What is a CDN? You must first understand cloud hosting and how it works. Cloud hosting is a hosting technique that utilizes multiple servers at different locations. The servers work in redundancy to provide quicker website response times.
The main advantage of this form of hosting is that your data is saved in multiple locations and can be globally accessed. If one server begins to reach its load limits, another server will automatically step up and provide assistance. Cloud hosting will distribute the workload between its servers when it is deemed necessary. This provides better performance because data can more frequently access, without over stressing any singular server. In turn, your web speed stays consistent and your usability remains smooth.
All this increases your website’s page speed, which can increase your Google Search ranking. Page speed is the measure of the time it takes for your website to load. You can test how long your websites takes to load by using the Google PageSpeed app. Anything longer than a second and you can bet you are losing traffic on a daily basis.
When we request a URL, a number of steps must occur in quick succession. Our request must navigate through a complex series of networks within networks. Each network transition is known as a hop. Every additional hop can potentially cause more delays to your page speed. Each hop is subject to the network’s speed restrictions. A single URL request can easily have more than six hops. These hops can occur at different locations all over the world. All these factors can have a negative effect on your page speed and that can hurt your search engine results.
What is A CDN
A CDN, or Content Distribution Network, takes advantage of the cloud hosting concept. It goes a step further by storing and delivering content based on your user’s location. Advanced software is used to automatically locate your user and retrieve data from the closest reliable source. This is accomplished by continually gathering information on your visitors IP. The relevant IP information is then used to locate where the majority of your traffic originates from. Once your CDN determines where the majority of your traffic comes from it can then decide where to store your data. By storing your data closer to your end user, you eliminate hops and increase your page speed. All of this helps to guarantee a smooth user experience. The increased page speed helps your search engine rankings as well.
This strategy has been optimized for HD content delivery and is commonly utilized by high volume streaming websites. You gain peace of mind in knowing the chances of your server going down get eliminated by server redundancy. Your data transfer speed is also increased by utilizing a workload distribution system. This is the combination of these factors that mean your website will load faster for your user. It will also mean when two visitors are accessing the same website, from different locations. They will be receiving the same information from different servers.
Another advantage of a CDN is your website is closer to being crash proof. If one server is showing signs of overload the network will adjust accordingly. It is very rare for a CDN to go down, but it is not impossible. There are many CDN providers on the market today. Below are 5 of the most popular.
5 Popular CDN Providers
· CloudFlare: The brainchild of a Harvard graduate. CloudFlare offers many affordable solutions including a free trial option.
· Akamai: This firm originated in response to a challenge placed at MIT. The challenge was to figure out how to improve data transfer rates via the web.
· CDNetworks: Founded in Korea, CDNetworks is now based on 6 continents.
· MaxCDN: Providing services for many Fortune 100 companies. MaXCDN continues to expand their client base.
· Limelight Networks: Based in Tempe, AZ. Limelight has had great success hosting for many big budget Hollywood films.
Advantages Of CDNs?
A CDN can be a great solution for your website. However, there are also some downsides to consider before you decide to upgrade. Take a moment to study some of the most common concerns encountered.
· Server block—Some countries have chosen to block many popular CDN servers. If you happen to be on a blocked server your website is not going to be visible in that region. Many countries have tightened their content restrictions. This trend appears to be on the rise and is set to continue.
· Security—A CDN should never be used when major security is required. A CDN is a public network and coding exists that can extract personal data about your visitors. It is recommended all sensitive material be stored on a dedicated server.
· Control—Your CDN is going to require you to pass control of your website over for hosting.
· Cost—A CDN will cost you a little more than traditional cloud hosting services.
Carefully consider all the pros and cons before you decide on a CDN solution for your hosting needs. Do you have large amounts of data being streamed? Do you need backup copies of your data? If so, a CDN is a great choice.
Every day, technology is increasing, and data transfer rates are consistently doubling. A CDN is one way to keep your page speed and usability top notch, without breaking the bank on a high-end dedicated server.
This type of system would have been unbelievably expensive only a few years prior. As time progresses, CDN’s continue to become more affordable. Because of this, they are increasing in popularity at an escalated rate. It’s no surprise to see they have become the new industry standard.
Through innovation, we are continually finding new ways to serve content to our users. As mobile web use increases, so will the use of CDNs and we can expect to see more CDN hosts appearing every day. Now that you can answer the question “What is a CDN?” you are now ready to ask yourself, “is it for me?”