Actual bandwidth allocated to a hosting account?

What you get goes up quite a bit if you can forgo cPanel. DigitalOcean offers $5 a month droplets, and AWS offers free services for a year, which include everything from web server, cache server, database server, storage, CDN, etc. You can run a sizable website, exponentially larger than shared for free. When the 12 months expire web server costs $6.25 a month if you pay for a year up front (and you get a notably better server than a droplet, IMO).

In terms of bandwidth, you're thinking of server bandwidth in home ISP terms. Web servers need upload, since their primary function is serving. Upload is considered a business feature for home ISP because that's what you need to run servers. They're deliberately stingy because otherwise people would try to run busy websites on $30 a month cable connection (it's still a bad idea to run servers at home, even with the bandwidth).

Hosting providers often have direct backbone connections, often more than one. They don't allocate resources in the same way an ISP does, they restrict it. For shared hosting, they allow a single sever X amount of bandwidth, load thousands of people onto it, then let them fight over it. This is part of the reason they never give you exact numbers, because it depends what your neighbors are doing.

Additionally, bandwidth in terms of MB/s doesn't have the biggest effect on performance for measurements such as first byte time. You could have wide bandwidth and still have a slow server, due to any number of issues, not the least of which is fighting your neighbors for computing power.

Finally, all of your assets should delivered by CDN, anyway. They shouldn't be served directly from your web server. CDNs usually respond quickly, have all the bandwidth you need and are much closer to your visitor. Your web server should be seen more as a brain which decides what to serve and where to get the resources needed to deliver the page; a CDN should do the serving.

/r/web_design Thread