Is your website going down every month due to bandwidth limitations? Is your website bandwidth being used up half-way through the month? Then you should definitely investigate this behavior. Website bandwidth is the sum of all Data Transfer to and from your hosting account. This would include emails, web traffic, FTP file transfer and just about anything going through the network, attributed to your account. This article explains the possibilities of why your web hosting accounts bandwidth was exhausted.
Have you suffered a major DoS or DDoS attack in the recent past? If there was a brute force attempt on your login pages, or a mail flooding attack, that attack event may have used up all the bandwidth in your account and sapped your account of its monthly limit. This is one of the most common factors for CMS based websites, which are pounded with logins in an attempt to guess the password. You can track this type of behavior by visiting the logs or setting up alerts for failed login attempts in your website’s CMS system.
Have you been doing a lot of mailing? If you pumped out a newsletter with heavy images or sent out some major art work through email, then it is possible that your bandwidth was exhausted. Once upon a time, a client who was sending out package designs to their printer, suddenly received a mail alerting them that they used up 80% of their bandwidth in just 6 days. Upon checking the logs, they found out that their SMTP service took up almost all the bytes.
If you have genuinely become popular, your legitimate traffic will take up bandwidth too. Some people just cannot believe that their site will do well and are surprised when they get a bus load of visitors on their product pages. If you were quoted on twitter or reddit or tumblr or any social media website, you may see a sudden spurt in traffic. You should accordingly plan what you want to do about it in future.
Not only humans but even search engine bots may fancy your website and eat up a lot of your bandwidth. When the bots crawl your website, they are effectively sending the page information back to their servers, in this process they do consume a lot of bandwidth. On popular websites, bots may take up about 10-30% of the bandwidth on a daily basis. You can block bots but this can have a negative impact on your search engine ranking. infact Google allows you to set the crawl rate for your website, so that the Googlebot cuts down on how much information it sops up.
Although this is not as rampant a problem as it was in previous years, when people hotlink content on your website rather than hosting it themselves, it can lead to your data transfer for the month being used up soon. You can setup measures to disable hotlinking if you are facing any issues. Usually websites hotlink images and documents, however, if they link up to some audio or video files, it can speed up the bandwidth getting over.
If you recently backed up your website or restored a website backup to your account, you can definitely expect to be hit with the data transfer limit. This maybe a one off incident, but if it recurs every month, then you need to check and reanalyze your bandwidth requirements.