With so much focus placed on web performance and optimisation, content distribution networks (CDN) are vital for delivering content. These networks can help your business perform better, reduce costs and retain more customers.
Regardless of what you do or the type of content you consume, content distribution networks are likely behind everything. That includes each character of text, image pixel and every movie frame viewable on your PC and mobile web browsers.
Whether you want to become a leader in your niche or avoid buffering on your videos, a CDN can help. They are essentially a major part of solving the issue of slow page load times and improving overall website performance.
What Are Content Distribution Networks (CDN)?
Content distribution networks have multiple data centres, or servers, placed worldwide to deliver cached, static content to web visitors. In simple terms, these servers minimise the distance between your website assets and the visitor’s PC or mobile.
Why You Should Use Content Distribution Networks
Considering that web hosting today is exceptionally less expensive than a few years ago, many people simply choose a hosting plan without considering the latency issue. It might work in the beginning but when your website grows with more traffic, you should consider a CDN service.
Server response time plays a vital role in page loading speed. Many factors are involved including traffic volume, the type of server software and the quality of the website host. Generally, the server response time should be less than 200ms which is achievable if you do your homework. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why many businesses are using content distribution networks.
It All Comes Down To Reducing Latency
CDNs are widely used as they are specifically designed to solve the ever-present issue of latency. As you may know, this refers to that annoying delay you often experience between requesting a web page to load and when the content actually appears. While several factors cause the delay, many are web page specific.
In all cases though, the duration of the delay depends on the physical distance between you and the website’s hosting server. The concept behind content delivery networks is to virtually shorten the physical distance which improves site rendering speed and performance. Some of today’s better servers also support HTTP/2 which means even faster content delivery over HTTPS.
Enhance Your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Google announced almost 10 years ago that website speed would affect search engine rankings. Nearly a decade later and it certainly has and will continue to do so.
“You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.” (Source: Google)
To that end, a faster website using a content distribution network will directly improve SEO. With Google’s ranking algorithm considering website speed; the faster your site renders, the better your ranking on SERPs. To maintain a good click-through rate and search engine rankings, keep your site load speed to a minimum.
Protection From Traffic Spikes Or Downtime
If you’ve created a website that receives high traffic volumes, content distribution networks can help mitigate any possible downtime. This is where the choice of hosting plan is so important as some servers are unable to handle a large spike in traffic. As a result, your website rendering is greatly affected and can even be inaccessible.
Considering your website often contains in excess of 80% static content, a CDN can help avoid that issue. Using a CDN means your website data is cached on those servers which relieve the load from the origin server. This means that your website is more scalable with a minimal amount of effort. Because there is no need to choose a better hosting plan for more bandwidth, CDNs will help save you money.
CDNs are compatible with a wide selection of integration possibilities including CMS (Content Management Systems) and framework integrations. In most cases, integrating with content distribution networks is relatively quick and straightforward. Check out this helpful article to integrate your site with a CDN.
Added Security And DDoS Mitigation
Advanced security is another powerful benefit when using content distribution networks. Many CDNs can mitigate DDoS attacks manually or by default through the CDN provider. DDoS mitigation can be defined as “the process of successfully protecting a targeted server or network from a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack” (Source: Cloudfare).
Due to the scattered nature of the content delivery network infrastructure, website owners have a much more secure network. Content distribution networks can fight DDoS attacks using bandwidth as they take on all the traffic while keeping your site live.
Content distribution networks have numerous benefits for website owners including lower network load. This helps prevent server crashes, lower content delivery costs, better reliability and content availability with a high-quality service. Not to mention the added protection against DDoS attacks.
CDNs reduce the number of hops that a data packet makes where the highly optimised bandwidth greatly reduces latency and time-outs. Everything leads to a faster website with better performance which will help improve overall user experience.
Get in touch with WSI eMarketing if you need more information about web development and SEO. We specialise in several areas including social media marketing, PPC, marketing automation and online reputation management.