Why the Best Addition to Your Hosting Is a CDN
Because there tends to be some confusion on the subject, let’s get this clear right off the bat — reliable and affordable Hosting is just as important as ever. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) doesn’t replace your hosting provider, but it does take your website to the next level, delivering customer experience excellence and advanced security.
Put another way, CDNs are a modern enhancement to meet modern needs. This article explains the whys and hows.
How a CDN Enhances Hosting
Your main hosting, which stores your entire website, is located at a single server location. If someone wants to watch a large file like a video on your site, their mobile or desktop browser sends a request to your hosting server for the content. If that person happens to be on the other side of the world, or if there’s a large volume of people trying to access your video at the same time, it can cause a bottleneck slowdown.
The resulting media access delay (called latency) may only be an extra 5 seconds, but modern users are extremely impatient. Just think how annoyed you get if there’s a delay when you’re watching a movie, trying to load a web page, or listening to a podcast. Google research has shown that 53% of people will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. That’s a huge loss in potential business revenue.
With video, animation, and other large media files being increasingly popular these days, you start to see that traditional hosting struggles to keep up with the super-fast content delivery that a contemporary global audience expects. Here are a few statistics to highlight what we mean by ‘modern enhancement to meet modern needs’:
- The average web page size jumped from 702 kB in 2010 to 2,409 kB in 2016. That’s a huge 248% increase in data, and the figure must be a lot higher in 2020. Traditional hosting simply can’t cope with today’s global data demand for data-rich media, delivered at 3-second speeds.
- By 2021, global IP networks will handle a million minutes (17,000 hours) of video content every second.
- As many as 92% of people who watch mobile video share it with others.
- The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
- Adding video to a landing page can increase your conversions by 80% or more.
Now for the Ta Da… This is where CDNs step in to fill the gap. They’re made up of numerous ‘edge servers’ spread across the world, which store (cache) parts of your website. The beauty is you can even choose and change which parts they store.
Located at strategic Points of Presence (PoP) where there are notable amounts of traffic (people accessing websites from their browsers), the edge servers are able to deliver static content to people closest to their location, getting rid of latency delays.
This is why it’s not an understatement to say that a CDN network literally adds rocket fuel to your traditional hosting. And if you have shared hosting, like most SMEs, it’s even more important to have this enhancement, because your hosting server carries the traffic loads of other websites too.
Benefits of a Content Delivery Network
CDNs are not just about juicing up your website speeds. There are a number of important reasons why modern businesses find them extremely valuable:
Enhance website performance
A quality CDN will also give your business advanced performance, such as HTTP2, which compresses data into an efficient binary form. You’ll also get the ability to easily control your website content, like Instant Purge (easily clear what the edge servers store to make fast updates) and Intelligent Cache (the most suitable data files to meet traffic demand are stored automatically).
Build brand loyalty
Happy customers mean returning customers. It’s hard enough these days to stand out from the online noise in a global digital playing field. Businesses, especially smaller ones with less marketing budget than the Big Guys, need every edge they can get to keep the customers they attract. So you certainly don’t want people clicking away because your website, video, or audience-building podcast is stalling.
Lower hosting costs
You’re spreading out the traffic load with a CDN, meaning website content access requests are not all going to your original hosting server anymore. The wider spread of cached media files helps to reduce the load on your original server when it comes to many users opening your website. A quality CDN will also automatically reduce the file sizes of your everyday site content, such as HTML and text, which further lowers your hosting bandwidth. So your website can handle a higher visitor volume. The result is you’ll need a smaller hosting plan, putting off an upgrade.
Stamp out modern cyber threats
Say good riddance to DDoS threats, where criminals slow or crash your website with a flood of fake traffic. With Supersonic CDN, you get this security boost even with the free version. All paid plans add advanced Web Application Firewall protection, which protects your site against all the biggest modern threats that normal security doesn’t capture, like SQL injections. Learn more: CDN WAF Explained: Newbies & Advanced Users.
Improve website ranking
Google is all about great customer experience, so they rank fast websites higher than slower ones. Their Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, John Mueller, recommends load speed be no more than two to three seconds. So you can give your website an automatic SEO boost with a CDN.
Get better business intelligence
A quality CDN gives you a more advanced, real-time understanding of your site’s traffic and customer behavior, all clearly visible from a simple, straightforward dashboard. This transparency is the result of the edge servers spread globally, in contrast to when you just have one hosting server. Effectively you have more eyes and ears on the ground, telling you what’s going on with your website interactions. And as every business owner knows, more clarity brings better growth decisions.
Added to boosting your website content speed, a CDN gives online businesses impressively high Return on Investment:
- Build loyal customers, because you can give them appealing media like videos and podcasts without delays.
- Better search rankings, because Google loves what customers love.
- Reduced hosting costs, because your bandwidth needs are spread out.
- Increased cybersecurity, preventing DDoS attacks. And if you have a paid plan, you get an advanced Web Application Firewall (WAF) for more in-depth protection.
- Stronger business intelligence around your website traffic, so you can make better growth decisions.
- More control over your website’s performance, with a range of features like automatic CDN caching to suit your unique traffic.
Supersonic CDN, now available for the first time to our Shared Hosting customers, has an additional benefit to those explained in this article.
Our paid plans give you a choice of 250, 500, or 1000 GB traffic allowance per month, for full transparency on what you’re paying. And you’re never tied into a lengthy contract. Upgrade or downgrade at any time. We also offer a Free Plan, so you can give it a try before you buy.
Most CDNs are currently geared to large organizations that negotiate an affordable, tailored contract rate based on high traffic volumes. And most CDN providers charge a set price per GB used, which is not helpful to startups and smaller businesses who need to calculate strict budgets.
One last thing to mention. Supersonic CDN is currently rolling out exclusively to Namecheap customers, as a co-creation beta version. This means we’re very keen to hear from you about your experience, so we can continue to streamline the service. Whether you try out the free or paid version of Supersonic CDN, please tell us what you think (choose CDN Support).