What is a CDN?
What does a CDN do? How does it work? How does it improve your visitor’s browsing experience?
Overview of a CDN
A content delivery network (CDN) is a global network of servers — more than 120 locations in the case of CDN.net. These globally distributed servers all work together to provide ultra fast delivery of your content, whether it be static web content, videos or even live streaming. When your visitors access your content, they’re routed to the nearest server in the CDN network making your content available much faster.
How does it work?
As previously mentioned, a CDN is a large network of servers all working together to deliver your content. The servers are typically placed in heavily populated areas, with good internet connectivity. Each of these locations are referred to as a PoP — a point of presence. In many countries there will be several points of presence. In the United States, CDN.net has 16 PoPs alone!
The idea is to route each of your website’s visitors to closest PoP, reducing latency, and avoiding internet traffic jams. Below you can see a diagram of how CDN.net functions.
Why use a CDN?
Whether you run a small personal site, or manage a large enterprise, every website can benefit from a CDN.
Performance is by far one of the greatest benefits of using a CDN. By placing your content closer to your visitor’s, your website will benefit from lower latency, and improved routing, thereby improving the speed of your website.
Scalability is a massive benefit of using a CDN. If you’re not using a CDN, every visitor loads content from your web hosting company. This can very easily overload a server. When you use a CDN, your visitors load content from every server in the network.
Page speed is an important part in determining search rankings. By using a CDN, you’ll improve the speed of your website, improving your ranking – and Google will rank your pages more quickly, increasing the speed & frequency that your site is crawled.
A CDN can actually help you save significantly on your infrastructure. If your web host charges you based upon bandwidth, you’ll be able to reduce the bandwidth use by your web host. You’ll also have less infrastructure charges, as the CDN will handle all your static assets.
With a CDN, your website’s traffic is always routed to the fastest server. If a single server is down in the CDN network, your visitors will be routed to an alternative server. This creates an additional level of redundancy, improving the reliability of your website.
Speed makes customers happy.
Happy customers click more, buy more and come back for more.