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What the heck is a CDN?
Short answer: A Content Deliver Network. (CDN)
More accurate answer: A better user experience.
The Long Answer
“A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of distributed servers (network) that deliver webpages and other Web content to a user based on the geographic locations of the user, the origin of the webpage and a content delivery server.”
Clear as mud? Let’s simplify that a bit.
With a CDN, you have a network of servers distributed across a (usually) vast geographic area.
When a user clicks the link to a site using a CDN, the request is sent to the nearest server.
More servers spread out across a worldwide network means faster load times, which can lead to a better user experience and better search engine rankings.
Pretty sweet concept, right?
So now we’ve told you what a CDN is (in a nice, simple way), let’s get into these 5 ways a CDN will make you better.
- Faster Speeds
Like we mentioned above, a CDN will boost your load times.Faster loading means a better user experience.
Fewer people will leave your site when it loads faster, and that lowers your bounce rate (percentage of people who leave your site quickly).
Lower bounce rates tell Google that your site is worth looking at, which can help you rise in the rankings.
Thus, a CDN can help raise your Google ranking, all while visitors happily surf your site at bliss-inducing speeds.
- Distributed Workload
When you’re on standard servers, a request is sent to the server, it delivers the requested content, and then the next request is sent, fulfilled, and so on.
With a CDN, a request is sent to the server, it delivers the requested information, and the next request is sent, fulfilled, and so on.
So what’s the difference?
With a CDN, this process can happen on multiple servers throughout the network simultaneously.
What does that actually mean?
On a CDN, your website can handle more traffic, making more requests, at faster speeds.
If you have a massive influx of traffic due to a promotion, press coverage, a sale, or any other reason, a CDN will make you more equipped to handle them all without crashing a poor, single server.
What happens in the case of a freak tidal wave that knocks out half the servers in your network, and your site is all about disaster relief?
Your site crashes, right? Not enough servers to handle the load.
WRONG! HA HA!
One of the super cool features of a CDN is that it stores your most popular pages in a reserved cache, making sure that your visitors can still access them.
Even at the worst of times.
- Double Your Downloads, Double Your Fun
What do normal users have suffer through on a day to day basis?
That’s right! Only having access to 4 simultaneous downloads per domain at any given time. (I’m actually a little surprised you guessed that…)
This problem could really be rough for that entrepreneur who launches her awesome online business and is getting thousands of requests per minute.
Even with rocking awesome speeds, only being able to process 4 download requests at a time can really bottleneck that launch process and cause delays and complaints.
Solution? Right again, a CDN.
A CDN allows for files to be hosted on a separate domain, which can provide an additional 4 downloads at a time for a total of 8 simultaneous downloads.
Double your downloads, double your fun.
- Better security
Last, and definitely not least, is the super cool security features of the ever awesome CDN.
Requests sent to a server that is part of a CDN go through an automatic filtration process.
This filtration blocks malicious users and bots, and only lets legitimate requests through to the other side.
This even includes requests to visit your site!
Why is that so cool?
Because it helps keep hackers and malware off your site!
Fewer visits from hackers and malware means more bandwidth for your real users, so you’re less likely to get bogged down by visits from jerks that want to steal your thunder.
Now you have 5 reasons to get your site on a Content Delivery Network.
Faster speeds, Distributed Workload, Stability, Double the Downloads, and Better Security.
All of these things will make you better by providing a better User Experience.
Want to get on a CDN? Get in touch. We can hook you up.
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