There was once a time when websites only had written content. But with the rising popularity of blogs and vlogs, the written content is no longer the only thing that can attract visitors to your website.
Now it has to be a mix of videos to images to live streaming. Clearly, with so much in the plate, your website has a great potential to turn itself into a fantastic entertainment hub that never fails to draw people towards it.
But as your traffic increases, your website too tends to slow down. The website which was previously only sheltering rich content in terms of multiple media files now have to support the traffic it receives and the engagement that it gets through them.
No matter how good the content is, if your page loads slow, viewers are not going to stick around. As bloggers and developers, one of your main objectives is to generate new visitors and make old visitors return to your site. Because without that your blog will eventually turn into a source of isolation. Which is not something anyone would want.
One of the key things that people like apart from the website content and design amongst other things is its speed. Maintaining a decent speed of the site is therefore imperative for your website’s growth and success.
So if your website speed is not as great as your visitors would want it to be, it’s time you should work on it. However, determining the root cause of your website’s speed deficiency is not a piece of a cake and requires technical intervention.
One way to do it is to reduce the weight of your website and subsequently increase its speed by CDNs.
What is CDN?
CDN, short for Content Delivery Network is a distributed server system between clients which is aimed at improving the performance of websites.
The technical term for the remote servers is POP (Point of Presence). These are data centers spread across the world via meticulously designed algorithms and is the first point of contact for the user in a particular area.
Another important factor to be considered is the caching servers. These are storage drives that keep the recently accessed data in case if it needs to be accessed frequently thus reducing the movement time and limiting bandwidth consumption.
Why use CDN?
There are many ways how CDN can benefit your website. Let’s find out what they are.
With media and graphic content surpassing text, the websites take time to load a high-resolution image, video or games, mobile apps also need a server. General human behavior does not encourage the concept of waiting anymore and I can assure you that your website will not be shown mercy if it is slow.
So if you do not start working on your website speed now, you better prepare yourself to lose out on this game.
Having multiple servers ensures faster movement of content and data to keep the user engaged and reduces the buffering substantially. To ensure this, the thumb rule is anything that can be saved in wp-content and wp-include folders of CDN can be accumulated in CDN.
2. Quickly scalable during times of heavy traffic
The use of the internet had increased manifold in the last few years which leads to traffic. And as a result, your website may take a long time to load during heavy traffic. With CDN, you don’t have to worry about heavy traffic impacting your page views. Since your content is spread across multiple servers, one of them going down does not have a major impact. So now you can sit back and relax while you enjoy your analytics graph do the leaps.
3. Files don’t have to be downloaded again
Visitors who have visited a site may have done so using Google CDN. Hence, the file is already cached by the browser and thus resulting in lower loading time.
So next time the user tries to go to your website, Google will ensure that the website is loaded in a lesser time benefiting the user as well as you.
4. Localized data centers
Many CDNs provide localized data centers all over the world which are closer to the user than the server which results in faster downloads. Plus have these servers interlinked allows your website and any particular page of your website to be accessed in multiple locations without any latency.
5. Lower Bandwidth Costs
If your website is limited to your server located in one specific location, it is going to walk like a tortoise when the user volume increases. Added to that it will consume more bandwidth to cater to the diverse requirements of various users. Let’s put it this way.
Your website has a catalog for different products classified into different categories, a payment page, a user profile page, a front end data input page.
Now let’s imagine a situation where your website has a 1000 users accessing multiple products across multiple categories, making payments, adding data according to their requirement, making changes to their profile with images, etc. All of this happening while your website is restricted to one server. The load on the server will be too much to process so much information and execute all the actions, thus making it slow.
Here, CDN copies and saves all these content from the website across multiple servers. Thus allowing faster access to the users and also reducing overall bandwidth consumption of your server. Check your hosting plan based on your bandwidth. Plans are priced depending on bandwidth while there are some that come with unlimited options.
6. Enhanced SEO
What is the point of having a website that cannot be found? None. How can a website be found? The simplest answer is SEO.
But there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. Having your website in multiple servers allows faster reach to your site. Faster the reach, higher the preference to your website in Google. For a productive outreach, Google uses the crawler software to scourge through the data and content in your website and index it.
Your efforts at SEO bears fruit when your website is given more exposure to crawling. Faster crawling results in faster indexing which in turns ensured wide range availability of the content among the users.
7. Data Protection
CDN also secures your website and cushions attacks. Top of it, add an SSL certificate to give an extra level of security.
8. Traffic Spikes
Now your website is gaining steady visits and your content is running smoothly and it’s a bright sunny day in your digital abode. What if your latest content gains a massive amount of hits overnight? What if that content goes viral? You would love it. I mean, who wouldn’t?
But, what if such a dream comes true and your website can’t handle it? It will be a tribulation you don’t want to experience. The presence of CDN assures you that it can handle such pressure with relevant ease.
Be it a random high volume or server downtime, CDN will have all the effective alternatives to make sure that your website is always live.
Well, that is a lot of activity behind the scenes and you might find it hard to believe that it all happens in nanoseconds. This vast network of hard-drives keeps the digital world running and at some very high speeds.
If you are planning on using this service, there are a few things you should know. Most of the player in the CDN market are 3rd party vendors so there is a good amount of money involved.
Also, if your website ain’t for the global population then there is no need for a CDN. The price of CDN also depends on regions targeted, security requirements and bandwidth.
Plus depending on the type of website, CDN implementation will differ and sometimes the process is very very intricate. Most of the CMS such as WordPress, Drupal, etc provide a plugin to enable CDN whereas others may include modification of DNS records, etc.
Though you will be thoroughly guided the CDN vendors during the activation phase, it is wise to measure the depth of the lake before taking a dive.0