Some important questions to ask…
- How much data transfer is included with your hosting plan?
- Is data transfer made up of ingoing or outgoing data, or both?
- Is email included in data transfer calculations?
- How much per megabyte for any data used in excess of the monthly ‘included’ amount?
- Will you receive any warning notifications when you are approaching your allocated ‘free’ limit?
- Traffic usually means the amount of data that is either sent to or from the server on which your website is hosted.
- Traffic can also mean the number of unique visitors to, or individual (not necessarily unique) ‘hits’, on your website.
- Traffic will vary based on a number of factors, including:
- The popularity of your site and the number of visitors. For each visitor there is likely to be a small amount of ingoing data (when they send the request to retrieve your website content) and a larger amount (often around 10 times more) of outgoing data (when the content of your website is delivered to their computer via the internet).
- The services you provide with your website e.g. a web cam is perpetually uploading images/sound to your website for download by visitors. Services such as these will generate larger amounts of (data) traffic than a static site.
- The frequency with which your site is updated, remembering that every time you make changes to your website, you are uploading data to the website.
- Bandwidth is the size of the ‘pipe’ or connection between the server on which your website is hosted and the internet. It is usually measured in ‘bits-per-second’ e.g. kilobits per second (Kbps) or megabits per second (Mbps). A 1 Mbps connection has a carrying capacity 1000 times greater than a 1 Kbps connection.
- Extra bandwidth (or ‘carrying capacity’) might have little impact on the speed of your web site if, for example, there are a thousand more websites using the same connection, or the traffic to those other websites is a thousand times greater than on an alternative connection/server.
- The apparent ‘speed’ of your website can also depend upon your own internet connection. A visitor to your site using a different ISP (or from a different geographic location) may experience different response times. You can click here to test the speed of your internet connection.
- Data Transfer is the amount of data in bytes (or more usually, megabytes) that is either ingoing or outgoing to/from the server on which your website is hosted.
- Some web hosts may bill you for ingoing or outgoing data transfer, or both. You may have an amount of data transfer included every month with your hosting package, after which point, you may be required to pay for excess data transfer, retrospectively.
- Data transfer may or may not also include incoming email (but usually not outgoing email as you will probably continue to use your internet connection provider’s service).