Bandwidth – Hosting Features Explained

Web hosting plans contain many features that make it difficult to decide which plan is most suitable for your online business. Without an extensive knowledge of web hosting and the features that are associated with each plan, it can be nearly impossible to comprehend the actual differences between various hosting plans.

Some of the most important web hosting features include bandwidth and disk space. Bandwidth is perhaps the most important because it dictates how many visitors your site can handle during a single time period. Without enough bandwidth your site will not perform optimally when traffic levels begin to rise.

The Effects Bandwidth Restrictions

Many web hosting plans do not come with unlimited bandwidth, which means there is a set limit that determines how much data can be downloaded and uploaded from the web server at any one time. Once this limitation is exceeded, pages will begin to freeze while loading and the site may even crash for hours at a time. Many people don’t understand how easy it is to exceed the amount of bandwidth allocated to you, especially if you own a rapidly growing site.

Bandwidth restrictions can have a great impact on the progression of a web site, so it is important to make sure you have adequate amounts of bandwidth available to your site before driving web traffic.

Calculating Bandwidth Needs

Determining the exact amount of bandwidth needed to keep your site operating smoothly is simply not possible. However, it is possible to make rough estimates based on how much traffic you are expecting and how many files your site will host.

Bandwidth is a simple measurement of data and time. If there are many files being downloaded by hundreds of people at once, then a lot of bandwidth will be needed. It is important to note that traffic levels can increase quickly, so it is based to plan for success and prepare for the best by purchasing a web hosting plan with excessive bandwidth with your web hosting plan. If your site is going to host a lot of videos, pictures, and music, or if you are planning on updating it regularly, then you may want to consider a powerful hosting plan with plenty of bandwidth.

It is possible to underestimate the success of your own web site. Doing so can cause you to purchase a web hosting plan that cannot accommodate the needs of your site visitors. It is always best to calculate your bandwidth needs based on your goals as a webmaster. Formulate realistic yet highly optimistic traffic goals for your site, and then purchase enough bandwidth to handle that amount of traffic.

Measuring Bandwidth

Bandwidth is essentially a measurement unit of a specific amount of data being transferred at a specific speed in time. Bandwidth in the web hosting industry is usually referred to in terms of MB or KB per second. Thus, it is important to note that the bandwidth limitations of your site are set on a per second basis. If there are to many people downloading from your site simultaneously, then the bandwidth limits may be reached. However, if there are thousands of people per day downloading at different times throughout the day then the bandwidth limit should not be affected.

Web hosting plans usually start with bandwidth limits of about 10 MB. To put that into perspective, it would take 40 people downloading a file at a speed of 250 kb/s at the exact same moment in time to exhaust the resources of that hosting plan.

By measuring bandwidth by the second, web hosting companies can accurately and effectively control their web servers and keep them operating smoothly. The way server resources are delegated after the limits are reached depends upon the type of web hosting. In VPS cloud hosting the hosting provider will pull resources from a network of servers and charge the webmaster for the excess bandwidth. If you are noticing that you are routinely exceeding your bandwidth limitations, then you may want to start comparing another web hosting plans for your next upgrade.

Plans With A Lot of Bandwidth

Each web hosting plan differs depending upon the server type, the provider, and a variety of other factors. Cloud VPS hosting plans offer the most bandwidth to their customers, however any bandwidth that exceeds the monthly limits will be charged to that month’s billing cycle. Dedicated web hosting plans also include a lot of bandwidth, however this bandwidth is usually readily available to the web server by default, and therefore is not billed on a per-usage basis.

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