Bandwidth for Your WordPress Site - dummies

By Lisa Sabin-Wilson

A lot of hosting providers are out there for your WordPress site, and it’s an extremely competitive market. Here is a caution you should consider about those hosting providers that offer unlimited packages. Basically, for a certain cost per month, you get unlimited bandwidth transfer and unlimited hard drive space (along with unlimited domains, databases…pretty much unlimited everything!).

This isn’t to say that the hosts that do this aren’t good ones. But, a popular school of thought says that there’s no such thing as unlimited. What you need to do when you encounter these offers is to read the hosting provider’s terms of service. Pay particular attention to what they have to say about server resources, or more specifically, CPU resource usage.

Although these hosting providers may offer unlimited transfer and hard drive space, if your website gets a traffic spike, the CPU resource usage goes up, and many hosts will throttle your site if your account uses a certain amount of the overall server CPU resource. By throttle, this means they’ll turn off your website temporarily until the CPU resource use goes down.

If you see an unlimited offer that looks good to you, pursue it. Just be sure to investigate a bit and ask the right questions, such as “What are the CPU limitations for my account, and what happens if I exceed them?”

Forewarned is forearmed.