Bandwidth is all about the number of visitors (traffic) you have to your site.

99% of websites currently on the web use no more than 5 GB of bandwidth a month.

It’s only sites that are expected to produce a significant amount of traffic that will require a larger rate of monthly bandwidth. Those are usually image-driven or video streaming websites.

Calculation: Hosting Bandwidth and Disk Space Need Based on Page Size and Number of Visitors

Average page sizeNumber of PagesDisk Space NeededNumber of Daily PageloadsNumber of Monthly PageloadsBandwidth Needed
2 MB100200 MB10030006 GB
2 MB5001 GB5001500030 GB
2 MB10002 GB10003000060 GB
2 MB20004 GB200060000120 GB

Unlimited Bandwidth?

So don’t fall foul of those Unlimited bandwidth offers, for starters it’s a myth. All Web Hosting Providers have to pay for their bandwidth, so to provide an unlimited service is just crazy talk.

By unlimited, they mean that for the average user it is unlimited since they will never reach the limit. And don’t be wowed over by providers offering large rates of bandwidth, more doesn’t necessarily mean better. Stick to the basics unless you know your site is going to enjoy a lot of traffic.

Unlimited Disk Space?

As for Disk space, well that really is solely dependent on the content of your website. Most sites average around 150 MB with a single web page taking up around 1-2 MB.

I would strongly advise against pages larger than 2 MB. They are utterly impractical, and due to the long loading time, it leads to bad user experience.

Many Web Hosting providers will offer unlimited disk space. In my opinion, 5 GB is more than enough for most individuals and small to medium businesses.

However, it is worth considering just what the content of your website will be. Will there be banner ads, will you have a lot of graphics, video media and or photos? Will your website be database driven, or have downloadable software? For the average advanced user, 50GB is usually plenty.

The more sophisticated and media rich your website is, the more disk space and probably bandwidth you’ll need. But again, a reminder, you don’t have to go crazy.

I might put together a calculator in the future that can estimate your traffic needs. Check back if you are interested!

For everyday usage up to a couple of thousand page views a day I usually recommend eHost. They are excellent in every respect.