So we launched the Design Club about a day ago and everyone seems to love it!  Yay!

However, traffic spiked, people from over 40 countries visited the website (I’d love to know who is from Zambia!  Is that you?) bandwidth shot up and you guys took the website down for a few minutes.

I guess that’s a good problem to have!

The Email

Here’s what happened.  Just before midnight I received this email:

The “hey your website is down” email

How do you feel about that email?

It’s a strange email.

It means that your website has been suspended because too many people think it is awesome and that surge in traffic has exceeded the bandwidth limit set by Web Host Manager (the overlord of the accounts on your server).

Good?  Bad?  I’ll let you decide.

I instantly went to the homepage and found this:

The “OMG where the f*** did my website go” screen

OMG! The website is gone!  Curse you bandwidth limits!

So if that happened to you, what do you do?  Where’s the magic button to push that will bring everything back up?

Lemme show ya.

Increase Bandwidth Limit

Thankfully this is a minor problem (assuming you can allocate more bandwidth) and it can be resolved within a couple of minutes.

Step ONE is to login to your Web Host Manager (WHM).  It should look something like this:

Make sure you are NOT logging into CPANEL.  CPANEL is not WHM.

Each server / server plan is different but more likely than not, your WHM will NOT be on your domain name (that’s CPANEL).  For example our domain name is but our WHM is a completely different domain name.

Once you login to WHM, step TWO is to click on Account Information > View Bandwidth Usage, like this:

There you will see all the accounts on your server and you want to find the one that is in RED

Yes, I know there is nothing RED in that screenshot and it says 2% used HOWEVER last night it was RED and it was at about 128% used!  I took this screenshot today which was a different month – so the bandwidth usage reset and I increased the limit last night.

Don’t worry, it will be obvious which account is over the limit.  Promise.

Once you find the right account, step THREE is to click on the little pencil and enter in HIGHER Bandwidth limit, like this:

Change the Bandwidth Limit here, then click “Change”

Unlimited Bandwidth Usage

You’re smart.  I know it.

When you saw that screenshot above you thought “Hey guys, why don’t you just choose Unlimited and never have to worry about that again“.

Yes that is a great idea however, HostGator (and most other hosting companies) do not allow you to select that option.

So what should you set it to?

Formula To Calculate Bandwidth Usage

Only you can decide how much bandwidth your website needs.  However if I can give you a formula that should work for most people, it would be this:

  1. Take the number of MBs that your website has used to so far this month (let’s say it was 203 MB)
  2. Divide that by the number of days so far this month (let’s say it’s the 18th of the month, so we’ll divide 203 by 18)
  3. What do you come up with? (In this example it would be 11.27.  That means the websites uses on average 11.27 MB per day)
  4. Then multiple that number by 31 (that would be 349 MB)
  5. Then add about 15% to that number to account for any spikes in traffic

Using the example numbers from above my new bandwidth limit should be around 400 MB.

Or you could just pick a gigantic number and hope your server company doesn’t get mad at ya.

Your call.

Always remember to keep your WHM notification email address updated or else you won’t know when this happens!