If you are a website owner, then chances are high that you might have received reduce website bandwidth usage mail from your web host. Total website bandwidth usage, also known as data transfer, is nothing but the total amount of data transfer over a period of typically one month. There are three critical factors which constitute the amount of data, and they are the number of visitors, web page size and total web page view by each visitor.
Nobody would even look at the number of visitors and number of pages view since you want more and more traffic and a low bounce rate. So, you are left with web page size optimization as the only option, which is also the make and break deal if you want to reduce website bandwidth usage.
What is data transfer or bandwidth usage?
Bandwidth is the rate of transfer of data that happens between a user and your website at any given moment. It expressed in kilobytes per second. Whereas, total bandwidth usage or data transfer is the total amount of data that transfer over a period of a month.
Whenever you open a website, the request goes to the target website server through your web browser via the internet. In return, the web server sends back the site in the form of different web files, and all these files get downloaded on to your browser on your local machine.
So, if these files are massive in size, then more bandwidth will be consumed. A web host always provides you with limited data transfer. It is vital to optimize the design of your website to reduce website bandwidth usage.
How to reduce website bandwidth usage?
As told you before, you always wish to grow the number of visitors on to your website. Also, you want them to stay for a more extended period, reading or referring more and more pages. So, it is only the website design that you need to optimize for minimizing the bandwidth usage.
Remove unnecessary files
Whenever you are building a web page, try to limit your creativity and always think from a user perspective. Do not add useless pictures, texts, videos, etc. These files may take ages to load and ultimately will eat away all the data transfer bandwidth.
For instance, try to use only one font throughout your website. I have seen people using more three fonts to jazz up things. But ultimately, they take a lot of time to load. Use only necessary pictures. Do not use an image for every occasion.
Get rid of locally hosted audio and video files. Use YouTube videos as far as possible.
Optimize picture with the help of a tool
There are several tools available to reduce the size of the image which you might use on your website. Ideally, the size of the picture should be around 60-70 KB. Also, try to use JPEG format rather than using PNG or other bulky formats.
Use lazy load for pictures and videos
Use features like the lazy load for pics and videos. Why load pictures at some part of your web page where a user may not reach. For example, if there is a picture at the bottom of the page and if the visitor is not scrolling up to that point, then there is no need to load that image.
Lazy load only loads images or YouTube clips if they come in the viewport of a user. This feature is already on big websites such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Remove space, comments and unwanted tags
Comments are an excellent feature to interact with your visitors. But they also get loaded when you open a web page. Try to minimize comments as far as possible. You can also disable comment feature if it is not necessary.
Unnecessary spaces do not look good on a web page. Also, they can load any web page. Tags are a useful feature from a user perspective as they help a user in the search. But overdoing this feature is not suitable for loading of your site. Use a limited number of tags.
Use caching feature
It is vital for any website owner to use cache feature on their website. If you are running a WordPress website, then you go for WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache. Both are good. A cache plugin will help the browser to keep a cache for future reference.
So, if a visitor revisits your website, then the browser will show the cached version. It will only load things which might have changed between the last and the current visit. Ultimately, cache feature can reduce website bandwidth usage tremendously.
Short meta tags or meta descriptions
Write a compelling meta description, using relevant keywords. Do not stuff it up with unnecessary words. Lengthy meta description not only load your page but also reduce click rate on Google SERP.
Over to you
People often think that they require a premium web hosting plan to load their website in 1-2 seconds. But, there are multiple factors involved. One such element is optimizing the website files. A light web page not only loads fast but also keep the bandwidth usage under control.
Whenever you get exceeded bandwidth usage limit warning, then do not go for a next tier hosting plan. Do check your website if things are optimized at your end or not. Most of the time, you little optimization could avoid unnecessary spending on hosting plans.