How can I reduce the bandwidth my website uses?

My hosting provider shows me a graph of how much bandwidth I’m using and I’m getting dangerously close to my monthly quota. I wouldn’t like to exceed it and be liable for more bandwidth charges. Is there anything I can do to reduce it?

I got this question from a friend of mine who hosts a number of websites. Bandwidth is really dependant on how much traffic your website gets and every webmaster tries to encourage as much traffic as he can. Coming close to your quota is a sign that your website is being successful, but it can also mean that you are faced with additional charges. In order to answer this question I’m going to turn to an FAQ published on Web Hosting Choice, a website that specialises in comparing different hosting providers. They have a great set of questions and answers about hosting and this happened to be right in there. Here’s what they recommend:

  1. You should first try to optimize the graphics on your website. Many GIFs look just as good with fewer colors, and many JPEGs look just as good with a higher compression level.
  2. You should also analyze the HTML of your site. Make sure you use relative paths, so that images are not downloaded more than one time. Remove any extra spacing and when linking to other pages, use relative paths and not absolute links.
  3. While many hosts already have it, you could also see if your host has mod_gzip installed. This can save you a lot of bandwidth.

There’s some great suggests for you to try there. It’s worth keeping in mind that the more optimised your site is, the quicker your pages will load and the better your user experience will be. Thanks for your answer, Web Hosting Choice!

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