Content Delivery Network, commonly shortened as CDN, is a system of networked servers that are synchronised to deliver web pages and content to individual users based on the nearest web server.
The system is designed to take one’s web content and distribute them across different web servers, doled out in different geographical locations for easy accessibility and speedy conveyance.
The content requested is often pulled from the closest web server. For instance, if you happen to be browsing the site from Singapore, the content requested will be fetched from a CDN server in Singapore. If another user is browsing the same web page in, say, London, the content will instead be pulled from a Content delivery network server in London instead of Singapore. Therefore, it will increase your site speed and improve your content marketing strategies in Singapore.
To determine which server is closest to an end user, the network utilises content delivery network mapping technology, which is basically an algorithm that scans all web servers within the network in a matter of microseconds to pull out the closest.
What happens is that web owners and companies pay content delivery network operators to deliver their web content to individual users in the fastest way possible. CDNs will them pay ISPs and network carriers to host their servers in their respective data centres.
So basically, CDN is an all-encompassing term for the different types of content delivery services in the gamut of video streaming, mobile content acceleration, software downloads, transparent caching, and a series of other services for measuring CDN performance, Multi-CDN switching, load balancing, cloud intelligence and analytics to name a few.
At some point, CDN vendors may decide to cross over into an array of other industries including WAN optimization and security.
Content Delivery Network in Layman’s Language
In simpler terms, CDN replicates web content to distribute it across a number of servers for easy and speedy retrieval upon request. This way, when a user searches for a piece of content on the network, the system scans through the various servers to deliver the content from the nearest one. The algorithm running the process does everything at a lightning speed, thus lowering the latency and giving your site a wide exposure, spanning a wider geographical location.
Cloud Content Delivery Network Benefits
CDNs come with tons of benefits for users and web owners.
Improving Web Security
CDNs can help improve your web security by making necessary improvements to security certificates, providing DDoS Mitigation, and optimising your security settings.
Clients pay for bandwidth. Meaning they pay for the capacity they utilise thus avoiding unnecessary costs like paying for unutilised capacity.
CDNs can also reduce the amount of data loaded through caching, thus significantly reducing your hosting charges.
No upfront investment on infrastructure. All the required purchases and maintenance cost will therefore be carried out by the ISP.
Faster Internet Access
The system works by bringing content closer to visitors, thus ensuring a faster and more efficient delivery. The network is designed to reduce latency, increase performance and avoid traffic congestion.
Your visitors are NOT restricted to one place. Regardless of where the visitor is, the network can pull content from the nearest server to deliver it. That way, web owners are given the opportunity of exposing their content to new markets, some of which could be way out of their reach were it NOT for CDN.
CDN allow you to handle fluctuating traffic. With the network, you don’t have to worry about your web traffic overstretching your server resources as with shared hosting or VPS. Designed to scale your web resources up and down depending on the amount of traffic you’re driving, content delivery network can handle almost any amount of traffic with little to zero downtime.
How CDN Works in Real time
The transfer of files will take more time if a Singapore user sends a request to a server located in the UK or US. However, with a CDN POP, the system can easily cache the web files and distribute it to different servers across the world. Meaning when the Singapore user requests for a web page, the files will be pulled from a Singapore CDN server instead of a US or UK server as it’s always been the case, thus reducing latency.
The Concept of CDN is NOT new and can enhance your Singapore local SEO efforts. If anything web owners have been using it to boost the performance of their websites since the 90s. The difference is that it was only available to the big wheels with a war chest of cash in venture capital.
The definition of CDN has however changed a great deal over the years. It has also revolutionised the digital landscape by making content delivery more efficient and cheaper, in addition to accommodating any website out there however small it is.
Besides latency (the amount of time it takes for your request to get a response from a web server), CDN can also help to improve your throughput. Let say for instance, some user somewhere streams for a video online, waiting for an extra 200ms for the video to start loading can be devastating in a way.
It’s much more crucial that the video streams at a much sustained speed of, say, 3 Mbit/s.
Now try comparing an old fileserver to a CDN – besides improving your latency by bringing your web content closer to the end user, CDNs will also be working to improve your throughput.
For file servers, there’s the expected risk of your site chocking up really quickly with multiple users streaming it simultaneously, and the only way to allay the effect is to have multiple file servers to handle the task at hand. But since file servers operate from one location, you’re bound to suffer the risk of network congestion during the transfer of files from web server to the end user.
CDN relieves you the burden of scaling down your web servers where files delivery is concerned. More of your data can be delivered to the end user and at a much faster rate than a file server, considering all your web content will be cached and globally distributed for easy accessibility and speedy conveyance.
Using CDN to Make Your WordPress Site Load Faster
Google nowadays considers load time as one of the biggest ranking factors for their result pages. To secure a favourable spot on the SERPs, it’s advisable that you keep your load time under 2 seconds.
This is NOT easy as there’s a lot to be done, including picking a best performing hosting service for your site. If your website is loading like terrapin, then odds are – every single one of your competitors with better load time will most likely displace you in the search engines.
There’s also a fair chance your site will completely disappear from the search engine.
Simple logic dictates that you choose the best hosting provider or, better, CDN. For WordPress, you’ll also need a good caching plugin and overall site optimization for speedy load time.
It’s a Wrap
Content delivery network boasts a barrage full of benefits. If your site is NOT on the network, then there’s a whole lot you’re missing.
This posts answers some of the obvious questions web owners have concerning CDN. If you’d like to learn more about content delivery network and how to go about it, feel free to take advantage of MediaOne’s free SEO consultation by contacting them today.