A content delivery network is one that shares your site with various servers across the globe. This allows people in certain areas to access the pages faster than if your site was located in a single location. As speed plays a prominent role for search engine optimization and customer retention, the CDN may look to be a very appealing system.
What Is a Content Delivery Network?
Content delivery networks cut out the middle-men when it comes to Internet traffic. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about…
When your website is saved on a single server in Texas, people in Los Angeles have to go through a large number of routers and switches to access those pages. This can be exceptionally troublesome if you’re focused on other countries as well.
Although digital information travels quickly across the globe, it’s still subjected to packet loss and degradation from bad hardware. Devices between the visitor’s computer and the website server could be faulty or experience heavy traffic.
A CDN that copies your site from Texas could have a local server in California cutting out those problem areas while making the site appear to load much faster.
More then 53 percent of potential customers on mobile devices will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Due to the incredible amount of competition on the Internet, people have many options to buy what they want elsewhere.
This means your site needs to be as fast as it can be in order to keep consumers purchasing your goods or services instead of the competition.
Pros of Using a CDN
While using a CDN sounds greatly beneficial for improving the speed of your website, it’s not without its own drawbacks. However, you may find that the boost to your customer retention and page ranking to be worth the effort in the long run.
It’s a world of instant gratification, and your consumers immediately want goods and services.
When considering a content delivery network, it can be summarized by referring to speed. With specific servers being closer to the majority of your visitors, webpages load faster.
Depending on the amount of traffic your website experiences, this can contribute to CPU and memory usage. With fewer resources on each server being used, it’s not just the distance that plays a role in keeping the pages quick to load.
Less processing means faster hardware reaction.
Many CDNs are developed with redundancy in mind. This means your site will remain online through the use of copied caches if a single server goes offline. In essence, your website could look as though it has a 100 percent uptime.
This is greatly beneficial when considering your visitors and search engines. If your site is down when services like Google crawl it for content, it could be penalized and reduced in relevance in search results.
With More Servers In the Network, How Secure Is a CDN?
Although your information is essentially shared with various servers in many different areas, the potential for experiencing malicious attacks isn’t as high as many might think.
In most cases, each CDN server is protected by the same security measures as your primary. Depending on where your primary server is, sometimes the security may even be better.
Attacks like SQL injections, denial of service and page hijacking can be common for some web hosting companies.
For the most part, these attacks can be prevented by a series of protocols and firewalls that are existent in CDN servers, such as those offered by CloudFlare.
It’s all about how quickly an attack can be met and learned from. In reality, there is no such thing as a 100-percent-protected online server. New attacks and threats are created regularly.
Protection comes from how technicians meet these attacks. Many hosting companies live by the mantra of, “Find a hole and plug it up.” Each attack only serves to make the security that much stronger over time.
When information is attacked on one server, it doesn’t mean that all of your data will become corrupted. Many attacks will only focus on the one location and not travel throughout the entire network.
It’s like having various duplicates that are targeted while the primary server could remain unseen. Through disaster recovery, even a compromised duplicate can be quickly restored even after the most vicious of malware attacks.
Is a CDN Right For You?
In a world where quick access is a focal point of SEO, a speedy website is key for everyone. However, some styles of websites may find even greater flexibility from using a CDN such as:
- eCommerce solutions
- Colleges or universities for global targeting of students
- Global or country-wide corporations
- Non-localized news services
- Websites that accommodate thousands of visitors per day
Optimize Your Site with a CDN
A CDN offers a distinct advantage when it comes to the performance of a website. Between distance traveled and resources used, visitors could experience pages in a quick and efficient manner. Don’t assume that the servers you currently use are the only option for delivering an optimized website.