A Content Delivery Network speeds up your website loading and offers several other benefits. It is a critical component of a comprehensive website performance strategy. The time visitors spend to wait for a website (page) to load is critical to its revenue stream. While the website’s coding can play a significant part in page load times, its server location and distance from the visitor’s computer also play a big role. The technical term for this effect is Latency. Latency calculation involves two steps. First, the time it takes for the service request packet to travel from the visitor’s computer to your webserver. Second, the time the resulting packets take to travel from your web server back to the visitor’s computer. It doesn’t need super intelligence to draw the inference that your server’s physical distance from the visitor will directly affect page load speeds.
Why are page load speeds so critical?
The ‘Milliseconds make Millions’ study conducted by Deloitte shows that even a fractional 0.1 second change in page load speed can directly impact websites’ revenues. When pages loaded 0.1 seconds faster, it increases conversion rates by 8% for retail, 10% for travel category websites. Another meaningful insight shows that webpage loading speeds on smartphones are much more critical than those on desktop computers or laptops. If the mobile web page takes more than 1 second to load, visitors tend to lose focus. Mobile websites that take more than 10 seconds to load stand no chance to cater to mobile users. Interestingly, up to 61% of users share their bad speed experiences with others. You definitely do not want that kind of word-of-mouth for your website that loads slowly. For more on the role of why page speed is so important, check out 5 Reasons Your Website Speed is Important.
Here are 7 reasons why using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is more beneficial than just having one server:
1. CDN for faster websites
Content Delivery Network is a family of servers deployed tactfully worldwide to focus on speeding up static website content delivery. Do not be worried about ‘static content’, it usually includes images, videos, fonts, data objects, etc. A typical website has close to 60% static content, which obviously affects 80% of the page load speed. The CDN servers copy your parent server’s content and cache it for faster loads when request packets are received from a location closer to them.
2. CDN for scalability
A Content Delivery Network greatly helps serve multiple client requests compared to having just one server doing the same job. When you deploy your website on only one server, you force the server to deliver static and dynamic content both in one go. This takes up resources and disk space. This slows down the website delivery compared to having more than one server where each server works on only one type of content. Hence you get an optimized delivery speed. As your business grows, more servers can be added without much hassle, thereby ensuring the best user experience.
3. Economies through CDN
Popular CDNs like Stackpath charge as per usage. As their pricing is way lower than your typical web hosting providers, you may save a lot on bandwidth costs. You can track website performance, manage bandwidth usage, and of course, serve your visitors well. This translates to having a better sense of costs when you organize content using CDN.
4. CDN’s secure and dependable PoPs
As we discuss more about CDN, the Points of Presence (PoP) feature is worth mentioning. The CDN data centers located across the globe will have several caching servers. The website requests are actively re-directed to the nearest PoPs. Even as one or more servers are down, your website gets served by the next closest server. As CDNs are a reliable way to keep serving content, they cover-up for any downtimes.
Downtimes could be caused by denial of service attacks. As upwards of 60% of data is hosted on CDNs, the DDoS is handled at the PoP level. Their advanced edge server infrastructure is better placed to mitigate such issues and provide SSL options too.
5. Better website Analytics
As CDN content is put on advanced servers, you get real-time end-user data for your media hosted on the server. This helps understand user behavior in a better way. The in- built performance metrics on CDN servers track the most detailed information, improving your decisions related to website marketing.
6. CDN translates to better SEO
Google loves fast loading websites. Ever tried applying for a Google AdSense account with a slow website? Your chances for approval go down drastically. Like Google, almost all other search engines have a page load speed parameter built into their algorithm. By default, they will send their users to faster websites. An added benefit of speedier image loading is that your website can have visitors originating through Google image search, which is a new traffic source apart from the usual text-based search.
7. Best and quick deployment
CDNs can be readily integrated into your platform. Depending on your Content Management System (CMS), you can quickly deploy CDN to start working for your website. There are plugins available in WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and others.
Your CDN efforts can easily translate into a better user experience and a boosted revenue stream. The advantage on the conversion side and SEO can put you ahead of the competition.
At B. McGuire Designs, we include a Content Delivery Network (CDN) as part of our WordPress website maintenance services. Learn more.
Download our free guide on improving your website performance, 6 Key Focus Points for Website Success