The success of a website relies heavily on speed – how fast a website runs can either skyrocket your business or smack it on the ground.
While that may sound really dramatic, it’s actually quite true. The more you wait for a page to load, the more you get irked, confused and bored, which are emotions that no business wants their customers to feel.
Along with the fast speed, a clean, well-laid-out design also contributes to users having a great experience. These tiny factors take the lion’s share in turning casual visitors to regular customers.
Why should speed be prioritized?
The significance of site speed in growth of a business has been a topic of discussion among web developers for a good chunk of time.
In this period, hundreds of surveys have been carried out, with all coming to a close conclusion.
For example, a survey conducted by NeilPatel shows that:
- 47% of website visitors expect the page to load in a span of 2 seconds.
- If a page delays response for just 1 second, it can cause a reduction of 7% in conversions.
- If an e-commerce business makes $100,000 a day, a 1-second delay in loading can cost nearly $2.5 million in loss annually.
Another issue raised by lack of speed is the massive drop in ranking. If a website faces performance issues, with traffic abandoning the site constantly, Google realizes that the website may not be the best link to pop up at the beginning of the search results.
As a result, the site’s ranking goes down, and it fades into oblivion. In summary, the slow speed of a website can give any business a huge blow.
What slows down a website?
You might be confident in the speed of your site, but your win is if your visitors agree.
A website has plenty of content that slows down the overall performance, including videos, GIFs, high-resolution photos, scripts, plugins, etc.
To add an unpleasant cherry on the top, there might be an extreme distance between a user and your slowed down site. This can turn away many potential foreign customers.
CDN- The Ultimate Solution to Lagging Speed
CDN, or Content Delivery Network, is a web of servers that help in delivering the content on your website in an optimal fashion. These servers are located around the globe, closing the distance between your bulky site and its visitors.
A Content Delivery Network gives a boost to performance regardless of how much media or plugins are featured on the website. It loads a site anywhere in the world as if it were local to that region.
The functions of a CDN
A Content Delivery Network speeds up a website in the following ways:
1. Quick Access to Website Files
The major reason to get a CDN layered on your website is the amount of media displayed. From photos and videos to product links and scripts, everything is a factor in slowing down your site.
These files aren’t the main issue, however. It is the distance between your main server and the visitor’s IP address. A CDN has server locations everywhere, which shortens the distance between a website file and the customer’s PC.
2. Location Directory
Typically, a host server lies in one or maybe a couple of locations. So whenever someone visits a website, they link directly with the main server. That specific location is the hub of traffic and can cause plenty of disruptions.
But a CDN gives an edge with a global network of servers. If a website with CDN is visited, it automatically directs to the nearest server. This gives the media less distance to cover, boosting the overall speed.
3. Web Hosting and CDN
Web hosting servers are a virtual space which you rent. Here, you can upload all your files, store data, and build your site from the array of tools available. Some popular web hosting servers include GoDaddy, BlueHost and HostGator.
CDN is a sort of layer that you place on top of your web hosting server. Web hosts are the foundation where your bulky files are stored, and a CDN network takes these files across the world.
Do you need a CDN on your website?
Before jumping on the bandwagon and buying a Content Delivery Network, it’d be a wise idea to reflect on your business; do you really need a CDN?
We understand that we played a big role in making you familiar with CDN and convinced you to get one, but if you check all the following “if” boxes, you probably don’t need one:
- If your e-commerce site is fairly new and traffic is easily manageable.
- If your business is earning in thin margins.
- If your business is mostly physical or the website is informative.
- If your traffic is almost totally local or you don’t serve internationally.
- If your site is simplistic with little or no media.
By realizing the need for a CDN, you can save up for potential investments and take smarter actions.
When should you absolutely get a CDN?
If you went through the aforementioned “ifs” and checked none of the boxes, buying a Content Delivery Network just might be the next intelligent decision.
But we’re not going to be vague and leave you hanging in the middle. Here’s a list of potential reasons to get a CDN for your website:
- Your website is growing more complex and reaching bigger audiences.
- You serve internationally but have no worldwide servers and connections.
- The traffic on your site is unmanageable.
- Your site is constantly crashing due to bulky media.
If you check even one of these conditions, looking for CDN options will definitely pay off.
The Best CDN Providers
Good job! Now that you have decided to get a Content Delivery Network for your site with this guide, we thought to end on a high note!
Here’s a list of the best CDN providers:
Akamai is a leading CDN service provider, with many big names as its clients. They have created many solutions and resources for different types of sites, and they’ve earned the top spot with their knowledge in Content Delivery Network.
Cloudflare is an easy way to get the benefits of a CDN. It takes about five minutes to set up, and their support team is very helpful in clearing any misconceptions. Their network is also very broad, with servers in every continent.
Our last pick is Fastly. They specialize in mobile and web performance, media streaming, cloud security and much more. Their well-known clients include Twitter and Vimeo.
So the answer to the overarching question that whether your site should have a content delivery network is a big fat YES.
Now that you’ve learned how a CDN can improve the speed of your website, why not take additional steps to reduce its loading time? We’ve got some actionable tips to help you optimize your images, which is another key to increased website speed.