Bandwidth Issues

If you make a game only for a demo to hand out to friends or add to your private portfolio, you won't have to host your game on a website. But if you want as many people to play your game as possible and you host your game on a site, you could quickly run into bandwidth issues. Don't be caught by surprise! Even if your game is under the radar, it doesn't mean it won't become popular. If your site is popular, or if a site that gets a lot of traffic links to yours, several hundreds or even thousands of people could be downloading your game every day. Sounds great, doesn't it? However, keep in mind the amount of bandwidth this is going to use. There is no such thing as "unlimited bandwidth"—read the fine print. Every web-hosting company will limit how much bandwidth your web site can use, usually around 10GB per month for cheap accounts or even as low as 1GB per month. If you have your own dedicated server, this will be higher, usually from 25GB per month to even 400GB per month or more. Let's say your game is distributed in a 1MB bundle. If your host limits your bandwidth to 10GB per month, not counting things such as HTML pages and images, that limits you to 10,000 downloads per month, or 333 downloads every day. Furthermore, your hosting company will either charge you mad amounts of money or simply pull the plug on your site. This means that not everyone who wants to download your game will have an opportunity to do so, which is a problem you'll want to solve. The easiest way to fix this problem is to not host the game, and instead to provide the download only on sites such as download.com. Or, if you're actually making money from your game, be sure to look at different hosting companies and their bandwidth options, try to estimate how much bandwidth you could possibly use, and pick a hosting company that will allow you to easily expand as needed.

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