So you have a website up and running, you write informative and interesting posts intended for your readers. You promote your site to your friends and help spread the word out about your site to increase your audience. You work hard on this and finally your hard work pays off, an article from your website suddenly becomes viral and visitors from all over the world starts visiting your site in the thousands. And then you realize the web hosting you have has a monthly bandwidth cap and it gets exhausted in just a matter of hours and now you website is down.
All the hard work you made promoting your site popular will just be wasted effort if your website cannot handle the amount of traffic that you initially worked hard for. And that sucks, big time. Of course you can always get another host with that offers bigger and sometimes even unlimited bandwidth like Hostgator, but that’s a different story. So now the question is, how can I improve or reduce my website’s bandwidth? So here’s my take on how to reduce your website’s bandwidth usage.
1. Use an external Image provider
Websites tend to be more appealing when it has pictures to support the text content rather than just displaying only text that makes the reading experience dull and boring. And ofcourse, having images will consume a large portion of your website’s bandwidth. Even only a few low res images on a site will stack up and eat up a large part of your bandwith, and who wants crappy low res images? Ofcourse we would want to serve high res and great looking images for our websites. So what do we do? Simple, we can use free external image providers like Imageshack , Flickr and Photobucket. These sites offer free image hosting and are easy to sign up. Understandably their free accounts still has limited bandwidth but you can remove these restrictions when you sign up for a paid account. Personally, here at Tech4idiots, I still use my old WordPress blog for hosting some of my images here. You can also use other free blogging platforms to host your images, but you must make sure that doing this will not violate their TOS. You can always get creative on where to host your images on the web, just make sure you have backups.
2. Use external RSS feeds provider
Websites normally offers RSS feeds so that users can subscribe or syndicate through RSS readers. RSS is a great way to see and read about updates on posts on a website without having to actually visit the the website. It’s great because subscribed users are able to read your articles even offline ( as long as the RSS has already been downloaded to their RSS readers). But the thing is, RSS feeds eats up a lot of your website’s bandwidth especially if you have a lot of subscribers. And that’s why I would recommend using an external RSS feed provider, namely Feedburner. Feedburner, now owned by Google, is a great free RSS feed service which by doing so will largely decrease your bandwidth usage from RSS feeds. Also, another great thing about using Feedburner is that if you have an adsense account you can also integrate Adsense ads on your Feedburner feeds! This can be done automatically by enabling it on your Feedburner dashboard. Great way to monetize you feeds all the while reducing your bandwidth.
Those are my top 2 tips on how to reduce your website’s bandwidth usage. There are also other ways to decrease bandwidth usage but are a little too technical for the casual website owner. I listed them below but I will not delve in to deep into them.
Turn on you website’s HTTP compression – Basically, what this does is it compresses you text content to save space which in return, also reduces you bandwidth. Normally this can be done via accessing directly your cpanel or from your webserver. You can always ask for help from your Hosting accounts support on how to do this.
So there you have it, my top tips on how to reduce your website’s Bandwidth usage. If you have any more tips you would like to add or if you have any questions feel free to add a comment below.