Optimizing Website Server Bandwidth
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One of the most common hosting configurations is shared hosting. It is the most affordable plan for most individuals and even for small businesses. However, one common problem with this solution is the bandwidth issue affecting high traffic websites. Of course, one of the easiest solutions is to upgrade hosting plans to get a higher bandwidth limit, but this solution increases the operating cost of your website, which affects your profit. Fortunately, there are ways to optimize your site's bandwidth usage.
Website bandwidth is not constant; sometimes traffic spikes cause high bandwidth usage for good, acceptable reasons -- such as having your website featured on Digg's front page, resulting in a massive volume of visitors clicking to your website. But other factors eating into your bandwidth may not be normal and need to be resolved.
This article presents tips and techniques any webmaster can use to optimize the bandwidth usage of their website. By optimizing the bandwidth, you can serve your visitors better and avoid wasting precious server CPU and memory resources on unimportant factors.
Understanding the Theory of Website Bandwidth
Understanding the significance of website bandwidth can help you become a better webmaster, because you can better evaluate hosting packages and hosting servers.
It all starts with the hosting company that houses the server facility, with lots of computers storing your website files. Hosting companies pay for their broadband Internet connection to the ISP. It is necessary that the Internet "pipeline" connecting the hosting company servers and the Internet (outside world) should be “extremely fast.” This makes it possible to accommodate all simultaneous communications occurring between a client (website visitor) and the hosting website servers for all the domains the hosting company is serving.
If the hosting company has lots of websites, but slow connections, this affects all of the hosted websites, which can drastically affect the website speed when the site is accessed in a remote location.
So it is wise to examine the speed at which the hosting company connects to the outside world or the Internet. An example of a fast connection uses fiber optic cables. Such cables are synonymous with big water pipes, where a massive volume of water can flow. Among broadband Internet connections, an example of fast connection is called a T-3 connection.
If you think it’s too late and your website is hosted in a slow hosting environment, do not panic. There are still a lot of things you can improve to speed up your website and save some bandwidth. You don't need to switch web hosts right away.
Now what happens is that these T3 speeds cost the hosting company a lot of money. The cost is divided among website owners, who are charged for the use of bandwidth. Aside from the use of hardware resources in storing your website files (like hard disk space), every webmaster pays for bandwidth to the hosting company in the form of monthly hosting fees.
If you think your website is consuming a lot of bandwidth, do a rough computation to see if it presents a bandwidth problem. This is illustrated in the next section.
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