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Basics about CDN & How They Can Improve Your Website’s Speed

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Performance is a critical factor affecting your WordPress website and can significantly influence the UX, UI, bounce rate, conversions, and SEO rankings on the blog. There may be several factors influencing your page efficiency, but mostly, it’s the lack of a reliable web hosting service.

However, the problem is solved-CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). They have the power to boost your WP website’s loading speed at once. However as with most webmasters, CDNs sound too complicated, people don’t know how to use them.

In this post, we’ll explain the fundamentals of CDN and help you learn how to apply them to boost the efficiency of your WordPress website.

Online marketing success is all about creating a seamless user experience for potential buyers. The speed at which your pages load is also an important building block for a productive online store, in addition to the design and ease of navigation.

You may not run an e-commerce store or your company’s digital extension, but you don’t want to upset your users with the hourglass syndrome even if you’ve got a simple blog, news, or any non-profit site. This just ruins the user experience and will certainly boost the bounce rate of your web-making all your attempts to build content moot.

Speed is the single most significant factor in the success of a web site. 47 percent of internet users expect a webpage to load within 2 seconds, according to a 2017 study by HubSpot. When a link takes longer, users move away.

Any page on a site that takes more than 3 seconds to load loses 11 percent of its views on the page. Conversions decline by 7 percent every second of delay. A company that makes $100,000 a year on its eCommerce shop could gain up to $7,000 more in sales simply by rising the loading time of the website by 1 second.

What Is CDN?

To put it simply, CDN is a collection of web hosting servers spread all over the globe. This network is designed to host and distribute static content such as images, CSS, JavaScript, videos, music, and more on your WordPress website.

This is accomplished by copying the static content from your website to those remote servers, so when a user requests access to that content, the image or the CSS / JavaScript file is delivered from the nearest server to the place where the user attempts to access.

A network of content distribution operates on the same basis as the Internet/web. The CDN provider places servers over the Web much like the internet hubs network of the site. CDNs are installed in most cases at locations that are directly connected to ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

The CDN service is, in essence, a collection of large caching terminals that synchronize between themselves. This provides non-centrally located content for the users and as a result, improves the speed of the WordPress page.

Layman’s definition of CDN

CDN is a network of servers that are geographically distributed. — CDN node (also known as Edge Servers) caches a site’s static material, such as images, CSS / JS files, and other structural elements. Most of the page load time of an end-user is spent on downloading this information, and thus it makes sense to have such “building blocks” of a site in as many server nodes as possible, spread worldwide.

If a user queries your site, the node nearest to the user will deliver the static information, ensuring the shortest distance for moving data (reduced latency), thereby providing the quickest experience on the web.

A website may be hosted in a specific area, but most of its users come from a completely different area – for example, if your website is hosted in North America, GTmetrix might record fast speeds based on our default test location, but if a good chunk of your users come from Europe, their speed may not be as fast as you experience it.

A global CDN will allow users to access static content from a nearer source from a European point of origin. Instead of spanning the Atlantic Ocean to retrieve data, they can connect to the same data to a server in say, London, UK. This reduces latency and helps the website load more quickly.

How can a CDN improve the speed of your website?

At its core, a CDN is a network of servers linked to the goal of delivering content as quickly, cost-effectively, reliably, and securely as possible. A CDN will place servers at the interchange points between different networks to improve speed and connectivity.

These Internet exchange points (IXPs) are the primary locations where different Internet providers connect to give each other access to traffic that originates on their different networks. Through connecting to this high speed and highly integrated sites, a CDN provider will minimize costs and travel times while delivering high-speed data.

CDN allows a variety of improvements on normal client/server data transfers, including server placement in IXPs. CDNs place data centers at strategic locations around the globe, enhance security, and are designed to survive different types of failures and congestion on the Internet.

How does a CDN work?

CDN servers are known as edge servers, and each edge server location is known as a CDN Presence Point (PoP). There may also be multiple edge servers in one single PoP. When you want to use a CDN when a user lands on your website, this is what happens:

The user makes the first request to access a tool such as a page or a form on your website (lands on your homepage).

In addition to sending the requested resources (website) to the user, the edge server caches those resources and stores a copy of each resource. This way, they can be accessed from the edge server without going back to the primary server when the user returns and demands the same services.

Copies of each resource are stored on the server so that users nearest to the server can easily access them.

The edge server nearest to the user’s position recovers the resources requested from the primary server and delivers the resources to the user in the shortest possible time.

