What is a CDN?
Last modified: February 23, 2020
A Content Delivery Network (CDN), also known as a content distribution network is the process of delivering websites across a wider area through use of a network of proxy servers and data centres. The idea is that a CDN can deliver content and websites across the world with improved performance.
A significant proportion of the internet is now delivered through CDNs, including many rich media (like video and audio), downloadable documents, live streaming media, social media and more.
Any website can use a CDN to deliver content across the world.
Why Use A CDN?
There are many reasons why you might want to use a CDN. Firstly, they offer similar performance statistics to all audiences regardless of where they are. This can be important because search engines will localise results. So, if your website loading time is vastly slower in one country compared to another, you can expect your ranking to be lower too.
With A CDN, the loading times will be the same.
Therefore, you can also expect conversion rates to improve as loading times improve.
Another benefit is that you are less vulnerable to DDoS or DoS attacks. These concentrate on taking out one server, but if your site can be loaded from several, one server being knocked down just means that your site is rendered from another in the network. The performance might be slightly worse off, but it is better than having your site completely taken down.
When Not To Use A CDN
There are going to be times when you might not want to use a CDN. Those who have hyperlocal businesses (like plumbers, electricians, local shops, etc.) and therefore only want an audience within a certain region would probably be better off selecting a hosting provider in that area.
However, for the majority of businesses, even if you operate in just one country, then a CDN is the best option for the best performance across all audiences.