The loading time of a website can determine its success or failure. According to an infographic at KISSmetrics, a second delay in loading time decreases conversion rate by 7%.
You can argue about a small detail affect the impact of your website. But you cannot deny that speeding up the loading time of your site is a priority.
This is one of the reasons why developers use a content delivery network (CDN) for their sites. Relying on your hosting service alone is not enough to ensure the best performance of your sites.
If your site receives a spike in traffic, your hosting may not be able to withstand the surge of visitors. Your site may not load fast enough, leading to lost traffic.
Worse, this may cause your site to go down. Just as when thousands are eager to see your site, visitors will be as disappointed to see your site break down.
With a CDN, you can be sure that visitors see your sites at the fastest times possible and without a hitch.
When a site using CDN experiences heavy traffic, it draws data from distributed servers. This helps ease the load from the closest server where most of the traffic is coming.
More than one server is working to fulfill the request of visitors. They make the site loads faster on the browser of users.
The purpose of CDNs is to serve content from the closest geographical location to the end user. This serves to speed up the loading of scripts, stylesheets and images which are typically static, particularly for users that are located in territories that are relatively far away from the location of a website’s server. – Yusuf Bhana for Smart Insights (Link to actual quote)
This is the common reason why developers are using CDN for their sites. But there are others benefits that CDN brings to the table. Below are reasons that you should start using them for your self-hosted sites.
Search algorithms consider site speed as a ranking factor. Sites that load faster have a higher change of ranking for their keywords.
Using CDN helps you reach this goal for your sites. As mentioned earlier, it makes the site load faster on the end of the user.
Aside from site speed, there are other reasons how CDN contributes to your SEO campaign. Most CDN services offer bot blocking. This prevents bots that are out to steal your content and drop spammy comments on your posts.
Activating this feature on your CDN service will keep your sites clean from attacks.
This is why we, the SEOs, must leverage website security services as another tool in ours (already heavy) tool belt. After all, with each passing day more and more sites sign up for security and CDN services and none of us can afford not to be as fast and as protected as the competition. – Igal Zeifman, Incapsula’s Community Manager (Link to actual quote)
Added layer of protection
The main function of CDN is to optimize your website. But it has protection features as well. As mentioned, one of those is blocking malicious bots from entering your site
More sophisticated CDN services have protection against Denial of Service (DoS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Both attempt to create many requests to the server or network resource. By piling up request, it overloads the server, which can render it unavailable over time.
A person with a computer and internet connection can launch a DoS attack. People who launch this attack have a grudge against the site owner or a competitor who wish to take your site down.
A DDoS attack follows the same approach as a DoS attack but is much more damaging. Instead of just one device as the source of the attack, a DDoS attack comes from many sources. This makes a DDoS attack much more difficult to counter. You will have to trace all the sources to halt the attack.
Choosing the CDN network that allows protections from these attacks will save you a ton of money. Never mind that you may have to pay for the protection. The lost site traffic and revenue will cost more than buying the protection in the first place.
“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.” – Richard Clarke
Whether you are running an education, business, or e-commerce site, there is no reason for you to not use a CDN. It helps decrease loading time and reduce downtime of your sites.
If you host large files or lots of files, the CDN will manage the load by distributing it to different servers. Having a CDN will make user requests from their end faster to process. This results to faster loading time, which helps in increasing visitor retention.
Users will feel relieved to browse your fail-safe and fast-loading site. They will stay longer and browse more pages on your site.
Final thoughts: If buying a CDN is not your priority before reading this post, it should be now. Protection and security are site factors developers should strive to achieve. Visitors will have a much better experience with a high performing site. This could lead to more visitors and higher sales.
To meet all these, you need to use a CDN.
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Author: Christopher Jan Benitez
Content marketer during the day. Heavy sleeper at night. Dreams of non-existent brass rings. Writer by trade. Pro wrestling fan by choice (It’s still real to me, damnit!). Family man all the time.