Do you Really Need a CDN?

A CDN or Content Delivery Network may be a necessity for your website. However, it’s important to understand whether this is something you need or it’s something you can do without.

The online world has become much more fast-paced and as a website owner, you have to keep up. With bounce rates increasing and those browsing expecting things faster, you need the best possible tools to make your website and blog load fast. A CDN may be one of those tools.

What Exactly is a CDN?

A CDN is a Content Delivery Network, which is basically hosting for static content, such as JavaScript, CSS or images. It helps to take the burden off of serving static content by allowing your website to serve dynamic content faster without being throttled by serving static content.

The interconnected servers making up the CDN will help to take the pressure off of the server you use making your website faster. They are spread across the globe, which also allows users in different areas of the world to access cached copies of your content from a server located much closer to their location.

CDN Benefits

CDNS are known as “low-hanging fruit” compared to other page speed solutions. They are a very easy step to improve the speed of your website and provide plenty of benefits. A faster website leads to lower bounce rates, which has a direct effect on your ranking in the search engines. It also helps to provide a higher quality experience for your visitors.

You will also save bandwidth with a CDN on your host server. This will help to increase your website’s availability and provide a better experience when dealing with excessive traffic.

Often, a CDN will actually result in a cleaner HTML markup giving you even more advantages. The CDN will support the latest HTTP Protocols, as well, which will help to give you even more speed.

Integrating a CDN for your Website

The process of adding a CDN to your website is pretty straightforward, if you use WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal. After choosing a CDN provider and signing up, you will need to identify the portions of your website known as static content. These portions will be mirrored by the CDN.

Those using a popular CMS, such as WordPress or Joomla! will be able to do this with a plugin. It will be rather easy, but you may need to modify your DNS records and name servers for your domain. If you’re using a custom website design, it may be a bit harder. If this is the case, you may want to speak with a developer before choosing your CDN.

Make sure you test your website after making all the necessary modifications. You will want to make sure the content mixes properly and SSL issues are resolved. You may also need to adjust your caching rules.

A CDN can be a very helpful tool for speeding up your website. Not every website will require one, but if you want the best speed possible, using the right CDN will make a difference.