HOW MANY GB OF TRAFFIC IS REQUIRED PER MONTH? Any way to calculate this? Webhosting companies have a limit when ordering, so I need to know...

A classifieds website using PHP and MYSQL. MYSQL has around 500thousand records. Not much graphics. Pretty advanced search feautures.

How much traffic would I need do you think?


  • 1
    what does your database size have to do with bandwidth needed?
    – Mike Atlas
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:04
  • 1
    There's no way to definitively know
    – OMG Ponies
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:05
  • How big are your pages? How many queries are you expecting to do in a month? Those are a couple of starting questions. How much JavaScript would be downloaded?
    – JB King
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:05
  • 3
    In the first place, this isn't programming-related. It belongs on ServerFault. In the second place, the answer is 42. If you want something other than the standard answer to question of life, the universe, and everything, you'll have to provide more information. What do you mean by "need" and "required" here? How much data moves for each transaction? What's the size of your intended audience? There are more questions, but that would be at least a start. Dec 10, 2009 at 22:08

6 Answers 6


You won't know until you've run it for some time. Will largely depend on the visitors count, which right know I suppose you have close to zero. Start with something simple, 5 GB per month may suffice in the first months. Then you'll have some statistics to see how it's going on.


How many visits per month? How much data transmitted per visit?

Expected traffic needed = expected # visits per month * expected amount of data per visit.

  • sorry I meant GB of traffic, data transfer... Webhosting companies have a limit
    – camran
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:02
  • I assumed that's what you meant.
    – Matt Ball
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:07
  • That’s what the given equation gives you.
    – Synetech
    Dec 10, 2009 at 22:08

While everyone else's answers are correct (there is no way we can say "X Gigabytes a month is how much you need"), the formula you will want to start with to get a ballpark estimate is pretty simple:

Expected number of users * Expected number of page loads per user * average size of page on site * an arbitrary fudge factor such as 1.5 (you would rather overestimate than underestimate).

Good luck!


If you mean bandwith the main statistic to look at is the amount of traffic you get.


There is really no way of knowing this. Even an educated guess would be way off, because you didn't give us enough information.

You could have the worst HTML pages in the world and be sending 1MB of text for every page. Or you could have on-the-fly zipping that compressed every page into almost nothing.

Even if we knew that, you'd still have to tell us how many visitors per month you'd be expecting, and how many pages they'd view on average.


This is a tough one to answer. Until you trial your site it's difficult to say. You need to make some guesses at the number of users you'll have, the number of searches they'll make, pages they'll hit, the average size of those pages and search results etc. If you know your market, and know how many users you're likely to have, then these all feed into the guesswork.

The best you can do is make an educated guess and understand what the costs and process are if you need to revise these numbers up or down.

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