Information about CDN's.....
February 21st, 2014
Some general information about CDN's.
As we continue down this road on site speed and how fast your website loads we will explain in very simple and general terms how a CDN works.
Using a CDN will provide faster site loading time and some added site security. CDN (content delivery network) is technically a network of servers located in strategic areas around a region or the globe. All websites are loaded from the server where the site files are located.
Let's say, for example, you are searching for a company that sells wholesale flooring products. For our purposes we'll say this company is located in China. They have a website that is hosted by a company located in China (this hosting company is where the website files are sitting). You, being in Atlanta Georgia, are trying to find this company's website. Without a CDN, your computer will go over the Internet and pull these website files from the hosting company in China. So what you see on your computer is a website that was pulled from China.
Now, that's a long way for that website to travel to get to your computer. That takes time. Sometimes too much time. Most people will not wait for that website to load if it takes too long and will try a different company.
A CDN is a host server that will store most (not all) of that website's content (including images and text) in a location closer to you. Let's say that the CDN is located in New York. So now, most of that website that you are trying to load is located in New York and not China. This website will now take much less time to load since it's coming from New York. The idea is for search results in Google to load fast and for all of the websites served up to load fast thereby increasing the user's experience.
CDN's aren't for everybody. If you own a small plumbing company in Fenton Michigan, then you really don't care if your website loads fast for someone searching for a plumber in Beijing! However, Google still uses site speed as a ranking factor so even though your website may not need a CDN to serve your potential clients, you may want to use a CDN anyways.
CDN's cost money so any choice to use one must be leveraged against the increase in traffic that may or may not occur. Spending money on a CDN to increase your site speed ranking that doesn't lead directly to an increase in website traffic and hence more business for you should be carefully considered. High traffic sites should probably use a CDN whereas a smaller, locally owned company who is just trying to service his small local area probably doesn't need to spend the money. Of course every case is different and should be considered on an individual basis.
Now you probably know more than you ever cared to know about CDN's, eh?