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What is a CDN and How does it Improve Web Page Speed

Updated: Sep 2, 2021


What is a cdn

What is a CDN and how does it improve web page speed? A Content Delivery Network, or CDN for short, is a system of servers that deliver content to end users. The geographical location of the user determines which server will serve them the content.


This means that if someone in London types your website URL into their browser, the request will be sent to one geographical region while if someone from New York requests your website through their browser, they will be served content from another geographical region. So what exactly are the benefits of this? CDNs can reduce page load times by up to 50% on average!


This is because a CDN decreases geographical load times by serving content from the geographical location of the end user. In other words, it's like having multiple servers around the world to serve your website so that people everywhere get served at their nearest geographical server.


This way there isn't too much congestion in one region and you can prevent page load times from being slow.


What is the Best CDN?


It really just depends on geographical location. Some CDNs are better than others for certain geographical regions but in general, the benefits of a CDN to improve page load times will be dependent on where your end users come from so it's best to research which is the best one for your website and region rather than trying to find an average answer because that answer won't be applicable to everyone.


An example of a geographical CDN is Akamai, which has servers in 120 countries around the world. This means that if you are an end user from Timbuktu and request content from a website with this particular CDN then your geographical location will determine where the server sending it back to you will be from.


Benefits of a CDN?


Here are some of the benefits of using an advanced CDN on your website:

  • Improved SEO results in hosted country and abroad

  • Faster geographical load times

  • Decreased congestion and server overload

  • Compressed HTML/CSS and Java (optional)

Why are Geographical CDN's Important?


Loading times

A geographical CDN will not only make it easier for your users to access the content on your website from their geographical location, but they can also reduce page load times by up to 50% (or more!) so this has a direct effect on user experience.


Not having too many servers in one geographical region and serving content locally is best because this will reduce geographical load times and page loading time.


This is especially important for regions that have a lot of users accessing the content on your website because not doing so can lead to slow performance, which in turn means more frustrated end-users who are less likely to revisit or recommend your site due to their experience being poor when they were using it.


How can I implement a CDN on my Website?


For the purpose of helping users get a good CDN on their website, we will use Cloudflare's CDN as an example on how to get it on your website:


To start off, you'll need to go onto Cloudflare's website and create an account.


To do this just click the 'Create a Free Account' button on their homepage. This will take you to another page where it asks for your email address and password before proceeding with creating an account.


After signing up for a free account, you'll be prompted to enter your domain name.


Once you have your account, add the URL of the website you want to use with Cloudflare's CDN to the 'Website' section and press 'Add Site'.


Once you add the site, Cloudflare will find your A records from your website's domain name provider. Make sure your A records match your existing records so your website points to the right source and it is advised that if you are skilled enough to adjust the records yourself that you edit the TTL to the lowest duration to help the propagation process which could take 48hours to complete.


The final step is to add the code that Cloudflare gave you at the bottom of your website's existing DNS nameservers. This is to tell the CDN where the website's content is located.


How do CDN's help the new Page Experience update from Google?


waiting for page to load

Google's page experience algorithm update is designed to rank pages that are faster because of geographical load times and page loading time. What this means for you as a webmaster or blogger, is if your website loads quickly in the geographical location of where your content comes from then Google will give it more ranking power when someone searches for something related to your site.


The geographical location will also be a factor when it comes to crawling your website as Google is more likely to visit the locations where they get content from faster because of how close their servers are.


So if you're looking for better page speed, then make sure that any CDN you use has servers in geographical regions near you.


Conclusion


A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers that are set up in different locations around the world. When you request content, it's pulled from whichever server happens to be closest to your location and delivered at an optimal speed for you.


CDNs can help improve page load times because they're able to serve content faster than traditional hosting solutions which usually have one or two data centers located relatively close by.


Contact us today if you want more information about how our CDN service could give your website a significant boost!



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