What is a CDN and Why Do I Need It?

By February 25, 2017 July 15th, 2019 Web Hosting

Quick Rundown: What is a CDN

A Content Delivery Network (CDN) refers to an increasingly popular method of hosting that contrasts with traditional web hosting in that, instead of referring your web traffic to one server, a CDN is a network of multiple servers across the globe that redirects each visitor to a server nearest to their geographic location.

Why Do I Need It?

With the advancements of the interwebz, traditional web hosting has become incapable of meeting website and visitor demands. When visitors only have access to a single server, overload from high volume traffic can cause pages to load slower, and in some cases, even crash. As your website develops, so must your methods of hosting to ensure that users visiting your site can get the best experience.

Using a CDN has become more appealing to many because, with its network of multiple servers, all the traffic of users visiting your website won’t be going to one single server vulnerable to overload. Even without high volume traffic, hosting from a single server can mean longer wait times for visitors that do not live within close proximity to that server. Therefore, even for sites that are not receiving a large number of visitors, traditional web hosting with a single server just isn’t cutting it these days in providing efficient speed and performance.

CDN definition

Main Benefits of a CDN

If you are reading this and still wondering, ‘so what?’ here is a rundown of some of the most important benefits of a CDN that have been identified:

  • Speed – Whether your traffic is a little slow right now or high volume, using a CDN provides more efficiency in speed when it comes to loading and download times.
  • Improvement in SEO – Google prefers sites that have faster loading times and by using a network of servers rather than one based in a single location, your site will be able to reach higher rankings in search engines.
  • Fewer Site Crashes – With multiple servers, your site is less likely to crash than if you are hosting from a single server.
  • Better Performance – When your content is being cached all over the world from multiple servers, the shorter distances from visitor to server allow for reduced latency as well as minimized packet loss.

While single-server hosting functioned efficiently for quite some time, compared to the improved speed, SEO, and performance capabilities offered through the use of a CDN, it is now losing its battle. To future-proof your website, adding a CDN to your primary hosting plan is almost a must these days.

Website Hosts 101: How to find the top web hosts!

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