There are a number of things you can do to minimize the amount of bandwidth your site uses. If you are using a web-publishing program, pay close attention to how large the files become before you publish them. If you are hand coding your web site, there are a number of ways you can minimize the amount of data downloaded by the viewer.
First, if your web page contains any photographs, or other images, make sure they are sized by the image editing program to as low a resolution, and the exact dimensions you want displayed, without sacrificing quality. Images take up much more bandwidth to transfer than the normal text of an HTML file. Compressing images and using the appropriate file format, will reduce the file size of your images.
Use thumbnails. If you have multiple pictures, create a thumbnail of each picture, allowing the viewer to choose which pictures they would like to view.
There are several types of image file types most commonly found on the Internet, most notably JPEG, GIF.
GIF: There are two versions of the format, 87a and GIF89a. Version 89a allows for the possibility of an animated GIF, which is a short sequence of images within a single GIF file. GIF89a also allows for transparencies. GIFs are better suited for simple graphics such as icons, logos, and buttons.
JPEG: When you create a JPEG or convert an image from another format to a JPEG, you are asked to specify the quality of image you want. Since the highest quality results in the largest file, you can make a trade-off between image quality and file size. JPEGs are better suited for complex graphics like photographs. More information on optimizing JPEG compression can be found at http://www.tweaktown.com/articles/234/jpg_compression_the_bandwidth_saver_article
Second, check your HTML code. Excessive use of blank space and extra blank lines will increase the size of your HTML document, and cause the page to take a longer amount of time to download. If blank spaces and blank lines are not required by your code, consider removing them.
Optimizing code for efficiency can be considered an art form and will make your website more pleasurable to view using a slow modem connection, because, efficient coding means less information needs to be download by each of your site's visitors. Along those lines, your monthly bandwidth costs will be significantly lower. If your website receives a high number of hits, even the smallest reduction in your HTML document's size will mean a substantial reduction in bandwidth usage.
A few other tips regarding the Web site coding would be to use HTML instead of CGI wherever possible, as HTML can be cached, and CGI is dynamically created for each visit. Using the same buttons, and images on every page of your site will allow them to be cached, reducing the number of times each image is downloaded. Also structuring your site in such a way that the index page is small, leading to pages with more content, can reduce unnecessary bandwidth usage by people not intending to visit your site.
In addition to minimizing your site's bandwidth usage, Sonic.net offers a number of colocation services to help minimize costs on active websites. Colocation may be the solution for you if your site consistently receives moderate or heavy traffic, or if you want the freedom of running your own private web server.
You can even colocate your own servers in our state-of-the-art Network Operations Center (NOC). Our NOC features redundant power with automatic backup power transfer, the highest quality fire suppression with computer-safe fire retardant, top level security, and personal identification access (some restrictions apply). Information on colocating your own server in Sonic.net's NOC can be found at http://www.sonic.net/sales/colo/.
Hopefully by using the methods mentioned earlier in this document, you will be able to reduce the amount of bandwidth your site creates. If you are still in need of more suggestions, please feel free to check our member newsgroups for information, news://news.sonic.net/sonic.help.www would be a great place to start!