Today, web hosting is aimed at seamless users’ experience, and speed of page loading plays crucial role in that. Research shows: if a visitor has to wait more than three seconds for response, he is more likely to abandon a page (in 40% of cases). As the result, it will affect ranking in web engines.
Six years ago, Google company announced that speed (the time to process user’s request) will be one of 200 factors playing role in ranking. Thus, a successful site should load quickly as lightning, and modern web masters aim at ideal speed of 0.5 seconds.
What can be done to boost website performance? Many web-developers note that CDN service contributes to far better bandwidth and speed, increasing uptime to 100%.
What is CDN?
Content Delivery Network comprises numerous servers in different geographical locations (points of presence, or PoPs) that cache data requested by users and transfer them instantly. Cached content is being stored on servers. Website load speed is increased due to the fact that every end-used making request is addressed to the nearest server, which reduces the distance of information transfer.
Of course, there are numerous ways to speed up website, but CDN is one of the most reliable and effective methods. Experiments show that such network works wonders by:
- compressing gzip automatically, delivering images on the fly;
- providing scalability to handle large number of visitors and traffic spikes;
- guaranteeing security (token-based authentication, URL blocking);
- increasing page loading speed up to 70%, and saving 40-70% of bandwidth.
How to find CDN of top-notch quality?
Not all CDNs are equal. The quality of network depends on many factors, including:
- The number and location of servers.
- Technical assistance of data-centers.
The best CDN companies offer solutions with the highest uptime, which means your site will never break down. Even if a server drops out of the line, site will still be available, and users will be redirected to other PoPs. Moreover, fastest CDN is the one that provides global coverage. It is especially important for owners of large-scale online projects whose auditory is concentrated on all five continents. The more PoPs assist network, the better it performs.
The cheaper – the better?
There are lots of free CDN services in the Internet, but such variants are usually not worth trying. Instead, search for paid networks from new or widespread companies: they often have decent variants for reasonable prices.
When selecting a CDN solution, pay attention to the following aspects:
- What is the cost of service? The most ideal variant is when a provider can offer individual prices, or charges you on pay-as-you-go system. Besides, you can have a chance to order service by special offer, or while it is on sale.
- Should contract be concluded? If you don’t have experience of using CDN, avoid such option, or agree to make contract for one-two months. That will save your money and time in case of disappointing choice.
- Technical support should be 24/7 available, ideally – via different channels, such as E-mail, live chat, tickets, etc.
If you cannot choose a suitable provider, lots of CDN solutions can be found here.
Where servers should be located?
Is location of servers crucial? Undoubtedly. As far as the main point of CDN is to shorten the distance between end-user and point of presence, servers should be placed as near to target auditory as possible. For instance, if your web-site is aimed at Americans only, it is logical to order CDN with PoPs in North America only. Sites visited by people from several continents should be served by CDNs with global coverage. If a project is created for people living in one certain city or region, CDN costs won’t be justified – there is no need in using several PoPs.
Implementation of HTTPS
Although CDN does not improve HTTPS itself, it boosts the speed of SSL/TLS secure protocol. Servers comprising CDN may also finish TLS session, reduce connection establishment latency and speed up TCP and TLS handshakes. Responsible implementation of HTTPS greatly increases Google rankings.
How to check site loading speed?
If you want to know how much time it takes for a page to load, use free services for analysis. Webpagetest.org and Google PageSpeed Insight give a lot of useful stats.
You don’t have to be a guru of web-technologies to implement CDN without technical support. Once you have chosen a provider, a few steps are left to start it up.
- Sign up for service in selected company. Make sure you weighted all options and picked up the most optimal product that meets your demands and suits your budget
- Inform provider about your URL. If SSL is supported, you will need domain owner’s approval for creating SSL certificate.
- Update DNS. As a rule, CDN platforms update DNS records automatically. If not, you have to do it manually from web host’s panel.
As soon as you start using CDN, its positive effects will become evident in the first day. It will help you to make your online business successful and respectable.