Bandwidth Usage

My website usually has fairly low traffic, given that much of it (or this weblog, for that matter) isn't all that well known and I host few big files. Normally, the monthly bandwidth usage for winterdom.com is between 4.5 and 6 GB.

However, bandwidth usage during october jumped to 16.28 GB! That was a surprise, so I started looking at what might have caused it. From my adsense stats and my usage of Google Analytics, I knew that traffic had increased a bit during this last month on the weblog, but not on the rest of the site, which is normal given that I don't update it often and it is mostly used to host the downloads for my samples.

Also, the RSS subscriber base hasn't changed much in the past few months, and is usually pretty stable, right now between 900-980 subscribers.

A few interesting things I noticed:

  • Pageviews The number of people visiting the site certainly increased, a bit more than I had thought, actually. Usually my weblog didn't got more than 500 pageviews a day, but since October 16 I could see that going a bit above 1000 pageviews.
  • As far as I can see, the increase in the number of visitors has not translated into more RSS subscribers, or at least not to the main RSS feed hosted by feedburner.
  • The largest usage of bandwidth during october was, apparently PNG image files, accounting for well over 12GB of traffic this month.
  • A significant amount of traffic driven to my site during october came from the Visual Studio Express site on MSDN; apparently someone over there liked my Visual Studio Color Schemes :-).
    The rest of the traffic sources are pretty much the usual ones, like the Windows Workflow Foundation community site, Scott Hanselman's weblog (always a good source of visitors), a few pages scattered around blogs.msdn.com, and  Damien Guard's site.

It's pretty obvious at this point to me, that the most popular entries on this weblog are, by a large margin, my various posts on Visual Studio Color Schemes and my old post about Inconsolata. I'm not sure whether that's a good think or simply means that the "serious" posts I write on technical topics aren't nearly as interesting as I thought they could be ;-).

Anyway, looks like I may want to start considering hosting a few of the screenshots I post on my various posts on a separate site (like flickr) or at least stop posting them as large PNG files. Might as well go over Jeff Atwood's Reducing Your Website's Bandwidth Usage post and see what else might be useful there.

No rush, though, I would still need to serve about 4GB more a month to go over my hosting plan's monthly quota, and I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon! And even so, I suspect the current spike in traffic won't last too long.

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2 comments

  1. We both seem to suffer from the fact the more ‘trivial’ posts about fonts and colours are more popular than the serious ones about coding.
    I think the reason for this is appeal – fonts apply to any programming language and OS, then Visual Studio colour schemes applies to everything from C++ device driver guys to ASP.NET web developers. The technical posts tend to apply to a single scenario within a specific framework.
    [)amien

  2. Damien,
    I think you’re right about that. It doesn’t help that a lot of my more technical posts are on stuff that you could reasonably say very few people care about (like, say, writing custom biztalk adapters). I don’t particularly mind it, but it can seem funky at times :)

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