A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is simply a network of servers, which are called Points of Presence (POPs), in different geographical locations around the world. When someone visits your website they will be connected to the closest server (known as the edge server) instead of to your own website hosting which could be on the other side of the world.
Your website content is cached on the CDN meaning that your website visitors only have to receive the content from the edge server and not from your website host.
Depending on the type of business you have and the amount of visitors you have to your website you may want to consider researching for good CDN service providers.
Here’s why you might need a CDN for your website:
Website Loading Speed
The loading speed of your website could make or break your business. It is a simple fact that if your website takes too long to load your visitor could be long gone and buying on your competitors website before you know it.
If your website is properly optimized for SEO and userability but it is loaded with scripts, high res images, videos and plugins and you get a visitor from another country you could find your website performance is lacking.
Using a CDN can really help with increasing your website load time.
Website loading speed does not only affect user experience and conversions, it can also affect your SEO.
Search engines rank high performance and relevant websites much higher than websites that are lacking in speed with visitors abandoning your website.
Boost Performance and Save Costs
You may think that paying extra for a CDN will cost more but when you take into consideration what you would be spending for your bandwidth on your normal hosting these costs do even out.
Another aspect to consider is that if your website performance is suffering you are losing traffic and as a result sales. Ensuring that your website performance is at an optimum will ensure you don’t lose out on traffic and in turn sales.
Load Reduction and Consistent Speed
If you are running your own server or using shared hosting you will most likely find that when your website traffic spikes your website slows down which is not going to be great for business is it?
Using a CDN will reduce the load, helping you to keep your website speed consistent even when there are large traffic spikes. Content Delivery Netoworks are specially geared for coping with large amounts of traffic.
Users Can Download More Files at Once
Did you know that browsers block more than four files being downloaded at once from one domain?
If a user is downloading a lot of files it can be very slow since it will only download four files at a time and block the fifth one until one of the other files has finished downloading.
If you are using a CDN then the files are hosted on a different domain, this means that users can download eight files at once and double the speed of downloading files.
Failover and Downtime
Hosting can at times fail, leaving your website with some downtime. In addition to this not all hosting offers failover which is where backup locations are used to store duplicate files.
CDN’s offer failover and recovery capability, since all of your website’s data is stored on their network of servers. This means that your website stays up and running at all times.
Most CDN’s offer additional security which will help keep your data secure, help process transactions safely and also help to protect you against DDos attacks.
So while a Conent Deliver Network may look like an additional expense that you don’t want to pay at first glance it may be a great idea to consider all these factors. If you are aiming for high traffic and for visitors from all over the world that expense may be well worth it when you look at the entire picture.