What is a CDN (Content Delivery Networl)? In this post I am going to explain to you what a content delivery network is and why it is important for your search engine optimization efforts.
If you are reading this post, it is because you now know that a CDN (content delivery network) is important for the SEO (search engine optimization) of your website or blog.
Let me tell you that I was like you before trying to figure out what a content delivery network is and why I need it.
So this post is about what I learned and I want to share it with you.
What Is a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?
A CDN (content delivery network) is a highly distributed server platform that helps minimize delays in loading web page content by reducing the physical distance between the server and the user. In this way, users around the world can view the same high-quality content without slow loading times.
For example, imagine that your blog becomes popular. Without a CDN (content delivery network), your hosting must respond to every request from your readers.
This creates significant upstream traffic and a heavy load, increasing the likelihood of such servers failing if the spikes are extremely high or the load is continuous.
Even if you have a cloud hosting provider, too many visitors can cause your cloud hosting to fail.
Responding to your readers’ requests closer to them (rather than at the source) allows CDNs to offload traffic from content servers and improve the web experience, which is both beneficial to your hosting provider as well as your readers.
While a CDN (content delivery network) does not replace a host or the need for web hosting, the feature allows you to cache content, thereby improving site performance.
Hosting platforms typically invest in a CDN (content delivery network) because they can reduce hosting bandwidth, prevent service interruptions, improve the user experience, and add an additional layer of web security.
A CDN (content delivery network) is a feature that guarantees this performance. The usability of a page is much higher when its content loads quickly, and it is this ability that:
- Improves conversion rates,
- Inhibits bounce rates,
- Allows a website to be more relevant in the search engine ranking, making the digital marketing strategy more effective.
Despite its great functionality for web page performance, a CDN (content delivery network) is still unknown to the vast majority of people. Others are aware of its importance, but do not know what to do to enjoy its benefits.
By understanding the basics of a CDN (content delivery network) and learning how to integrate it into your WordPress site, you will ensure better performance and more relevance to your brand on the web.
There are three types of CDN:
Content service protocols: networks hosted, managed and designed to serve the content of a website;
Point-to-point (P2P): networks configured between personal computers;
Private networks: they function as a group of servers.
How Does a CDN (Content Delivery Network) Work?
More than half of internet traffic goes through a content delivery network (CDN).
The goal of this technology is to reduce latency, that is, the delay between sending a request to a web page and the total loading of that web page on the device, by reducing the physical distance that the request has to travel.
For example, if you have a US reader wanting to view your content originating from your server located in the UK, your reader will experience poor loading times because this request has to travel across the Atlantic.
To combat this problem, CDNs store a cached version of your website content in various geographic locations around the world, known as “points of presence” (POP).
These POPs will contain their own cache servers and will be responsible for distributing that content at the user’s location.
In most CDNs, each request assigns the user to an optimally located CDN (content delivery network) server, and the server responds with the cached (or previously saved) version of the requested files.
If the network cannot locate the files, it will search the content on other servers on the CDN platform and send the response to the end user. However, if the content is not available or out of date, the CDN will request it from the original server and store it to accommodate future requests.
Although website content distribution is one of the common tasks of CDNs, this is not the only thing they do.
In fact, CDNs distribute an incredible variety of content, such as: 4K and HD video, audio streaming, application and game downloads, operating system updates, data logs with medical and financial information, etc. CDNs can distribute any data that can be digitized.
Why use this technolgy?
CDNs offer an easy way to increase the speed of a website while reducing latency. Therefore, they are essential for a fast, efficient and secure distribution of content to users around the world. This content is not simply limited to website content; it can also include 4K and HD quality video, audio streams, applications, games, and operating system updates. Given the increasingly short attention span of website visitors, it is necessary that content distribution be as fast as possible.
The increase in the number of online companies and users, who go to the internet to buy, connect and share content, poses a growing set of challenges for providers, such as the distribution of different types of content, the adjustment of this to different devices (detection), and the protection of data and the online presence of its end users. The inherent functionality of a content delivery network enables CDN (content delivery network) providers to uniquely position themselves to help businesses overcome the various challenges associated with delivering multimedia content.
For almost 20 years, CDNs have formed the invisible backbone of the internet and have been responsible for distributing online content from commercial establishments, financial firms, health services and other types of companies to end users, located all over the world, quickly and at scale. If you use the internet for just about everything, you’ve already benefited from the use of CDNs, knowingly or not.
Also, here are some reasons why a CDN (content delivery network) is so important to your business growth from increased traffic to your website.
Increases site speed
I already mentioned how speed can make a difference to your site. In addition to improving the user experience, it allows search engines to recognize the usability of the page and improve its ranking.
Maintains effective SEO strategies
Google and other search engines value efficient sites.
Therefore, speed is a determining factor for the page’s ranking in search engines. The faster the site, the more it will appear. Visibility means more leads and consequently more sales.
In addition, a fast website increases the user’s time on the page. They feel more comfortable navigating because they know that the experience in that direction will be superior.
This amazing technology protects your site from spikes in traffic that can cause it to stop responding. Therefore, your readers are not affected, even in the event of more access demands.
This technology can dramatically reduce monthly infrastructure costs by minimizing bandwidth and server costs (less load on source servers).
