Understanding what a Content Delivery Network or CDN is and utilizing it properly are key features in determining the success or failure of your website. Having a CDN has become essential to survive on today’s ultra competitive web and not having the type of support offered by a CDN can seriously inhibit your ability to develop a loyal following.
Some of you are probably wondering what in the world a CDN even is. Let me just make it clear that it is something that you need to become knowledgeable about so you can better utilize it on your website. If you don’t, well…be prepared to suffer the consequences of a much lower pageview number. Let’s take a look into exactly what CDN is and why it’s necessary that you have it for your website:
What is a CDN?
A CDN, or a content delivery network, is a large group of servers setup and deployed throughout multiple data centers throughout the world. It’s goal is to provide the fastest, most efficient delivery of information possible for internet users.
There are many CDN providers located throughout the world, with Points of Presence (POP) in most major continents. The United States has the most CDN providers and POPs, with locations in major markets like Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, San Jose, and many more.
Why Do You Need a CDN?
Well, first and foremost, speed. Because you don’t want visitors to mistake visiting your website with having dial-up. Users aren’t patient and attention spans aren’t what they used to be. If your page is taking more than 3-5 seconds to load, you’re going to be well behind the eight ball as far as keeping those visitors on your page.
This is especially important for any website that displays photos or videos on their website, or even those that embed them. One of the worst things for a viewer is to have to sit there and wait before they can begin to scroll down to look at whatever they’re trying to look at. Yes, you’re right, that’s a first world problem that shouldn’t be complained about. But it is a problem nonetheless and, since it is, you need to take notice of it and do something about it.
A CDN is also important to help prevent crashes, as the large mass of networks makes it much less likely for your site to breakdown due to high activity. CDNs have also much better optimized for SEO, as Google has constantly maintained that sites with higher speeds rank higher on their search engines than those that rank in the lower tiers.
All of this makes the use of a CDN especially important for e-commerce sites who are placing a premium on getting users from the product or service page to the checkout page as quickly as possible. There is a good chance that any e-commerce site that doesn’t use CDN is going to have a tough time competing with other online competition.