5 Reasons to Use a CDN

Written by Ethan He

November 15, 2023

CDN

A content delivery network, commonly known as CDN, is an integral part of any modern website or application.

Content delivery networks are likely to deliver the content you’re viewing on your phone right now, whether it’s a website, app, video, photo or other content.

In this post you will learn what a CDN is, and how it can improve the overall performance of your website.

What is a CDN?

Content delivery networks, also known as CDNs, increase the speed, reliability and reliability of the information being delivered . This is achieved by bringing online content closer to where the consumer’s current position. A content delivery network is a geographically dispersed network of servers and data centers that help deliver web content to consumers quickly.

CDNs are especially useful for companies with high web traffic and to deliver a large amount of information across the globe.

Tech giants such as Amazon, Facebook and Netflix all use CDNs as part of their online infrastructure. After all, speed is critical for online business, and it can literally make or break a company.

 

Why Would you Use a CDN?

CDN is a simple way to improve website performance while reducing latency. As a result, they are critical to the timely, efficient and secure delivery of information to consumers around the world.

This service is not limited to website content. It can also include 4K and HD quality video, audio streams, applications, games and operating system updates. Today users have a lot of options when it comes to information gathering, if your site doesn’t deliver someone else will. It is important to deliver material as quickly as possible.

As more companies move their operations online, companies have to adapt to the needs of increasing users and traffic flow into their business. This includes delivering various forms of content, adapting content for different types of devices such as desktop and mobile devices, and security for end users. Because of the intrinsic advantages of a content distribution network, CDN providers are best suited to assist companies in overcoming these various media delivery obstacles.

CDNs have been critical for the development of the Internet for nearly two decades, providing fast reliable delivery routes for web services such as shopping, banking, healthcare, and other industries.

 

1) CDN Assists in Maximizing Bandwidth and Latency

The most well known advantages of using CDNs are bandwidth and latency reduction. The time it takes for web pages to load is referred to as latency. CDNs can decrease page load times and enhance the user experience by moving and caching website content closer to users.

Consider a web service company or web hosting provider. Their data center may be in the United States, either in Boston or Dallas. However, their end-users and customers could be based anywhere on the planet. Users that are close to the data center will have no trouble accessing the data without experiencing delays.

So what about consumers across the globe who are thousands of miles away? Without a CDN, these users would be required to update all of the content every time, resulting in delays and horrible user experience. This has a considerable effect on a business bottom line since dissatisfied consumers and users are more likely to switch to a competitor.

 

2) CDN Helps Improve Website Security

CDNs are well suited for handling the high volumes of web traffic generated by DDoS attacks. Otherwise, server crashes and downtime may occur. Techniques such as HTTP load balancing in CDNs can help prevent and track DDoS attacks.

Another service offered by CDNs is the provision of new TLS/SSL certificates for enhanced authentication, encryption, and integrity. It also improves content reliability and reproducibility so that if one site crashes, another site can simply pick up network traffic.

Similarly, CDNs can defend against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks by load-balanced malicious requests across the network.

 

3) CDN Assists with Controlling Access to Various Regions

For companies that have users around the world, CDN is a must. They can use CDNs to assign authentication tasks to the edge, respond to requests from different regions based on application attributes, and process request and response based on meta data such as region and language.

CDNs can also assist in the collection of logs and the analysis of user-generated data. This is important if your company has a large user base, and you need to monitor web traffic in real-time.

 

4) CDN Allows for Content Prefetching to Speed Up Delivery

Another important element of a CDN is the ability to prefetch static web content on edge servers.

Static content includes properties such as images, media files, and non-changing parts of HTML, CSS, or Javascript files. Also, dynamic applications, such as a WebSocket program that listens for server events, may be handled if the CDN and the server are closely integrated.

5) CDN Helps boost SEO

Page loading speed is one of the signals that Google uses to rank the pages in its SERPs. The faster your website is, the better are the chances for pushing to the top ranks in the SERPs.

Another important factor is image utilization. Images are frequently indexed and visited by SEO crawlers. However, with normal web hosting, you cannot utilize many images on your webpage as it significantly increases the page load speed.

Fortunately, a CDN makes it easy. You can save your images to a CDN and upload them at super-fast speeds when needed. Most large blogs use CDNs. There are also CDN providers that offer dedicated image hosting at an affordable price.

 

Conclusion

In a nutshell, the value of CDN services has become undeniable as almost every company today relies on digital platforms to draw consumers.

They help applications perform better, allowing web servers to scale at a relatively low price.

I hope you now have a better understanding of  CDN. With a strategic approach and actionable tips, you have the opportunity to significantly boost your site’s speed and performance.  If you need help implementing CDN, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help. 

Ethan He

About Ethan He

Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.

Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.