Are you thinking about optimizing your website with a Content Delivery Network (CDN)? Learn why is CDN a must if you want your website to perform flawlessly.
Loading speed is one of the most critical factors that can make your website successful or ruin it. Fortunately, you can improve its speed in several ways, such as reducing graphics, optimizing images, and using simple web design.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) is also becoming an increasingly popular technique for improving the loading speed of your website. Many leading websites have already started using CDN. Actually, more than 85% of the top 10,000 websites use content delivery networks.
Let’s find out more about CDN and what makes it such an important factor in the way websites perform. Is it a must or it isn’t if you want your website to perform flawlessly?
What is CDN?
CDN is a global server network that delivers data quickly, using cache servers and Points of Presence (PoPs) that are geographically closest to the user. Your static content from the website is stored on each of the servers on the network. CDN transmits all static content such as photos, graphics, video content, and web pages. CDNs are used in this way by tech giants like YouTube, Amazon, Netflix, etc.
Why is it important to have a fast and reliable website? Back in 2010, Google ranked website speed as an important factor in the search engine results page (SERP) ranking. Some of the figures relevant to page load speeds are that 47% of users expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less or that 79% of shoppers in online stores won’t revisit a website with poor performance.
How Does CDN Work and What Is CDN Cache?
CDN uses a domain name system (DNS) technology to deploy static website content to the geographical location closest to the user. This allows your website’s visitors to be automatically connected to the server closest to them. CDN improves your website’s load speed, security, reliability, and overall – saves a lot of time.
Essentially, CDN fixes static content that’s stored on the closest possible server to the user’s geographical location. As data distance decreases, delivery time (or loading speed) improves.
For example, let’s say that you’re accessing a website from New Delhi, India. The primary server hosting of this website is in London, UK. Due to the great physical distance, it takes a long time to download the website. However, if the website uses a CDN, it will connect you to the closest slave servers (CDN servers), which in turn will download the content from the original server.
What Are the Benefits of Using a CDN?
There are several reasons for using a CDN. Remember that with the help of it, you can do a myriad of complex things on your website. However, most users employ a CDN to give their website better loading speed. Let’s mention the key benefits of a CDN:
1. Improved Website Speed and Better Server Time
That’s right, we all want a quick load, and the vast majority of website owners do everything in their power to have their pages open as fast as possible. CDN is, we would say, the right solution to improve the speed of your website. CDN minimizes delays and allows pages to load faster, resulting in good user experience and website visitor satisfaction.
This is the most obvious advantage of CDN. Edge servers will only download from the original server for the first time. After your initial request, the servers closest to your location cache and store the content. If you’re looking for the same content again, one of those slave servers will deliver it directly to you, further reducing load time.
2. Improved SEO and Enhanced User Experience
A website with many visits (let’s say, thousands per day), that takes less than a second to load relevant content, quickly gets to the top of organic Google search ranking.
In order to rank well and get to that holy grail of the first page of search results, you need to optimize your page for search engines well – to do good SEO. Because CDN positively affects loading speed, it will also improve search engine rankings. Actually, a CDN improves SEO in several ways that deserve to be specified:
⮞ Improving Performance and User Experience
Increased page load speed leads to better content delivery, which in turn improves the user experience. This may be the most important SEO factor used by Google to determine your website’s ranking. With the increase in mobile traffic, CDN will be even more needed to improve website performance and, therefore, the user experience.
⮞ Lower Bandwidth Costs
Some web hosting providers charge for bandwidth. If you use this type of service, using a CDN can reduce your hosting costs. Because a CDN uses multiple server locations to deliver content, not every request would hit the original server. So, bandwidth costs will be lower. CDN is considered a quality extra service in some hosting types such as MySQL hosting. Looking at the tons of useful features that balance with the price, CDN goes along with other extras that MySQL providers offer, such as 24/7 support, SSL security certificate. Actually, MySQL hosting having CDN included in its plans is considered a highly affordable option for your website.
⮞ Relevant Content Delivery
CDN also ensures the delivery of the most relevant, error-free content. Most CDN providers will regularly clean your website’s content using specific caching algorithms and canonical headers. This process eliminates problems of duplicate content creation. As users receive the most relevant content, they prefer to return.
⮞ DDoS Attack Protection
Given that CDN provides data to the end-user from multiple locations across the globe, this may reduce the chances of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on your website. Most CDNs can analyze and annul suspicious traffic spikes. So, when they detect potentially threatening web traffic, they will redirect it to specific cleanup nodes that act like black holes. As potentially dangerous traffic gets sucked up into these nodes, your website remains protected from the attack. This increased web security will also increase your SEO.
⮞ HTTPS and HTTP/2 Security
HTTPS is also a critical SEO factor. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) plays a key role in improving and maintaining your SERP ranking. CDN allows you to run your website on secure servers even though the main webpage isn’t secure. Plus, most CDNs have extended support for HTTP/2 protocol, which Google considers to be one of the best SEO practices. This can also increase your rank, especially if your web hosting provider hasn’t yet started to support this security protocol.
Potential CDN Security Risks and How to Overcome Them
Although a CDN offers several benefits, at the same time, it can be a security risk that can wreck the integrity of your website. However, you can mitigate these potential failures with proper configuration and implementation.
1. Security Issues in Multiple Locations
You’ll face these problems if your website uses SSL but not CDN. This usually happens because the CDN can encrypt the content in an unencrypted location, but not the other way around. If your CDN is forwarding scripts, your website will be partially loaded thanks to multi-site scripting warnings. To overcome this problem, you must run SSL on your CDN as well as on the website.
2. The Issue of Duplicate Content
Duplicate content issues can occur occasionally. Usually, a misconfigured CDN causes duplicate content issues. The support of your CDN provider will allow you to change the required configurations. You can also configure canonicalization for content to prevent duplication. Essentially, it means that every resource on a specific website should have a single URL instead of multiple URLs hosting identical content. In case websites have more than one URL, they rank lower in search engines leading to the inaccessibility of the content in the way that it’s visible as it should have been.
Conclusion – Why Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?
In short, CDN is of great benefit to everyone in the online world – from corporations to small kitchen blog owners. Technology is evolving day by day, and the speed of your website can be very useful even though you only own the most ordinary WordPress blog. All this works in favor of SEO, so your website will be ranked better on Google, and visitors will be more satisfied with the speed of page load. Simple and logical.
You may also be interested in checking out:
- Top 12 Best Free Content Delivery Network (CDN) Services
- How to Configure and Use a Virtual Private Network
- Top 10 Best Public DNS Servers and Fastest DNS Servers
- 10 Incredible Content Writing Tools for Amazing Marketing