Bandwidth: What is it exactly?
Image Credits: Paessler AG
One of the most misunderstood terms in terms of websites, Bandwidth signifies the data consumed when it is retrieved from the server and delivered to the users (outbound traffic) and when the user uploads the data to the web server, also known as the inbound traffic. The data that is sent from the site to the client and vice-versa is what is called as bandwidth usage. When this limit exceeds, it means that the amount of bandwidth that was dedicated to the hosting plan has been reached, and the browser will now show the bandwidth limit exceeded error.
There are certain web hosts that do not limit the amount of bandwidth and can be used per month. Though it may seem as a convenient option at first because of the absence of any limiting error, there is a possibility of surcharge on the amount of extra bandwidth used when compared to the dedicated limit set by the plan.
How to know the current Bandwidth usage exactly?
Now it can be tricky to know the amount of bandwidth used in a month and varies upon your hosting provider. For example, a 2GB from Vultr provides up to 3000GB of bandwidth transfer per month. Although users may have the option to use more than the given bandwidth (like the browser won’t return any limit exceeding the error even if the usage is over 3000) and there is an extra cost per GB. The usage graphs can be accessed from the Vultr dashboard by selecting “Manage” next to the desired server and navigating to the Usage Graphs tab.
Avoiding the Bandwidth Limit Exceeding:
For those website owners who host using bandwidth limits, these are the following list of ways to help to minimize bandwidth usage and avoiding a bandwidth limit exceeding error:
1. CDN Implementation: Several content delivery networks can greatly enable lightening the load on the original server and worth static assets accounting for around 80% of most websites, users are delivered content from the Content Delivery Network instead of the origin server. This could help lower costs for CDN bandwidth is cheaper than web host bandwidth and would also help improve the site speed.
2. Compressed Images: Compressed images is a great way to help reduce the amount of bandwidth usage without sacrificing image quality. For WordPress users using an image compressing tool seems like a great way to go.
3. Enabling Hotlink Protection: It is an act of a third party website embedding your website’s assets on their own which uses your web server’s bandwidth. It can be controlled by enabling hotlink protection and defining which referrers are allowed to link to your assets. KeyCDN also allows the creation of zone referrers to protect the assets delivered via the CDN.
4. Gzip Compression: Enabling this compression could help reduce the size of the files delivered to the user. It can be enabled directly from the origin server and can be activated by default within KeyCDN.
5. Using a Non-Limiting Bandwidth WebHost: Lastly, while choosing a web host provider who doesn’t have a hard-cap bandwidth usage would help users avoid seeing a bandwidth limit exceeding error. Any bandwidth usage over specified in the plan would likely come at a price, but it can ensure continuous access to the website.
It is crucial to avoiding a bandwidth exceeding error can make your website temporarily inaccessible. Implementing steps to help to reduce the chances of this error can help your website to stay active and online.