What is a CDN?
In technical terms a CDN, which stands for Content Delivery Network, is a global network of servers that will deliver a sites content to a user based on their geographical location. It does this by storing a cached version of your sites content in multiple geographic locations using something called PoPs or points of presence. Each PoP will contain multiple servers responsible for delivering content to users within its proximity.
Although you may not be aware of it, chances are you interact with CDNs on a daily basis; when reading your favourite news blog, watching cat videos on YouTube or scrolling through one of your social media news feeds.
Why should you use a CDN?
A user’s proximity to your server will have an impact on the website load time. For example, if you are not using a CDN and your server is based in the UK while your user is based in the US, your content would have to be downloaded from across the other side of the world. This will result in something known as latency, which describes the delay when you request to load a web page to the moment the content actually appears onscreen.
By deploying your content across multiple geographically dispersed servers, you can make your pages load faster for the users.
Obviously the most important benefit of a CDN is the increase in site speed for all your users, no matter where they are in the world.
However here a few other reasons you should be using a CDN;
Crash Resistance – A CDN allows your traffic to be distributed across multiple servers instead of having it all on one main server, this will make your site a lot less likely to crash.
Improvement in your SEO – Google has stated that faster sites will tend to rank higher in Search Engines.
Increased Conversion Rate – A slow website can have a negative impact on your conversion rate. According to Kissmetrics, a 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.