Let’s quickly understand what is a Content Delivery network (CDN) and what are its features. Although using a CDN may not be right for everyone, there are a number of benefits for many website owners. The following are five reasons to consider switching, particularly as many are free to use!
1. Faster Loading Speed
For many, the number one reason to use a content delivery network is simply to speed up a website. Because your files are loaded across a number of systems, they’re able to be accessed at faster rates. Loading speeds will depend on your code, files, and web hosting. Many web hosts already have internal CDNs using optimized file servers.
2. Localized Distribution Centres
If your website has an international audience, another reason to use a CDN is that your files can be spread out to servers all over the world. A visitor from China wouldn’t have to wait for the files to be accessed from a server in North America; instead, they would be able to access the files from somewhere within China. Naturally, this will depend on the coverage of the CDN provider. Look at coverage maps to see if your global audience would be better served by the CDNs international servers.
3. Access to Analytics
Most major CDNs provide users with file usage reports, which is another way to take a look at your website’s analytics. In some ways, it can even offer you a more accurate depiction of features like downloads and video views.
4. Load Reduction
Another factor contributing to the increase in speed that a CDN provides is load reduction. If you’re using shared hosting or operating from your own server, your website might slow down or even crash during peak traffic times. Spreading the burden out to a number of different servers helps prevent this, because the load is shared. CDNs are by design able to handle heavy traffic, which makes them a good option for those who have a large audience. Although they may not be able to prevent all effects of traffic surges, they can certainly reduce problems.
5. Reduced Cost
Although you may pay for the use of a high-quality CDN, in many cases you can still save money particularly in comparison to operating your own servers. Load reduction, geo-distribution, and upgraded speed all reduce cost in comparison to adding more CPU or setting up international web servers.
All in all, a content delivery network offers an array of benefits to consider. It can save you bandwidth, boost your website’s performance, and lower your hosting costs. However, for best results, you’ll want to check the coverage of each provider you’re considering and make sure that you are receiving enough traffic that you actually need one in the first place!