Although some providers charge monthly, allowing for more predictability of expenses, some CMSs (content management system), such as WordPress, make this feature feasible without charging more for it.
Allows for greater security
Any website is subject to DDoS attacks or other threats. With a CDN, the response time is shorter, which inhibits loopholes and vulnerabilities that affect network security.
Additionally, most CDNs allow you to configure a full SSL (secure sockets layer), so that you can encrypt traffic between the CDN (content delivery network) and the end user, as well as traffic between the CDN and its origin servers, using custom certificates or provided by the CDN (content delivery network) itself.
How to Use a CDN?
Do you know how to create a website or blog, but don’t know how to use a CDN (content delivery network)?
You should implement this amazing technology right at the beginning of your website or landing page creation, so that it is easier to plan, choose a provider and implement it according to the needs of your business or blog.
The first thing to do is choose from the wide variety of options. For this, it is necessary to consider your demand and the resources available for investment.
Volume of requests
For websites with a high volume of requests, it is recommended to choose a larger CDN (content delivery network) provider. There are many solutions on the market, such as Google CDN and Amazon CloudFront.
Small and medium-sized sites, with low demand for scalability, can opt for hosting services that offer this technology as part of their service.
Hosting with CDN
If you have opted for a hosting service that offers this technology as an integrated part of its services, such as WordPress, simply update your account settings to make sure it is enabled for your website.
Now, if your website has a lot of traffic and you prefer to opt for an external service, you will have to choose between several providers available on the market:
When should I use a CDN?
Fundamentally, it is convenient to use a CDN (content delivery network) when your website aspires to be international or when you want to distribute audio and video to multiple users.
A CDN (content delivery network) is important if you have an e-commerce store and want to sell beyond your country, as well as if you want to create a streaming movie page.
Here, let me delve into these two aspects and add one more occasion when a CDN (content delivery network) can be of great interest:
Global reach. My first recommendation if you are thinking of making use of a CDN (content delivery network) is that you analyze and define the reach of your website. Loading speed is essential if you have an online store, for example, and you intend to sell your products in different countries. If the page takes longer to load in one country than in another, you will lose customers.
Multimedia files. Another factor that will help you define how necessary it is to use a CDN (content delivery network) will be the amount of multimedia files that you intend to insert on your page. A greater number of photos and videos increases the risk that your website becomes slower, so a CDN (content delivery network) can be essential. Remember that today’s internet users are not willing to wait if a video takes time to load and that CDNs effectively support streaming technologies.
Traffic spikes. The CDN (content delivery network) allows you to have more traffic on your website and does not affect the loading speed of users. Therefore, if you have an online store you will not have to worry if visits increase.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a CDN (Content Delivery Network)?
Using a CDN (content delivery network) has obvious benefits for users of a website that sells products internationally. The content delivery network is also beneficial for those who have a website with a lot of traffic, but not everything it offers is a virtue and sometimes it can even be inconvenient, as we will see below:
Helps avoid saturation of the website: remember that it has the ability to absorb traffic peaks.
Shorter loading time: that is, the latency of the transfer process is reduced and your bandwidth is better used.
Decreases data transfer time
Attenuates the server load: if you have a peak in traffic, it is the CDN that takes care of it, so the server will work better.
It is able to block attacks: for example, DDoS or spam.
The web is still accessible even if the server fails: this is possible because duplicates or replicas are stored in the CDN nodes.
Cost: if we use a CDN to outsource services, such as all static content, we will have to assume a higher cost.
Security: by having several nodes to enter information there are also more gateways, the usual way for hackers to generate failures in the system.
CDNs and Their Possible Influence on Net Neutrality
These types of networks are not something new, but have been used for quite some time.
Until recently, it has been usual for this local content replication system to be mainly limited to static data from a website, such as images or documents, although these days it is normal for them to focus on other services, such as streaming of video. The question that immediately arises with regard to these content distribution networks is whether there is any violation of net neutrality.
In principle, CDNs should not go against the neutrality of the net, since what it is about is to bring the contents closer to the user to improve access speed. It is a business model in which, theoretically, all parties involved win.
A CDN (content delivery network) can be the fastest and most effective solution to improving the scalability and availability of your website.
By caching data across a geographically distributed and optimized server network, you can significantly reduce latency time and speed up page loading to improve the end-user experience.
With plugins and platform support like WordPress, it is still possible to:
- Take advantage of additional threat mitigation features like DDoS
- Allow encrypted communication between the website and the browser over full SSL
- Monitor users
- Compress files
The CDN (content delivery network) is an essential tool to optimize the use of sites with a higher volume of traffic and to guarantee the visibility of the brand through a strategic ranking in the search engines.
So my recommendation for you is to look for the perfect CDN solution for your blog or web.
You know that speed matters and a good CDN will help you.
You have to remember that the CDN is essential to serve your readers around the world, whether to offer file downloads or to deploy websites and applications.
If you want to reach an international audience, the CDN allows you to accelerate the loading of the pages, improve response times and user experience, protect data, improve the positioning of the websites and reduce the consumption of bandwidth in each of the countries.
The return on investment can be obtained very early from the beginning of the international dissemination of the content.
That is why my recommendation for your blog to have a perfect loading time is to choose a cloud hosting solution and a good CDN.
You need to take time to choose a good provider of this amazing technology,
The moment you install this technology in your website or blog the loading time will be fast.