When it comes to the beginning webmaster, or any webmaster looking to make a profit, sometimes it’s important to be frugal–sometimes just a little bit, and sometimes with such magnitude that the casual onlooker will think you are insane.
The truth is, when your site experiences a large increase of traffic in a very short period of time, there are two very bad things that could happen.
One: You could run out of bandwidth, not have your site up to catch the incoming traffic, and when they realize that your site is down, they’ll leave–and not come back.
Two: You might not run out of bandwidth, but your traffic won’t come back. Poor loading times could be to blame, or, even worse at times, they don’t like your content. You end up buying more bandwidth to cope with the load, and when they don’t return, you’re up a creek.
Based on this idea, one could infer that bandwidth is extremely important–and one would be extremely correct.
So, how does one conserve bandwidth, to serve both purposes?
There are two or three very good sites that can be real assets to webmasters when it comes to conserving bandwidth.
2) Google Video: Google’s new video service could perhaps rival YouTube’s; make careful note, though, that Google Video sometimes does not work on Firefox. However, Google Video can serve the same purposes as YouTube, for embedding videos in your site.
3) ImageShack: An awesome site for uploading images, ImageShack will likely suit a lot of your needs for image hosting. The same can be said for PhotoBucket. In fact, PhotoBucket has (in my opinion) superior management options for one’s content than does ImageShack, so PhotoBucket may actually be a superior choice. All you need to do is sign up for an account.
Besides using sites to conserve bandwidth, there are ways that the webmaster can take into his or her own hands with the construction of his or her website to make it run more bandwidth-friendly.
1) You could downsize the font by a little bit, and shrink the margins. If your page has a ton of text on it, this might help some.
2) If you’re using a background image, tile it instead of using one big image for the background. This way, the tiling stops with the margins, which you may’ve shrunk as of “1)”. If you were to use one big image for the background, the entire thing would have to load–whether the viewer of the site sees the whole thing or not.
3) Links. Instead of presenting a user with one, large, bandwidth-sucking chunk of website on one page, break it up into several pages, so that if the viewer loses interest, or was only passing by, they won’t have wasted your bandwidth. Interested users will actually click around some to see what all is going on with your site, creating a more targeted audience for your ads, and saving you some bandwidth at the same time.
Hope that helps.
Good luck, webmasters!