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What Is A CDN And Why Do You Need A CDN For WordPress

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What a content delivery network (CDN) is, how they work, and when to use one. Learn some case studies on how businesses have benefited from them.

What Is A CDN And Why Do You Need A CDN For WordPress

What is a Cloud Delivery Network (CDN)?

Cloud Delivery networks are basically cloud-based hosting platforms that are similar to traditional hosting companies.

Advantages of CDN


Improved Speed

There are many advantages to using a CDN over a standard web host. First off, they provide a lot of speed improvements. Because their servers are located in different parts of the globe, they are able to handle increased traffic without slowing down.

They are Scalable

In addition, they’re scalable, meaning they can add additional nodes at any time. This means that if you have a website that is popular, you don't have to worry about getting overloaded.

Remote Hosting

Also, you get access to a wider variety of resources. Most websites use things like videos, images, and javascript files, but these items may not be hosted locally. Instead, they could be hosted remotely.

Security

Another benefit is security. When you're connected to the internet your personal information is exposed to hackers who may try to steal information. However, with a CDN, your data resides in different locations around the world where there's less chance of someone stealing your information.

Reliability

Additionally, they offer reliability. If a server goes down, the rest of the system remains functional. 

Cost-Effective

Finally, they're cost-effective. By utilizing a CDN you reduce the amount of bandwidth required to run your site.

How To Use A CDN On Your WordPress Site


When you want to utilize a CDN, you need to choose a service provider. There are dozens of them out there, each with its own set of pros and cons.

Typically, the three major options are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Rackspace Hosting, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

AWS provides both S3 storage and CloudFront content distribution. Both services allow you to upload static files and serve dynamic content. S3 offers cheaper prices, while GCP gives you better control over what happens with your content.

Rackspace hosts some of the biggest names in the business. Its platform includes everything you need to build and maintain an online store. These features include virtual private servers, dedicated IP addresses, cPanel, and much more.

GCP is owned by Google, making it a bit more costly than the other two. The fact that it has been around longer meaning it's probably the best option for a long-term budget.

Where Can I Find A CDN Provider?


You'll find providers in just about every industry. Many businesses already use a CDN for their websites. Others do it for themselves to cut costs and improve performance. The easiest way to determine whether a CDN works for you is to take a look at your analytics. See how often visitors leave your site due to slow load times. Go to Google Developers Console and see how much time the average page takes to render. Are there spikes in time spent loading pages? Do pages appear to be loading slowly even though you're only hitting a few assets? The answer to these questions should tell you whether a CDN would help you.

How Does A CDN Work?


A CDN uses caching technology to distribute your data across various servers. As the name suggests, this means that instead of having all your content on a single server, it gets stored on several servers spread throughout the world. When a visitor requests something from your site, the CDN looks to see if it has cached a copy of the file. If it does, then it sends the request directly to the cache, speeding up the whole process. If it doesn't, then it sends the file to the closest server and caches it. After that, the CDN keeps track of which files were requested and stores them, ready for future users. This helps to reduce the strain put on your server if you're experiencing high traffic.

Cost Of Using A CDN


CDNs don't come cheap. Each provider sets its own price. However, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10-$50 per month. Be sure to consider the potential cost savings before you commit. If you're running a small blog or website, it isn't likely to save you much money. But if you're planning a massive redesign, you might be able to recoup some of those costs.

Conclusion


While a CDN might seem complicated, installing a CDN is actually pretty simple. Once you know what you want to accomplish, setting up a CDN will require little effort. It's recommended that you start looking into a CDN after you've got your site built. That way, you won't lose precious time trying to figure out how to integrate a CDN into your existing infrastructure.


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Homies Hacks: What Is A CDN And Why Do You Need A CDN For WordPress
What Is A CDN And Why Do You Need A CDN For WordPress
What a content delivery network (CDN) is, how they work, and when to use one. Learn some case studies on how businesses have benefited from them.
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