You must have heard the term CDN if you have ever tried to optimize your website for load time or had any discussion related to this. Tools like Google Speed Insights and Yslow always suggest using CDN for website’s load time optimization.
People who have some technical background might know about the CDNs (Content Delivery Network) and its benefits but it can be an alien word for some business owners.
- So what is the CDN and how it can help a website?
- Who needs CDN?
- How does it work?
Here in this article we will explain everything related to CDN and its importance for WordPress websites and blogs.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers which deliver cached content from a website to the users based on their locations. Isn’t it confusing? Let us understand it in general terms.
All files of a website are hosted on data centers of their hosting provider. When a user opens the website in a browser, their request goes to the data center of hosting. And the requested files load on the browser of users. But if the user is far away from the data center then there can be many pings and latency for accessing the website's content. And it can take a lot of time to load the website on user's machine.
Here comes the content delivery network in the picture. A good CDN have lots of data centers in different locations of the world. If a website is using any such CDN services then requested pages will be loaded on user’s computer from the nearest data center of the CDN. Content delivery networks cache a websites pages and store them in their data centers spread across the world. Whenever a user tries to access the website's pages, this CDN provides the pages from nearest datacenters. In this way, a user can get the required pages without directly communicating with hosting server. It reduces latency and pings so websites work faster.
Let’s take an example to understand it completely. If your website's hosting server is located in Dallas, TX and a user from Wells, UK tries to access it then the request will be sent to the nearest data center might be in London. This reduces the load on the original server which is in Dallas. Fetching data from the closest center of CDN will also limit the number of hops required to transmit the static files to the end users.
By caching your website’s content on servers across the world, you can provide faster browsing experience to the users. CDN does exactly the same. In general terms, closer the CDN server to the users, faster they get the content.
How can a CDN help your WordPress website?
CDN will surely help in load time and server response of a website irrespective of its size. CDN can benefit any website but here in this article, we are going to discuss only WordPress websites and blogs.
Here are some of the benefits of using CDN for a WordPress website or blogs:
- Website Load Speed: Once you start using a CDN service in addition to the hosting, the website load time will be reducing. Users will find the content of your website faster.
- Improved UX: Using CDN can reduce bounce rate of the website. Once website speed is improved user will view more pages of the website/ blog. So clearly a fast website means more time spend on the website and improved the user experience.
- Handle more traffic without Server Crash: Bloggers usually see server crash issues whenever their blog post go viral. No website owner will like to show “Internal Server Error” or “Database Error” to their users. CDN allows a website owner to distribute the load to multiple data centers instead of having all requests go to the hosting server. So using a good CDN can easily minimize server crash issues and handles more traffic.
- Improve SEO of the Website: While assigning a rank for any web page in SERPs, Google considers web page load speed too. Web sites with better load time get preference in rankings. By using CDN you can ensure better SEO ranking for your WordPress website. As we have already discussed bounce rate reduction, which also helps in SEO of the website.
- Reduce hosting Cost: CDN can help you to reduce hosting cost for your website. CDNs are generally cheaper than dedicated hosting. By using CDNs you need not worry about bandwidth cost of a web hosting as files will be served from CDN servers.
So are you using CDN for your WordPress blog and or Websites? If not then it’s the right time to start using a CDN for your website.
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