A Content Delivery Network (otherwise called Content Distribution Network) stores your website’s assets (like images and video) in multiple servers across the world. The advantages are:
Content Delivery Networks are becoming a modern website necessity, for these four main reasons:
In a sentence: CDNs speed up access to your website content and can also bring in-depth Internet protection.
Firstly, they cache (store) your site’s multimedia assets, like video and audio, in multiple additional servers around the world. When someone accesses your website content through their browser, the closest server delivers the requested content to them. That’s how CDNs speed things up.
Secondly, because your website content is spread out instead of only stored in one place, you’re protected against DDoS attacks (where criminals flood your central server with fake traffic to slow or crash your site). CDNs with a Web Application Firewall also analyze traffic at a deeper level than traditional firewalls, giving you better protection against modern cyber threats.
CDNs also give you greater control of your website traffic. For example, you can choose to store more of your content in locations where it’s in high demand, while minimizing content served to low demand areas.
As the CDN meaning suggests, it supercharges your traditional hosting by making sure your website multimedia assets reach the people accessing them without delay. It does this using multiple ‘edge servers’, located at Points of Presence (PoP) around the world. These edge servers cache (store) parts of your website’s content, so they can be delivered closest to your audience’s location.
Think of it like this: you have a large superstore (your central hosting provider), but many customers live far away from it. So you open lots of express stores (CDN edge servers), which give locals fast and easy access to what they need.
Delivering content by closest geolocation gets rid of latency. This is where you get packet loss, or small gaps missing in the content during transit. That’s what causes streaming content to stall, which really frustrates people.
And because your website content is spread out instead of only stored in one place, it prevents DDoS attacks — where criminals flood your central server with fake traffic to slow or crash your site.
Quality CDNs also have the added feature of a Web Application Firewall. This monitors and filters traffic data exchange at a deeper level than traditional firewalls, protecting your website against modern Internet threats that would otherwise go unnoticed.
As explained in the question above.
A CDN network is made up of edge servers, located at multiple points of presence (PoP). These edge servers are strategically placed to deliver cached (stored) versions of content from the origin server (your main hosting provider).
Because the data has a shorter distance to travel, the CDN server reduces latency (load time delay).
A Point of Presence (PoP) is the geographical location of a CDN edge server, which contains cached (stored) content from your website. Quality CDNs have numerous POP edge servers, distributed effectively around the world to serve a global audience.
If the success of your business, like most these days, depends on quality content and a global audience, a CDN is basically a necessity for the online experience that modern customers expect.
Research by Google shows that 53% of your website visitors are likely to click away if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load. That’s a huge loss in sales conversions for any business.
If your website is purely a text brochure and mostly used by people in the same country that you host your website in, you could be ok without a CDN. Just be sure that you don’t have large images on your site that slow down load time. Google’s research also reveals that one out of two people expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds.
It’s important to clarify that a CDN provider is not the same thing as your website hosting provider. Most of the time they are two different services from separate companies, which is a good thing, so you don’t get tied into compromising on one service to keep the other.
Think of a CDN provider as an added complimentary service that supercharges your main hosting, to meet the needs of today’s digital world where we consume vast amounts of content.
It’s important to note that unless you have a dedicated development team and a high traffic website delivering large amounts (GB) of content per second, the time, complexity and cost to build your own CDN would not be justified.
If you’re a large company that fits the above criteria, these are the steps involved in building your own private or hybrid CDN:
Each CDN provider and website platform will have different instructions. But these are the three main steps:
With Supersonic CDN, we keep things as simple as possible. All the important configurations come pre-set, so you only need to check a few details for your CDN to be up and running.
These are the three main factors to consider when choosing a CDN provider:
As an example, Supersonic CDN ticks all these boxes: global network cover (even in Asia and South America); transparent pricing per month based on a maximum amount (you can downgrade or upgrade at any time); an easy Dashboard with everything you need pre-set (but flexibility to make changes to suit your individual needs); and 24/7 Live Chat.
It varies depending on the provider. Most give you a free trial period, without the advanced features. Many CDNs are priced using tailored contracts, so it’s hard to know what you’ll end up paying until you actually sign up. There are also a large number of CDN providers that charge per GB, which also makes it hard to know the cost, because each month can bring vastly different traffic volume.
Our price is a set amount , with a choice of 250GB, 500GB or 1,000 GB per month.
Yes, free CDN options are available. The downside is they tend to come with only the basic features. For example they don’t include a Web Application Firewall for more in-depth protection against modern cyber threats.
Sometimes you’re offered a CDN free in return for advertising the provider on your website. There are also free open-source versions where you can manipulate the code yourself, if you have developer skills.
The paid version of a quality CDN gives you the entire package of convenience: super fast speeds, in-depth cyber security, at-a-glance traffic insights, easy configuration, and great customer support.
Most CDNs can be configured for WordPress. Be aware that most online reviews telling you what the best CDN is are affiliates, who get paid for their recommendations. We recommend you choose a quality CDN that ticks all the boxes, as described in the question on this page: How do I choose a CDN?
These are the steps you’ll follow:
If you do a search online, there will be lots of review sites claiming to tell you what the best CDN is. But they’re affiliate marketers who get paid for their recommendations, so we suggest you do your own research and choose a quality CDN: How do I choose a CDN?
While a number of CDN providers like to shout about their network being the fastest according to tests they run, the fact is that CDN speed depends on a number of factors:
Once you’ve integrated your website with your chosen CDN, you can check if it’s working using the following steps:
If you’re not knowledgeable about the tech side of things and don’t have an IT team, you’ll want to choose a CDN supplier that has 24/7 Support, so you can always have peace of mind if you need them to check for you.