Bandwidth on Flywheel

Updated on March 13th, 2023

Bandwidth usage, specific to hosting, is the amount of data transferred through a website. The data can come in many different forms such as video, images, audio, and PDFs to name a few. This doc will cover potential pitfalls when bandwidth allotment is exceeded, how to check your usage on Flywheel, and best practices for decreasing bandwidth usage. 


Bandwidth overage impact

Flywheel plans are designed to perform with the amount of traffic as promised when the bandwidth levels are below the usage allotment. We do not throttle sites for going over, but once bandwidth exceeds this threshold the site may start to experience issues like those listed below:

  • Slow Performance. Higher bandwidth usage means the server has to work harder to deliver content which may negatively impact page speed.
  • Traffic Spikes Impacted. If your site is experiencing a spike in traffic, bandwidth usage might cause page loads to be less successful.
  • More Data Transferred Per Visit. Page size should be as minimal as possible to keep your site stable and performant!

Bandwidth overage charges:

If you are consistently over on bandwidth usage you may get charged depending on the amount of time and usage. Use the best practices in this doc to help identify what could be causing the overages on your site to avoid this.

Flywheel bandwidth stats tab

Once you are logged into your Flywheel dashboard and select the site you are inquiring about, there will be a `Stats` tab like the screenshot below.

Flywheel dashboard Stats tab selected.

After selecting the stats tab you will see the bandwidth usage for that specific site on your Flywheel plan in the bottom right corner like the screenshot below.

Stats tab bandwidth usage

Best practices to lower bandwidth

Embed Videos:

When a video is uploaded directly to the site it increases bandwidth usage significantly. The best way to avoid this is to embed your media files rather than upload them. 

What’s the difference? When you upload a video you store it directly on the site. For example, when you add media files directly to your WordPress site using the Media Library like you would images. Embedding is when you attach a media file to your site from a third-party site like YouTube or Vimeo.

Images and Audio files:

Images and audio files can also use bandwidth when uploaded directly to your site. You can offload images and audio files by using a third-party service like Amazon S3 or Google Cloud Storage

Another option is to optimize your images. Learn how to do that using this help doc

Cloudflare caching:

Utilizing a 3rd party caching service like Cloudflare can reduce the number of requests to the origin server and thus lowering bandwidth reporting to Flywheel. For this to work you will need to set up a Cloudfare account and  Page Rules for specific assets. 

Check out this help doc for more information about using Cloudflare on Flywheel.

Need help?

If you have any questions our Happiness Engineers are here to help!

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