Content delivery network a.k.a CDN is one of the name which you will always hear when ever someone is talking about speeding up your site. CDN has become one of the easiest way to make your site load faster. Infact all speed checking tool like gtmetrix, Google page speed suggest to use a good content delivery network to improve the site performance. People with technical background are aware of what is CDN and benefits of using content delivery network, but for non-technical people, it sounds like some alien word. Well, nothing to worry about as in this blog post I will be talking in depth about content delivery Network and why you should be using one.
What is CDN a.k.a Content delivery network
Let me start with Layman language. We usually use shared hosting and all our files are hosted at one data center. For example, mine is hosted at Knownhost and I’m using Texas data center. Now, when a user open ShoutMeLoud.com, his request goes to my data center at Texas and that’s how files and thus my sites loads on his browser. Sound simple! But this leads to high ping and latency and thus it takes time for site to load, depending upon location of user.
Now, a content delivery network have data center at different geographical location and when your site is using a CDN network, and a reader opens your site, your files (Images, static files) are served from the nearest data center of CDN network you are using. This reduces the ping, latency and thus your site serves faster. This is first and prime benefit of using a CDN.
In other word, they uses a technique call content replication, where your content is copied on different servers located on different region. A Good CDN service will have multiple servers on different locations. When you are serving your WordPress or any other Website file using a content delivery Network, you are technically saving time of your readers and reducing the server load, as files will be served from other servers and not your hosting company.
When you configure a CDN, you uses the pull or push technique to upload your existing files to server, we will talk about this in my next article on how you can configure CDN for your site. As we say, images speaks thousand words, here is a self-explanatory image from MAXCDN, which explain how it works:
Benefits of using CDN:
There are many direct benefits of CDN like, your page speed improves, your readers-clients-customer will be more happy as your site will load faster, your search engine ranking will improve and most important you will be saving money on your limited bandwidth hosting.
It’s been a while Google made it clear that page load time is one of the search engine ranking factor and by using a Content delivery network service, you will speed up your site by a great extent. More over, it will help you reduce the bounce rate and for any Website, faster your page/content loads, better it is.
Reduces the cost of your hosting:
When you are using dedicated or VPS hosting or any limited bandwidth hosting, using CDN will reduce your cost by great margin. CDN’s are way cheaper than Web hosting and since your files will be served from CDN servers, you need not need to worry about bandwidth cost of your Web hosting.
More conversion and sales:
As I explained above, it helps in improving the load time of your site and your site will be served faster. Which will result in more sales and conversion. How irritating it is, when a site takes ages to load.
Handle more traffic:
When ever your blog posts goes viral, your server gets huge traffic and many times your site end up giving error like “Internal server error” “Database error”, with a good content delivery network service, you can easily minimize such down time and your site can handle more traffic.
If you are still not convinced and not sure about CDN benefits, here is a simple video which explains it all:
There are many free and paid services like Cloudflare ,Amazon cloudfront, MaxCDN and soon we can expect Google own Public CDN service. It doesn’t matter how big or small your site is, using a Content delivery network service will surely help to boost your site load time and server response. The only hard part for newbie is setting it up and you can read below post to learn, how you can set it up in few minutes work:
So, how many of you are using CDN and which one you using with your WordPress blog? Do you think it’s essential and beneficial for a Blogger to serve their site using a content delivery network?