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How Much Bandwidth Does My Site Need?

It’s one of the most common questions that we get asked.  Unfortunately, it’s actually the most difficult one to answer.  Since “unlimited web hosting” is usually a pretty bad idea, it pays to know how much (or how little) bandwidth your website really needs.  And the answer may genuinely surprise you.

When it comes to web hosting, there are two ways to define bandwidth:

  • How much content your website sends and receives in a given month, or
  • The speed of your website’s connection to the Internet.

If you’re shopping for shared web hosting (as most customers are), the first definition is the one you want.  Put simply, it’s a measure of how much data you send to your customers, and how much data they send back.  Most web hosts (including us) will tell you exactly how much bandwidth you use every month, so often times, asking them is the fastest way to find out.  But if they won’t tell you — or if you aren’t yet hosted — you can use a site like Pingdom’s load time tester to find out exactly how big your site is.  Multiply that number by the number of visitors you expect in a month, and you’ve got your predicted approximate bandwidth.

At least, that’s the technical way.  Anecdotally, I can tell you that most of our shared hosting customers use around 1 GB of less of bandwidth in a month.  Of the dozen or so who go over that, all but one are under 20 GB.  And not a single shared hosting user has ever exceeded the 30 GB limit of our smallest package.

You see, our packages were designed to reflect the actual usage of real people and real websites.  We could make up some absurd number and offer you eleventy gajillion terabytes of bandwidth every month, and most people would never even come close to using it all.  In fact, that’s really the premise behind “unlimited” bandwidth — which we’ll talk more about in a later post.

So what’s the bottom line?  Put simply, the overwhelming majority of websites out there will never need more than a few gigabytes of bandwidth.  Naturally, some will, which is why we offer shared packages ranging all the way up to 300 gigabytes of bandwidth every month.  Unless you or your developer have a specific reason to believe that your bandwidth consumption will be massive, odds are great that you’ll fit into any of our plans.

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