Once it comes to loading content on websites, users drop off quickly as a site slows down. CDN services can aid in the following ways to reduce the load times:

  • A CDN’s globally distributed nature means reducing the distance between users and resources on the Website. Rather than having to connect to wherever the origin server of a website may be living, a CDN allows users to connect to a geographically closer data center. Less time to travel means quicker service.
  • Optimization of hardware and software such as powerful load balancing and solid-state hard drives can help the user get to the data faster.
  • Use techniques such as mining and file compression, CDNs can reduce the amount of data transmitted by reducing file sizes. Smaller file sizes mean quicker charging times.
  • CDNs can also speed up sites that use TLS / SSL certificates by optimizing reuse of the link and allowing the false start of TLS.

A CDN Keeps Your Website Online

Intelligent failover provides uninterrupted service even when one or more of the CDN servers go offline due to hardware malfunction; failover may redistribute the traffic to the other operational servers. In case a whole data center has technical problems, Anycast routing transfers the traffic to another available data center, making sure that no users lose access to the website.

CDN Helps In Loading The Pages Faster

CDN stores content of your website in its servers, so that your visitors can easily access it. It can host images, JavaScript, audio and video files, style sheets, web fonts, other file formats. It increases the rate of conversion, as your readers easily access your pages. A two-second change in load speed will increase conversions of about 14 percent.

CDN Offers And Enhanced SEO

A content delivery network will boost and optimize the SEO rankings as Google prioritizes websites that load quickly and require repeated crawls. Google crawls recognize and index content updates and changes to your content, so your content can quickly show results in more searches. Rapid indexing means more users will have access to your content.

Also, a CDN provides an extra level of protection to the attacks. For a more stable website, you can combine it with an SSL certificate. Security also contributes to better search rankings and indexing in the event you do not know.

CDN Helps In Lowering The Cost Of Bandwidth

This requires less bandwidth across multiple networks because of the content of the CDN servers to readers. When you are paying by the bandwidth, when you take advantage of the content delivery network you will reduce your costs. Bandwidth loss happens due to the various positions of the servers. The requests for access to your website will not reach the origin server at the same time, as the CDN provides your audience with the content.

A CDN Is The Best Option To Tackle Your Traffic

All website owners want their content to go viral, and create brand or website awareness and traffic. Still, are you ready for the rare traffic spike? Fortunately, a CDN can support you, because it can ensure quick delivery of content and less load or burden on your server. It can scale up to help you easily navigate any traffic changes.

Advantages of using a CDN?

In short, these are the main benefits a content distribution network can offer to your website:

  • CDNs are great for websites with large surges of visitors
  • Content Delivery networks provide global access to a website
  • By reducing the number of requests made to your hosting server, a CDN is great for reducing the use of resources (such as disk space and bandwidth)
  • Increase overall load speed particularly if a visitor is close to the location of the content delivery server
  • Higher ranking in search engines thanks to CDN ‘s pace boost
  • CDN benefits ALL types of websites and platform hosting

Cost Of Setting Up A CDN 

It could sound like setting up a CDN for your site is a daunting undertaking (sometimes depending on the site size/complexity), but for most websites, it is easy to incorporate CDNs. Essentially you need to tell the CDN the files it needs to mirror (typically static resources). You would then need to configure your system to send requests to the CDN for the handling of those files.

For someone who uses a common CMS (WordPress, Drupal, Magento, etc.), plugins exist without much difficulty to set up your site for a CDN provider. Certain implementations can involve updating your DNS records and changing your domain name servers.

Most CDNs are third-party paid services which can range from costly, high-end enterprise website setups to more cost-effective, website-oriented, small/medium solutions.

The cost of a CDN often depends on the need for bandwidth, geographic coverage, and/or security / SSL. If you notice, for example, that most of your users come from North America and Europe, you can exclude buying server nodes in Asia.

CDNs should not be cost-prohibitive and can be open to website owners with varying budgets.

Wrap Up

To sum up, configuring your site to use a content delivery network is a great way to increase speed whilst simultaneously reducing your resource use. You’ve also learned what a CDN is and how to make the most of this functionality by using the online programs. Faster loading and increased functionality provided by a CDN are sure to make your website more appealing to your users and visitors. Furthermore, enabling a content delivery network requires no advanced coding knowledge, and is, therefore, a great solution for both beginners and advanced users.

This was a complete guide about CDN that you must know before you plan to invest in the same.

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