There are many advantages and benefits to using a CDN. Whether you’re a website visitor or a website owner, CDNs are beneficial for both parties. If you’re new to the CDN world, then this page is a good place to start to learn more about CDN benefits and how they can help improve your overall web content delivery.
CDN Benefit #1 – Speed
Speed is the first and often most discussed benefit of Content Delivery Networks. This is for good reasons since speed is becoming ever-increasingly important to both website owners and website visitors. As more and more Internet users move to mobile devices, websites need to adapt the way they deliver information to ensure users aren’t stuck waiting.
By caching web assets on CDN edge servers around the world, users are routed to the nearest CDN node instead of a single origin server. This, in turn, results in less distance that the user’s request and the server’s response need to travel meaning a decrease in latency and faster loading times.
CDN Benefit # 2 – Reliability
Content delivery networks help improve reliability thanks to redundancy mechanisms set in place by the CDN provider themselves. For instance, if by chance a particular CDN edge server goes down, the CDN provider will automatically re-route all traffic to the next nearest edge server without any interruptions.
Furthermore, certain CDN providers will continue to serve stale content if your origin server goes offline. Depending upon the amount of time you’ve defined in the Expire header, the CDN will continue to deliver cached content to visitors until the Expire value runs out or the cache is purged.
CDN Benefit #3 – Security
Another major CDN benefit is increased security. Certain CDNs add an extra layer of security against DDoS attacks, bad bots, etc. Depending on the provider you choose, some may completely handle the security aspect in the background while others allow you to modify and fine-tune your security settings.
As the number and intensity of DDoS attacks continue to grow, implementing robust security measures to help protect your site should be a top priority. Implementing a CDN is an easy, relatively inexpensive, and effective way to do so.
CDN Benefit #4 – Scalability
There are tons of ways to go viral nowadays and you don’t really ever know when something on your website could take off. That’s why it’s important to be ready and have the infrastructure in place to scale your web assets if need be. Content Delivery Networks are extremely efficient when it comes to scalability as they’ll cache your web assets and therefore new visitors will access content through the CDN instead of the origin. If your origin server isn’t overly powerful, this is especially important.
Choosing a reliable and high-performance CDN provider is key since you want to ensure that they will be able to handle your site’s spike in traffic.
CDN Benefit #5 – Decreases Origin Server Load
This benefit ties in with #4 above. On average, websites are made up of about 80% static content. Since CDNs cache and deliver static content, this takes a huge load off of your origin server. Therefore, if you don’t want to upgrade your origin server’s specs but notice that you’re reaching your limit, implementing a CDN should help decrease that load.
Furthermore, CDN bandwidth is always cheaper than a traditional hosting provider’s bandwidth. So when it comes to making a decision between upgrading your origin server or integration a CDN, always try integrating a CDN first to decrease costs while improving overall performance.