When choosing a web host, the amount of bandwidth you purchase can be crucial to the success of your site. Generally speaking, the more bandwidth you have, the more traffic your site will be able to handle at one time.
To determine how much bandwidth you'll need, you must first:
estimate how big each page on your site is, and how many people are going to view it.
To do this, add up the size of every image on the page and the size of the page's HTML files. Then multiply this figure by the number of views you expect for that page per month.
For example, if you had three 10k images on your page and a 2k HTML file, you would have 32k of data on that page. Multiply that by your expected page views (let's say 100,000 per month), and you get 3.2G of data to be transferred that month for that page.
Now recalculate this number for each page, and you'll know approximately how much bandwidth your entire site requires.
How can you save bandwidth?
1. Keep your pages as small as possible
This means tight HTML programming to reduce file size, and compacting your pictures and graphics to reduce image size. Use the JPEG image format for your photos and the GIF format for graphics - their compression abilities are second to none.
2. Use images that aren't stored on your site
You can do this by replacing the file name in your <IMG SRC> tag with a URL that gives the location of the image you want to use. Before doing this, however, make sure you have the permission of the site you are linking to. Otherwise, you're stealing bandwidth, which is considered pirating and is therefore illegal.
3. Use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).
Another effective way to save bandwidth is to use CSS. Designed to reduce HTML file size, CSS attribute values for any HTML element/command at the beginning of the document, rather than repeating them throughout.