Why use a Content Delivery Network

A CDN will increase your WordPress web page load times – but can also help in other areas too

A CDN has many advantages other than only speeding up your content delivery. Here are 6 reasons why why you should be using a content delivery network (CDN) and how it can help your website stay ahead.

Many of the top brands and website today are using CDNs because they serve global audiences and need a way to deliver their content fast. According to BuiltWith, over 81% of the top 10,000 websites are using a CDN. For the top 100,000 it’s slightly lower at over 70% and finally for the top 1 million it is over 50% however even smaller businesses don’t realize just how much a CDN can be of benefit.
Web page sizes are growing as the internet gets faster and a variety of rich media delivery becomes more important. According to HTTP Archive, the average web page size in 2010 was 1752 kB compared to 2395 kB in 2020.

webpagesize

1. Faster Page load times and lower latency

The main reason to use CDN is because it provides an easy way to increase the speed of your websites while also lowering the latency. Ilya Grigorik, a web performance engineer at Google said:

Using a CDN allows us to terminate the connection close to the user, which can significantly reduce the cost of TCP and TLS handshake. For best results, you should be using a CDN to serve both static and dynamic content.

Deploying a CDN for a WordPress website can reduce the page load time by around 20%-30%, potentially even more for a large media heavy site with a global reach.

2. Single content source platforms

Typical web hosting is from a shared server or a VPS. Whilst the VPS has many advantages, it still makes sense to offload the grunt-work of content delivery to a CDN.

A CDN, made up of edge servers which are deployed in different parts of the world can play a significant role in surpassing the computing resources of traditional web hosting in order to deliver rich and high quality multimedia content in a reliable and cost-effective way.

3. Better search engine rankings

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) page speed is a very important factor affecting you rankings. Most search engines consider the page loading time in their formulas. Google loves fast websites and announced in 2010 that website speed would begin to affect search engine rankings. The faster your website is, the better chance you have moving up in SERPs.

Accelerating websites is extremely important. Faster websites mean satisfied customers. PageSpeed becomes significant for rankings.

– Matt Cutts

Another SEO advantage that is often overlooked is Google image search. By optimizing your website to load faster with a CDN, it will increase the frequency in which Google crawls your images, in turn allowing your images to be more widely available and indexed faster in Google.

How fast is your website? Use a website speed test tool to determine if you need to spend more time on optimization. Generally aim for a page speed load time of around 2 seconds.

 

4. Reliability

Most of you have probably encountered your website going down at one point or another, which can be very frustrating. Whenever adding additional third parties into the mix, such as a CDN, it is true that there is now another point of failure. However, because of how a CDN’s architecture is setup, it actually provides reliability. With a CDN requests to your website are always routed to the nearest available POP. If one happens to be down, it passes the request onto the next one. This helps create content redundancy.

5.  DDoS protection

A CDN can provide additional security. Since around 60%+ of the traffic is being served through the CDN provider, they will mitigate DDoS attacks for you on their servers. Many CDN providors have custom protocols in place to handle large mitigations.

6. Increased conversion rates and sales

It has been proven that boosting your web page speed can increase your conversions. This is mainly due to the fact that you are providing a better user experience. According to LoadStorm, 46% of users will not return to a poorly performing website. And 74% of users will abandon after waiting 5 seconds for a mobile site to load.

Infographic: Web Performance Impacts Conversion Rates

Mobify also did a case study on the affect of mobile website speed. They discovered the following:

For every 100 ms decrease in homepage load speed, Mobify’s customer base saw a 1.11% lift in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $376,789.

For every 100 ms decrease in checkout page load speed, Mobify’s customers saw a 1.55% life in session based conversion, amounting to an average annual revenue increase of $526,147.

An increase of one pageview per user results in a 5.17% lift in user based conversion, i.e. for each additional page viewed per user, Mobify saw their average customer’s annual revenue increase by: $398,484.

So as you can see, every part of your website should be optimized, from your homepage all the way down the marketing funnel to your checkout page. By using a CDN you can ensure your assets are delivered fast across your entire funnel.

Summary

Therefore as you can see there are many ways a CDN can help benefit your website. Besides drastic performance improvements, you can also expect to see SEO advantages, better conversion rates, and a better overall experience for visitors; especially for those located further away from your origin server.

Deploying a CDN is one of the steps we recommend during our Page Speed Optimization service, available from ony $349 per WordPress website.