Evil Bandwidth Thieves Strike Again

Last month my web host charged me $30 extra for the month, and that’s a BIG chunk of moulah out of my pocket. The reason? Someone is stealing my bandwidth and I can’t find the leak.

I did a calculation of what I spent last year for webhosting, and it came to $2.43 per month for each website, with subdomains counting as separate websites. That’s pretty amazing. So imagine my panic when I get this email from my web host billing me an extra $30 for just one month!

To make it worse, my day job cushion is gone so every dollar is coming out of my savings right now, including that $30 whack-job. So you see how this might freak me out, right?

So who are these evil bandwidth thieves? Well, YOU, maybe.

That’s the trouble. Most webmasters don’t have a clue what bandwidth is, or how their habits affect it. If you see a really cool image on somebody’s website, and you link to it so that it shows up on your website, if you didn’t first swipe the image and upload it to your own webhost, then you are stealing my bandwidth.

I thought I’d protected my images but apparently I missed one somewhere, and somebody really wanted to share it. My websites are all sprawled out like a plate of spaghetti. There isn’t just one website with just one image folder, or even a single image folder for each website.

I’ve been webbing for more than a decade, and some of what I did in the early days is probably still hanging out there, untouched by my own eyeballs for years. Maybe it’s a wake up call to revamp the older websites, clean them up and clear out the junk.

For the past month, I’ve been crawling around the attic of my websites, hoping to fix the bandwidth gusher before my boat sinks. Every day I plug what I hope is the bandwidth leak, then wait two days and check my logs, but there’s no sign that I found the sinkhole sucking my bandwidth away.

Moral of the story? Don’t ignore your websites and let them fill with cobwebs and dust where you forget your way around. The web is ever-changing, and you need to keep up!

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