Ways to Minimize Bandwidth Consumption

Posted on Jun 13, 2008

author: Ling, Kathy

When trying to figure out how much bandwidth your website needs, the rule of thumb is:

[total size of website] x [number of visitors/month] = monthly bandwidth consumption

So, based on this formula, there are only two ways to reduce bandwidth consumption, either by the total size of website or by the number of visitors.

Since the purpose of having a website is to be seen by more people, reducing the number of visitors will not be a good meansure for minimizing bandwidth consumption. That leaves reducing total website size.

So what can you do to reduce the size of your website?

1. Keep pages simple, limit rich web content

Rich web content (ie. images, flash, audio, video) is a good way to make your website more attractive, but these files burn out bandwidth fast. If you need to include all those rich content on your website, consider offloading onto different servers (ie. third-party storage sites).

2. Limit downloadable files

Music files, .PDF files, flash or video files will consume most of your bandwidth allowance by just a handful of visitors.

3. Cleanup Your Codes

Many HTML pages contain unnecessary stuff: unneeded spaces, meta tags, tags, default values and elements. All these will make your web pages bigger without serving any real purpose.

Classic examples:

  • Image border – by default, images do not have borders. So adding the extra border=”0″ code is unnecessary.
  • Comments – many designers like to insert comments in their codes. It does make the file easy to manage later on, but try to keep comments short.

    <–! Footer –> instead of <–! This is the Footer and it contains links, banners… –>

Also, use a code validator to make sure your codes are as clean as possible.

Try these ones:

4. External CSS and Javascript

Make CSS and Javascript external whenever possible. This will reduce HTML file sizes as well make your website easier to manage.

5. Optimize images

Stick with GIFs and JPEGs. JPEG is best for images with gradients or glows. GIF is best for flat or simple images with one-color areas, such as logos. PNG is another format you can use.

Most people use monitors that have a resolution of 72dpi so there really is no need to use images with resolution higher than that.

Resize large images and/or use thumbnails. While the majority of the web uses a 1024×768 resolution, there is still a percentage of visitors using older, smaller monitors which have a maximum display resolution of 640×480. To make sure images do not run off the edges of any browser, I like to keep my images at 600px or less.

Use an image editor to crop unnecessary parts, create smaller versions or create thumbnails.

6. Keeps scripts efficient

Some scripts are known to consume a lot of resources. Try to use scripts that are more effective and efficient. Also, keep in mind that static pages are better than dynamic ones because static pages can be cached.

For example, if you are running WordPress, consider the WP Super Cache plugin.

Always make sure to deactivate any plugins or extensions you are not using.

7. Host news feeds externally

Consider services such as FeedBurner. This can save a large amount of bandwidth if RSS feeds are a popular feature on your website.

There are many great websites on the Internet that offers useful resources:


While 20GB (Doteasy Ultra Hosting) is certainly enough for most medium to large websites, if your website is exceptionally popular and you need more than 20GB of traffic a month, you might want to consider the unmetered bandwidth of the Doteasy Unlimited Hosting plan.

“Unmetered” means your bandwidth consumption is measured for statistics purposes only. You are allowed to use as much traffic as the network supports. For an extra couple dollars a month, this plan offers a peace of mind, especially when you just launched a new marketing campaign and are expecting a bit more than usual visitor traffic.