Exceeding Your Data Transfer Rate

How To Correct The Problem

What Is Data Transfer/Bandwidth?


You go to your site and see the dreaded message:

Sorry, this site is temporarily unavailable!
The web site you are trying to access has exceeded its allocated data transfer. Visit our help area for more information.

Access to this site will be restored within an hour. Please try again later.

  Need extra data transfer? Sign up for GeoCities Pro or Webmaster. Learn more.  

Please read on before you even consider signing up for extra data transfer.

The short, simple reason for this shut down is: You probably have too many

files on your pages! The main culprits are the latter three, music (mp3), flash, and video.

Exceeding Data Transfer has very little to do with how little space you are taking up on your site. For example, suppose you have the following files on your site:

  1. main file, a HTML file (1KB) that allows visitors to select one of two other pages to see.
  2. 2nd.html, a HTML file (2KB) that displays a graphic that is 110KB in size plus some text.
  3. 3rd.html HTML file (5KB) that displays some text and 10 graphic each of which is 110KB is size

The total space taken up on your site is 1.218MB. Consider the following scenarios which (a) assume a limit of 3GB/month (4.16MB/hr) data transfer, and (b) your visitors arrive within a one hour time span.

  • Scenario 1 - 30 people go to your site and access the #2 HTML file above. This will cause 30X[1KB (main page) + 2KB (2nd.html) + 110KB (graphic)] = 3,390KB = 3.39MB of data transfer.

  • Scenario 2 - 4 people visit your site and access the 3rd.html HTML file. This will cause 4X[1KB (main file) + 5KB (3rd.html) + 10X110KB] = 4,424KB = 4.46MB of data transfer.

    During that one hour, Scenario #2 will cause your site to shut down whereas the scenario #1 won't.


    You can correct, or attempt to correct, the excessive data transfer associated with your page(s) by one or all of the following:

    PAGE BUILDER USERS! - It is important that you read and understand the need to re-size your graphics before using them on your pages.

    The hourly data transfer rate, if not given, and if it it applies, is approximately:

    (Monthly Data Transfer Rate In GB)/0.744 = Data Transfer in KB (744 hrs/month)

    For example, if the monthly rate is 3GB then the hourly rate, in KB, is 3/.744 = 4.03KB.


    Data Transfer (Bandwidth) is the measure of bytes that are transferred from your site to the user's PC, i.e bandwidth. If someone comes to a page on your site, that page (html and graphic files) is transferred to them and the size of the files being transferred is measured. The total bytes of such transfers, both html and graphics files, is your bandwidth usage. Bytes are normally measured in kilobytes, or 210 = 1,024 = 1K bytes or 1KB.

    As an example, a one megabyte (1MB = 1,000KB) file that is viewed 2,000 times will result in a bandwidth of 2,000MB or 2GB (1GB = 1,000MB). In reality, however, most web pages are around two to five kilobytes (2-5kb) and graphics may be from 50-100KB. Thus, someone viewing an average web site that transfers 500KB to the visitor's PC, would consume about 500K of bandwidth. Therefore, if your bandwidth is limited to 3GB, it would be totally consumed if 600,000 people a month (20,000/day) view that page! There are not that many personal sites on GeoCities that have that much traffic. But if you have lots of graphics, say of 200KB in size then you could easily run up your bandwidth quite fast. The key here is to keep your graphics as small as possible and don't load large music files.

    GeoCities recently notified some, if not all, of their members that they would be imposing a data transfer limit on free site. The limit is 3GB per month. If this limit is reached, GeoCities will make those sites unavailable to the web for one hour. Please see GEO'S DATA TRANSFER POLICY.

    Unfortunately, GeoCities has failed to list what the hourly/daily/weekly data transfer rates are so it is virtually impossible to gauge when your site may be temporarily shut down for exceeding these rates. You can, however, assume that the rate for a day is the monthly rate divided by 30, i.e 100MB, and the hourly rate is 100MB/24, i.e. approximately 4.2MB. If this is the actual hourly rate and it is exceeded then your site will be shut down for one hour.

    Here are some example of when your site would be shut down based upon the assumed hourly data transfer rate of 4.2MB:

    Number Of Files AccessedSize Of Each File
    41.04 MB
    8521 KB
    12347 KB
    21200 KB
    42100 KB
    8350 KB

    You can easily see from the above that if the hourly rate is 4.2MB and you have several pages with 200KB graphics on them, your site could be shut down if 4-5 pages are hit and each has 4-5 such graphics on them.

    If a member wishes to avoid this shutdown they could

    1. Reduce the number and/or size of the graphics on their pages.

    2. Make thumbnails of the graphics and use them as links to the larger, full graphic.

    3. Sign up for a one of the premium accounts, which I can not recommend as their service is poor and there is absolutely no help when you need it. Please see Compare GeoCities' Premium Account To Other Host

    The hourly data transfer rate for each of the five account are:

    Free Account GeoPlus PRO Business
    My Host
    4.2MB 6.7MB 13.4MB 33.6MB 100.8MB 268.8MB 53.8MB
    3GB 5GB 10GB 25GB 75GB 200GB 40GB
    Cost FREE $4.95/m

    If you pay $4.95/month you will only gain about 64% in the amount of data transfer and the PRO premium account will only give your about a 300% increase. If you are having this much data transfer you might consider another host that has unlimited data transfer or a host with more than 40GB/month. Please go to to find hosts that offer more data transfer than GeoCities.

    NOTE: I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING ANY GEOCITIES PREMIUM SERVICE as they lack features commonly found with other hosts and the fact that GeoCities is widely know for its lack of help. You can compare GeoCities' Premium services to two others services at COMPARISON.

    You will note that the extra data transfer, 2MB up to 32MB, depends upon the plan selected. The account will cost $4.95 to $39.95 per month and will only allow you up to 10 times as much data transfer as you have with your free site. In my opinion this cost is excessive and grossly inadequate.

    You should be aware that for the money noted above, $59.40 to $479.40 per year, you can have:

    1. your own Domain Name, e.g., for about $8/year from GODADDY.COM but there are thousands of sites that will register a domain name for you.

    2. It is hosted on the web , e.g.

      • - $99/year with no set up cost if you transfer a Domain Name, $12.50 if you have to have a Domain Name but then it is free for as long as you keep 1planhost as your host. I used them and I get 500 MB of storage, 20GB data transfer, DeepMatrix Live Statistics on who visits your site and what pages they visit, ASP & SQL, Cold Fusion, a free Cart32-E Commerce Shopping Cart, and much more. They are my host and I have been with them 3+ years now.

      •" $3.95 - $5.95/month for 200MB-500MB Storage & 5GB-20GB data transfer, and other services.

      • - Sign up for a Domain Name for $12.50/year and received 50MB of storage, free web page editor, FTP access, Guest book, Counter and then take money orders and checks.

      • HOSTSEARCH.COM - here you can search for hosts based on cost, storage space, etc. Hundreds of hosts listed.

    3. Have at least 500MB of storage compared to GeoCities's 50MB,

    4. Have 40 or more GB DATA TRANSFER monthly, not 10 or 20GB.

    5. Ad Free!

    Read more about this at DOMAIN NAME & HOST INFORMATION.

    For a comprehensive list of web hosts, see HOSTSEARCH.COM, where you can find a host to meet your needs as to (a) space (b) data transfer and (c) cost.

    So, the question is, "Why in the world would you or anyone want to sign up for GeoCities's Premium Services?"