How Much Bandwidth Does My Website Use ?

In 2012 the bandwidth used worldwide is worth growing, because users who access the Web are growing in number and data center service providers, as well as ISPs providing connections to homes and businesses are faced with an ever increasing demand for bandwidth output from their servers.

The bandwidth, which we will cover in this article as a monthly traffic, is surely one of the parameters of interest when one talks of a webhosting solution. Whether it’s a shared hosting solution or a dedicated server, your ISP gives value to bandwidth, which indicates the speed at which our website may provide content to the outside users, and a value of traffic per month , Instead it indicates how many gigabytes does our site use every month. These two values are in fact relevant, in fact if we multiply the bandwidth available to us for the month of use we get exactly the maximum monthly traffic that we use for our web site.

Many customers, when choosing a solution for a new web site, or already launched website, find it difficult to estimate how much bandwidth is needed for their site, and therefore rely on solutions that are often not suitable. In this article we see, briefly, how you can get an idea of bandwidth consumption and how to predict the increase in the short term.

The traffic monitoring carried out by our web site is crucial for several reasons. The most obvious is that many hosting solutions charge the cost as per additional GB over the threshold limit. If our plan includes 20 GB of monthly traffic, and the use is 25 GB in a month, then we will have to pay extra amount to the provider in excess of that 5 GB bandwidth.

The same applies to the VPS and dedicated solutions where the charging is often even   more stringent. Monitoring of the traffic allows us to understand the days with more visits and requests from users, and may be the wake-up call to see if the traffic generated is not entirely “normal“, but produced from attacks on our web site (DDOS Attack) or by search engine bots or other organizations that require our pages all the time.

The speed will change significantly if the bandwidth is completely used: In this case, the provider does not provide us with tools to understand how much bandwidth we are using in real time, except in the case of dedicated servers and VPS. Many shared hosting accounts have such a dedicated bandwidth of 512 kbit / s or 1 Mbit / s, while other vendors prefer not to expose this value.

As previously mentioned, the value of bandwidth is a parameter connected to the monthly traffic, however, it has a greater importance in some cases because it allows to understand exactly how many visitors we can accommodate simultaneously online, with a continuous request for content from our account or server. Take, for example to the streaming services, or to services providing multimedia content, in this case it is essential to have a value guaranteed bandwidth.

If our website is already online, the first thing to do is have an idea of the current consumption that we are producing. In this case we take a look at the statistics of the web server, and more importantly, we cannot use tools like Google Analytics, which do not provide information about the use of bandwidth.

Two tools that we can take into account are AWStats and Webalizer. These two statistics software are installed by almost all hosting providers which allow you to check the bandwidth usage on a monthly, daily and even hourly basis.

Many hosting providers, especially in the case of dedicated servers and VPS, from their control panels provide the ability to monitor the traffic used to be able to get an idea of monthly consumption. The control panels such as Plesk and cPanel provide the ability to monitor the bandwidth usage per web site, on a monthly basis. Once we have a clear idea of the consumption of our website we can certainly provide the best future growth even and especially to move towards a web hosting solution that can guarantee the traffic without any problem.

Now that we have seen that we can use statistics to get an idea of the consumption of our web site, the question is trivial, as we do in the event of a new website. First we must understand what we talk about in detail: a website that was launched with much content online without any promotion on dedicated channels, it is hard to see thousands of visitors on the website daily.

Unfortunately in this case we do not have technical data: Study the impact of an online site meets several qualitative questions. If we plan an advertising campaign on multiple channels, we can now estimate a high number of visits (proportional to the number of channels and the channels chosen for ad), and if our web site relies solely on organic traffic and search engine traffic, we cannot get 2000 daily visits.

We can try to understand the consumer as well for visits: It is easy to “measure” the content. First we make our web pages and do an average of their weight. Today, a page can easily get a weight of 400/500 Kb: we know that in this case if you open it 10 times, we used 4 MB of traffic, if they are opened 100 times, 40 MB is used and so on.

With an estimate of the traffic generated from our website, on a given day, we must consider a number of additional variables: the majority of websites have days during the week where the traffic is higher, these are usually working days, but this pattern may change depending on the website. Like, the night of the Web sites are those where less traffic ever recorded. Once our website has been online for a few weeks we will have a clearer idea of the days with higher consumption and hours in which there is a spike in visits.

If we talk about solutions such as VPS and dedicated servers, then it is evident that the monthly traffic and bandwidth are values that need to be taken into strong consideration: providers set limits in terms of guaranteed bandwidth, such as 10 Mbit / s, and in terms of band burst, ie the quantity of excess bandwidth that can be used for a limited period of time.

If our server has dedicated 10 Mbit / s guaranteed bandwidth and 15 Mbit / s burst of bandwidth, means that for a certain period of time in the day we get to use the value of 15 Mbit / s.

Currently there are dedicated servers and VPS packages which are activated with flat rate, where they also have several terabytes of traffic including: in this case it is useful to understand what is the guaranteed minimum speed for use thereof.

In the case of shared hosting solutions: Nowadays many hosting providers do nothing but place the value of “unlimited” bandwidth that can be delivered out, a practice that may mislead customers as unlimited resources do not exist. This choice is due to the fact that most shared hosting customers have an average consumption of the infrastructure of the hosting provider. This does not mean that our web site can really accommodate millions of visitors, usually the contract of service raises this issue clearly and frees the provider from liability for the suspension of the service if excessive traffic is carried.