We get asked a lot of questions when people start looking into getting a website.
“Hosting? What’s that mean?”
“What’s a domain name? Do I need that too?”
“What’s SSL? CDN?? FTP??”
Well we’re here to answer these questions and more in our Education series! Today, the Groundwork Gnomes tell us all about content delivery networks (CDNs) and why they’re beneficial. Read on and prosper, friends! ???
What Is a CDN?
What Is a CDN?
Before digging into a CDN, it’s helpful to remember that all websites are just a collection of files (often connected to a database) stored on a server, which is just a very powerful computer. So we can imagine that a website hosted on a server in Phoenix is going to load quite speedily for me if I’m browsing from my iPhone in Arizona. However, if I’m visiting the sunny shores of Barcelona, you better believe that same website is going to load considerably slower on that same iPhone because of the sheer distance it needs to travel from the origin server.
Now this likely seems a pretty superfluous example for many people who aren’t running a business which caters to a global customer base. However, the same scenario plays out the same way, just on a smaller scale here in the U.S. With dozens of studies from the past 5 years all showing that at least 38% of people leave a website if it takes longer than just 4 seconds to load, we’re working with a pretty small margin of error. So how do we make sure our websites load quickly for everyone, no matter where they are?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN), is a network of servers that deliver content. To elaborate, our Content Delivery Network (CDN) stores your website’s content on multiple servers around the world, which means visitors connect to servers that are physically closer to them. This means when someone in Spain visits your website hosted in the United States, it will load just as fast as a website hosted in Spain.
Why Should I Use a CDN?
Users consistently abandon websites that take too long to load, and with technology getting faster, our attention spans and patience are decreasing considerably. It’s pretty obvious that speed is a great reason to integrate a CDN, but there’s much more to it than just increased efficiency. More benefits of using a CDN are:
- Improved content availability and redundancy – High volume traffic or hardware failures can cause downtime for your website. A CDN distributes the load so your site can handle more traffic and endure hardware failure better than a single origin server.
- Improved load times – Users are served content from a Point of Presence (PoP) geographically closer to them than the origin server which means faster load times for your website.
- Increased security – A CDN can increase security by mitigating Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, preventing vulnerability hacks and stopping brute force attempts against your website login pages and more.
How Do I Get a CDN?
Groundwork has a number of products to get you setup with a powerful Content Delivery Network. Website Security is an invaluable suite of features to improve the security and performance of your website. It’s there for you on the front end with a firewall for prevention and protection, as well as the back end with scanning and removal of malware for the rare occurrence that it manages to evade the shields. The CDN integration into this product is a beautiful addition for an all-in-one security and performance solution.
Managed WordPress is our fast, feature-packed, WordPress-optimized hosting platform for any type of website. Our Deluxe and Ultimate plans come with our Website Management Plans which allows us to manage your website’s updates, performance, security, bug-fixes, SEO, uptime monitoring, and more, so that you can focus on your business. And starting in the Spring of 2020, all of our WordPress plans have been upgraded with 3-5x more storage, plus our secure, ultra-fast CDN at no extra charge!
Our global Content Delivery Network (CDN) turbocharges your site by hosting big files on servers around the world, closer to your visitors. The benefits are many, but the bottom line is that using a CDN can improve your click through rates since slow loading websites are up to 70% more likely to be abandoned before they load.