Over the past few years, Content Delivery Networks (CDN) have become increasingly popular and affordable as websites owners seek new ways to increase speed and improve security. In as few words as possible, CDN’s help to distribute your website’s content across the globe to ensure that wherever your visitors may be, your website can be loaded from a data center fairly close to their location. The closer website data centers are to your users, the faster websites will load for them. Therefore, a user in Australia trying to access a website hosted in the UK will load slower than one hosted nearby within the same continent or region. CDN’s eliminate the distance issue.
With all the hype and popularity that these systems have garnered, many site owners rushed to try out the many services on offer by providers on the web. Some experiences were great, some disappointing and others didn’t notice any differences in their site’s loading time. These mixed experiences are the result of a lack of information regarding one’s particular need of the service, how to implement it and what to expect.
Here’s what the average WordPress blogger should know before deciding to use a CDN.
What’s Your Content & Visitor Profile?
Think about the type of content you’re delivering via your blog. Do you use a lot of pictures in your articles, offer file downloads, selling a high demand product and host large and detailed articles with mission critical assets? If you’re delivering a vast amount of content on your blog then this means more information will need to be downloaded by your site visitors, meaning a greater use of network bandwidth. In this case you should consider using a CDN as the distributed networks will ensure that your heavy static data is delivered as efficiently as possible to all visitors from around the globe.
Your visitor profile
As your blog grows, you may notice visitors from various locations across the globe. Depending on your target market and your blog’s focus topics, you may realize that visitors are primarily from specific regions. For example, if your site is hosted in the US and you’re mainly attracting visitors from the UK or Africa, then those visitors will experience a particular speed boost through your CDN.
Also, are your visitors mainly accessing your site via mobile? Mobile users will experience slightly faster speeds than desktop users.
Note, however, a new lightweight blog with 10 basic pages may hold off a bit on acquiring the services of a CDN since there’s not much of an audience to deliver content to in the first place. You can grow into the service as your site becomes more popular and demands greater resources.
Your Web Host Isn’t Quite Top Tier
If you’re OK with using a lower-end web host for the sake of saving a few dollars or attached for some other reason then you could consider a CDN. Usually, low tier web hosts do not quite deliver great quality as it relates to speed, abundant bandwidth and reliability of their servers. So a CDN will give you an excellent boost and an extra layer of protection for your blog since most service providers host a backup copy of your site’s content in case of outages with your current host.
Don’t forget also that Google ranks faster loading sites better since it means a better user experience for its users.
Are You Serious About Security?
Whether you’re using a cheap lower tier web host or not, you need to be concerned about the security of your website. Thankfully, many CDN providers bundle their services and offer complete solutions that help to boost your website’s status for speed, availability and protection. Due to the fact that they have vast network resources dedicated to delivering high availability and up-time.
Fireblade, for instance, bundles their CDN offering with standard DDoS (Denial-of-service) protection, anti-spam and abuse protection to help mitigate threats to online properties. These services are miles ahead of what your typical hosting provider will be able to offer and are crucial in an age where websites are being hijacked without many owners even knowing.
To conclude, if you value your site visitor’s experiences, search engine performance and are serious about securing your WordPress blog, then a CDN is a worthwhile option for you. A small investment in your site’s health is a powerful preventative measure for future threats and is enough to give you a small edge over competitors.