Bandwidth

Every year, the capabilities of the Internet seem to expand. Things we never dreamed we could do with our web sites ten years ago are routine now. But do you really have to use a lot of bells and whistles, and the accompanying increased bandwidth, in order to have a great site? Not necessarily.

The amount of bandwidth you need is basically determined by two factors. First, how much band width will be required to load your pages? Second, how much bandwidth is needed to handle the traffic you expect to receive to your site regularly?

Essentially, your content is what figures into the amount of bandwidth needed to have your pages display quickly. As we all know, people have a short attention span. Thus, if you are marketing primarily to a residential customer, chances are many of your potential customers are still accessing with a 56K dialup connection. If these prospects think it is taking too long for your pages to appear, they will simply go look for a site that is more friendly to their connection. Keep your audience in mind when you design your pages, and it will have a direct impact on the amount of bandwidth you need.

The other factor, which involves the ability to handle multiple simultaneous hits on your pages, also will help determine the amount of bandwidth you need. It is a good idea to check the number of hits you are receiving daily. This could very well help you know when the time is coming to increase the amount of bandwidth currently extended by your provider. Many web hosting companies have hefty overage fees if you begin to constantly exceed your bandwidth specifications, and may even shut you down. You can avoid this by staying on top of your usage and adjusting upward when you need to do so.

Monitoring your overall bandwidth use is important. Check it when you redesign pages, especially if you add larger files or animation, to ensure file data transfer remains within reasonable limits. And watch your traffic closely to make sure you are not going over your allotment. There is no reason for you to pay for bandwidth you are not using, but at the same time, it is good business practice to make sure you are always a little ahead of what you absolutely must have to operate efficiently.

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