates and downtime can impact your SEO ranking, you may lose out on even more traffic in the future.
You can protect yourself against this eventuality by choosing Zyro as your hosting provider and switching to our Unleashed plan. We’ll always scale to meet your bandwidth needs, no matter how many pages or visitors you have.
What if my bandwidth usage exceeds its limit?
What happens when you exceed the web hosting bandwidth limits laid out in your hosting package depends on the hosting service you’re using.
Even if it does scale automatically, you may find that your hosting provider charges you extra or hidden fees on top of your basic plan.
If you’re worried that the amount of bandwidth in your hosting plan isn’t going to be sufficient, then you should consider opting for Zyro’s Unleashed plan.
Alongside more powerful marketing and analytics tools, our Unleashed web hosting plan comes with no bandwidth limits. You don’t need to worry about your bandwidth usage ever again, since we provide unlimited bandwidth with no catches.
Unlike other hosting providers, we simply scale up your bandwidth depending on how much data you’re using. This means your site won’t run slow or crash, even when traffic spikes.
Why sticking to unlimited bandwidth is a good idea
While you may not feel you need unlimited bandwidth, especially if you just want to have a website with a single web page or only a few pages, you never know what the future will bring.
If you don’t have enough bandwidth, success may be your enemy. As your company grows, you add more pages to your website, and the average size of your popular pages grows, you’ll need to move more data to your visitors.
Add to this equation more people visiting your website, you’re sitting on a time bomb of downtime and poor user experience.
Instead, you can use sensible hosting options to future-proof your website.
We’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth repeating: Zyro’s Unleashed plan is a great deal if you want your visitors to enjoy hassle-free surfing.
The plan has no hidden limit on the amount of bandwidth you can use, doesn’t get in the way of multiple page views, allows you to run any number of pages, and will keep your site live whether you have 1 visitor, a thousand visitors, or many thousand.
You should take time to compare plans to find out which web host offers the best service for your needs, but you’re unlikely to find many hosting companies offering truly unlimited web hosting.
Speed up and convert more
Many websites launch without sufficient bandwidth from their hosting provider, and if you’re planning on launching your first website, you now know how to avoid being one of them.
To make sure your site is fast with high uptimes, you need reliable hosting and bandwidth allocation that meets your needs.
Ensure visitors have a great user experience and make sure that the product pages of your site always secure a sale.