Way, way back in the day, .gov e-mail addresses were limited to eight characters because the e-mail address stole bandwidth (for other reasons too, but they’re superfluous to this article). So DINARIUS at SPY dot GOV would just be an acceptable size. A letter is a bit and eight bits is a byte. So each e-mail address would calculate to predictibly to one byte in bandwidth.
Now websites serve videos, music, big jpg image files and the like. Imagine serving ONE minute of music to each visitor. Perhaps it’s a music clip or vocal audio welcoming your guests and it DOESN’T loop. An audio clip playing back at 64kbps Kilobytes Per Second, will add up to 3.75 Megabytes in a minute.
64 * 60(seconds) = 3,840 Kilobytes.
3,840 / 1024(kb in a MB) = 3.75 Megabytes. *Data sizes AREN’T metric.
Suddenly, it’s obvious that ONE visitor will yank almost 4MB of bandwidth. Premium web hosting can offer 3,000 Gigabytes of bandwidth. How many visitors can you afford to entertain with that little 60-second sound clip?
3,000 * 1024(MB in a GB) = 3,072,000 Megabytes bandwidth.
3,072,000 / 3.75 = 819,200 Visitors.
If you want to host a site that receives a MILLION visitors a month, you have to trim down the amount of data that visitors pull so that the bandwidth can serve many visitors. Seen the Google results pages? They’re mostly text; very small. Craigslist, mostly text. YouTube; more bandwidth and data per visitor than you could ever hope to afford in your lifetime unless you’re a trustfund baby.
That’s why lots of webmasters prefer to keep photos and site banners as small as possible in terms of data. Everytime a new picture is loaded by a Visitor, it’s a hit. That hit equates to a portion of bandwidth. Suddenly, data economy becomes an issue as do adding servers to spread the load of hundreds of thousands of hits!
Only 17.0 is the text you read. The rest is images.