I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy! Tash

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What uses up bandwidth?

If you’ve tried reaching my blog or website in the last day or so you may have experienced some trouble unfortunately. I know I wasn’t happy to see a ‘exceeded bandwidth’ message when I tried to log in to post yesterday and again today.

Knowing I was well under my host limits a few hours earlier, I was surprised by the message and have contacted my host. Especially as the second time showed about 12,000MB of bandwidth used in less than 24 hours!

Figuring out the bandwidth issue

A laptop covered in chains and a padlock

Securing computers is important but not always easy…

No one has accessed the back end of my site or ftp (but I have changed passwords anyway!) but my host found that someone (and let me add that it is very restrained of me to just write ‘someone’!) in Washington has been using my bandwidth. I should say ‘had been’ as that ip is now blocked.

My host has been great at trying to help me and extending my bandwidth to keep the site live while the issue was researched, so thanks Lucie at Multimediart.

My question however, is how is someone using up so much bandwidth on my site? No unexpected files have appeared on the site and apparently no one unauthorised has logged in so I’m confused. Do you have any idea what this person was doing?

Does anyone have any suggestions to share so we can all avoid this sort of distraction and time-wasting in the future? I’d really appreciate any help I can get!


* Image courtesy of 123rf

Understanding bandwidth

A common thing people complain about when online is how long a web page takes to load. How many times have you given up waiting for a page to load or walked away and come back and the page is still only half loaded?

People are more likely to return to a site if the page loads efficiently and the content is worthwhile.

The term bandwidth describes the amount of data transferred to or from a website within a certain period of time. The bandwidth avilaable to a specific website depends on the hsoitng agreement in place, but will only allow a certain amount of data transfer in a specified time. So ultimately, the more information on a page, the longer the page will take to load.

When a web page is loaded into a browser it brings along with it all its content, that is the structural format code, the CSS instructing the browser how the content should look, the images, frames, text, and any other code that gives the page its content. Every single character and figure on a web page lengthens the time that the page takes to load; although individually they may be barely anything, they add up.

The average base of a web page should be about 30K and grow to be not much more than 60K. That is including all the graphics and text.

The main thing to remember here is that less is best, especially when web designing.