Whether you’re an e-commerce business or a brick-and-mortar store, having a high-quality website is crucial to ensure that you can serve your customers better. Without an excellent web experience, it’s much harder to convert new leads to customers, especially if you’re trying to boost online sales.
One way to improve your website’s performance is with a content delivery network (CDN). This article will break down the core components of CDNs – how they work and why they’re so beneficial.
What Is a CDN?
To understand a CDN, you first have to know how the internet works. When you load a website, what you’re really doing is accessing information on a remote server. This server can be anywhere in the world, but the data transmits via cables. For a long time, these cables were made of copper, which conducts electricity well and is much more stable than other metals. These days, the standard is fiber optic cable, which is much faster and more reliable.
The problem with transmitting data this way is that it can take a long time to reach the end-user. For example, if a server is in Africa and a user in the US, the load time could be a few minutes, particularly for data-heavy pages. Another problem is that the information has to be transferred between different server points along the way, which increases the delay slightly each time.
Content delivery networks alleviate this issue by loading your website onto various local servers. So, rather than transmitting data from Africa to the US, your site could stay on an American server and reach the user much faster. Each local server is called a point of presence (PoP). The more PoPs you have in your network, the quicker your site can load in different parts of the world.
Top Benefits of CDNs
If you’re not using a CDN already, now is the time to start. Here is an overview of the different benefits of these networks:
Faster Page Speeds
The primary purpose of a CDN is so that your website will load as quickly as possible. There are two reasons you need faster page speeds:
- Improved Customer Experience – Data shows that users are much more likely to bounce off a page if it takes too long to load. You can reduce your site’s bounce rate significantly with a CDN.
- Better Rankings in SERPs – Google pays attention to how well your site loads (and your bounce rate). So, the faster you are, the more likely that you can rank higher in search results.
Reduced Hosting Costs
Another concept to be familiar with regarding content delivery networks is bandwidth. When signing up for a web hosting service, you have to pay attention to the amount of bandwidth available. Bandwidth is the amount of information you can transfer at a time. The higher the number, the faster your data can be transmitted between servers.
With a CDN, you don’t have to transfer page information as often. Instead, users can access stored (aka cached) data from their local PoP. Since bandwidth can be expensive, you can lower your hosting costs accordingly.
Increased Web Traffic
Another problem with limited bandwidth is if you have many people visiting your site at once. As you get more popular with your audience, your web traffic will increase dramatically. Without a CDN, your servers can crash quickly. These crashes happen because the server is trying to transmit too much data to too many locations. CDNs and PoPs alleviate this issue because your page information is spread across a much larger area.
That said, a CDN can’t always fix this problem, especially if you don’t use enough PoPs. However, if your site does go down in a particular region, you can expand your network there so that it doesn’t happen again.
Improved Web Security
If you’ve paid attention to the news lately, you know that cyberattacks are on the rise. CDNs help improve your site security by protecting your information on the local server. Better yet, you’re less vulnerable to specific attacks because your data is located on multiple servers. The chances of all servers getting hit simultaneously are tiny, so you can recover files much faster.
Are You Concerned with the Security of Your Current Site? Work with the Professionals at BizIQ to Improve Your Site’s Security
Now that you know the benefits of a content delivery network, are you ready to see one in action? At BizIQ, we can help you deploy CDN solutions to help you improve your website. Contact us today to get started.