What Does It Mean When It Says Bandwidth Limit Exceeded?

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You have set up a new website and have hired a guy to create it and then work the social media and SEO. The website becomes popular and you start getting new customers. Sales have also increased. One day, you suddenly get a Twitter complaint about your website not being available. You try to go online and they are right! Your website is not loading and you get a message that says your bandwidth limit exceeded.

What does it mean and what should you do to correct this problem?

Let us first understand what the bandwidth is and then, we will help you resolve the bandwidth limitation.

When you sign up for a hosting plan, you get a set amount of storage and data transfer. Your website’s files take up space and the bandwidth is used whenever those files are requested by a browser. 

For example, let’s say your customer Mr X clicks on a picture of your product to look at a bigger image. The browser sends a request to retrieve the full image stored in your hosting account. If the file is 1 MB in size, every time it is requested, 1 MB of your bandwidth is consumed.

Let us say your monthly quota is 1 GB. So if the file is requested 1024 times, you reach your bandwidth limit and the hosting service provider will stop accepting any more file requests. The visitors to your website will see a “Bandwidth limit exceeded” message.

How can you resolve this issue?

A majority of the good hosting providers offer an unlimited bandwidth and unlimited storage plan. If you are constantly reaching your bandwidth limit and the business is doing well, choose an unlimited plan. But before you do that, have a look at the logs to see if there is anything unusual happening with your bandwidth.

Is one file getting requested too often?

If the issue is being caused by one or two big files being requested too often, you can optimise them for web usage. If it’s a video file, convert it to MP4 or FLV to reduce its file size. You can also reduce High-resolution images to compressed or low-resolution formats like JPEG.

In case you see an unknown file getting a lot of requests, ask your webmaster for help and get it removed. Sometimes, a teenage webmaster may use your space to store his p2p downloads and cause too much traffic. So, it is worth to have a look at the logs.

Once you change your plan to a bigger bandwidth, the problem will vanish. Your visitors will be able to view your site again and your sales should continue as before. One good rule to follow is to ask your webmaster or IT guys to keep the website lean and fast. A fast loading website is more likely to retain visitors than a slow loading one. Plus, Google rewards faster loading times with higher ranking in their search results.

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