Speed is probably one of the most important aspects of user-experience on a website. Numerous studies are proving the correlation between slow sites and low conversion-rates. To ensure your users of the best experience, optimizing your content and activating caching might not be enough. Luckily there is a way to speed up your site some more. This option is regarding infrastructure and improving the load-time even when your site is going viral. Let me introduce you to the Content Delivery Network.
A CDN or Content Delivery Network is a geographically distributed group of servers. These servers can be used to deliver your content to your customers. In essence, these servers take some of the work away from your original site. This is called offloading and this is very useful for handling more visitors on your site. Since these servers are distributed all over the world, the loading time of your site can be significantly faster by using such a service. A visitor will connect to the closest server of the CDN before contacting your site, the site will already be loading for the customer, increasing the user-experience.
These services work the best with what is called “static content”, this is content that does not change often, think of your logo, banners, and other site assets that are loaded on every page. By offloading these items to a CDN, your site only has to generate and deliver the dynamic content. This content mostly consists of blog posts or articles.
Note that there is a distinction between static and dynamic content. As stated before; a CDN works best for delivering static content. By nature, dynamic content is often changed, and delivering all these changes to the CDN might defeat the purpose of having it there in the first place, namely to offload your original website. Static content does not change often and therefore these can be stored a lot longer without the need for updating.
But there is one more advantage a CDN can have and that has everything to do with security. By placing a CDN between your customer and your server, you gain the ability to deny access to your server before the traffic is received. By starting your security practices this early, you have an essential advantage. We offer free Cloudflare-integration with all of our packages, even our regular hosting plan.
Cloudflare is a feature-packed CDN build for every budget. From blocking suspicious traffic to hiding your email address from bots to prevent spam. If you are running a website nowadays, there isn’t really a good reason not to use a solid CDN.
Now that you understand the basics of a CDN, you might see how important it is to structure your site appropriately, by relying too much on dynamic resources, you are possibly kneecapping your site by restricting the effectiveness of a CDN. If you would like to know what a CDN can do for your website and what changes are needed to get the most out of these networks, please feel free to contact us. We would gladly help you give your users the experience they deserve.