Content Delivery Network: What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It
Global demand for information is sky-high. People today expect content to be fast, reliable, and available at all times. If you have a business catering to a global market, you must deliver your digital assets in the most efficient way to get customers and keep them coming. Simply having a website is not enough. Web design has to look great, content has to be high-quality, and you have to use a content delivery network.
What’s that last bit, you say? We’ll explain all about Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) here.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
As the name suggests, a CDN is a network of servers that facilitate delivery of content. Groups of servers are placed in various geographic locations in order to accommodate massive information requests from around the world. The purpose of having a CDN for your website is to deliver your content quickly, reliably, and securely – no matter where the viewer is around the world.
So if your business and website server is in Auckland, New Zealand, for example, and someone from Europe wants to view your website, data has to travel a long distance before the user can access it. This may affect page loading speed and eventually lead to the potential customer clicking out of the site and finding a new one. But with a content delivery network in place, the customer’s request would be routed to the servers nearest to his location, and your content is delivered right away. Another good strategy here is to get an email hosting service in New Zealand, to handle faster and better email marketing that will complement your CDN.
Most major websites like Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix use CDNs to handle the huge amounts of traffic their websites get on a daily basis. With servers in different locations, performance bottlenecks are avoided and users get the info they need ASAP.
Benefits of Using a CDN for your Business
1. Faster website loading time
When people visit a website, they expect it to load almost immediately – in 2 seconds, to be exact. People want answers now, not in 10 seconds. Think speed is not that big a deal? Major online merchants say they lose $1.6 Billion annually, for every one-second delay users experience on their site.
With CDN, you reduce the distance between the resource and the end user. As such, data takes less time to travel because it’s strategically routed to nearby servers. Plus, network congestion is minimized due to server distribution. Faster loading times are then experienced by the user. When they are able to browse web pages quickly, they stay longer and make purchases faster.
2. Global access
If your company is aiming for global brand awareness and product distribution, your website definitely needs a content delivery network. With tactical routes and multiple server locations, your content will be efficiently accessed anywhere as long as the user has an internet connection.
3. Higher search engine ranking
People find you through search engines like Google. SEO and advertising (https://sortedhost.co.nz/blog/pay-per-click-advertising) can get you to rank high in the results, but if your website loads slowly, search engines will penalize you and place you at a lower rank. Thus, CDNs help boost your ranking up the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) by providing speedy loading times.
4. Eliminates lag in video content
The meteoric rise in video popularity has pushed websites and social media networks to integrate video as a major part of their content. Without a CDN for your website, users may experience mid-stream pauses, choppy images, and lower video quality. This may frustrate viewers and cause them to leave. On the other hand, content delivery networks significantly reduce lag so your customers can enjoy a better viewing experience.
5. Reduce bandwidth costs
Business owners pay for web hosting services, and some hosts have a maximum consumable bandwidth depending on the plan purchased. Each request from an end-user results in bandwidth consumption from the origin server, and if you have a global demand for your website, you may exceed the maximum bandwidth you’re allowed. But since CDN works with a group of servers, the amount of data delivered by the origin server is substantially lessened.
6. File optimization
Content delivery networks optimize a lot of things to ensure fast and reliable content distribution. To reduce the amount of data transferred, CDNs implement methods such a minification and file compression. These remove redundant data to make browsers process things more efficiently. As a result, reduced file sizes assists in loading times and gives end users high-speed access.
7. Protection against crashes
It’s been previously mentioned that time delays in page loads cause significant losses for business owners. Imagine the scale if a website crashes. Definitely, the damage will be bigger. But malicious attacks and traffic spikes are possible, and you have to be prepared if something like that happens.
CDNs are distributive in nature, mirroring your files and balancing loads across different servers. Thus, they can handle traffic surges and overcome hardware malfunctions. Failure in hardware may interrupt transmission, and CDNs solve that by automatically redistributing the data route to other servers. Your website is kept online in the event of any interruptions or technical problems.
8. Bolster website security
CDNs implement security certificate improvements and higher standards of authentication and encryption. Along with these security optimizations, CDN is an efficient preventive measure against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. DDoS targets servers and floods it with overwhelming internet traffic, causing crashes and inaccessibility. Some CDN providers offer DDoS protection that intelligently detects good spikes and bad spikes of traffic, eliminating the bad ones to prevent damage.
Tips for CDN
- You still need a web hosting service. CDNs don’t host websites, their main purpose is to improve performance, reduce hosting bandwidth, and enhance user experience.
- Don’t forget web design. Combining great website performance and awesome web design ensures happy customers. Your efforts on speedy content delivery will go to waste if your web design doesn’t look professional and credible.
- Choose your CDN provider wisely. Not all CDNs are created equal. Pick one that has a large network of servers, has good performance testing results, and provides responsive customer support.