In the opinion of your website visitors, what’s the most important factor capable of influencing their decision to trust your site? Is it the quality of content offered? How about the unique design elements and usability?
While the aforementioned, and many more, are important components of a website, they all fall second to performance. In fact, you could offer the best website for your niche, but if it underperforms, then you’ll never reach the pinnacle of success. Because of this, website owners have spent countless hours refining their site infrastructure, optimizing on-page elements and begging the internet gods for enhanced performance.
If you wish to boost web performance, then you must not only refine your website infrastructure, but also the server it’s built upon. As millions of have already experienced, if your server is underperforming, then there’s very little you can do to take your site into overdrive.
Thankfully, there’s a solution that doesn’t require removing your site from one host and frantically searching for another. The solution to your performance problems rests within three letters: CDN.
What is a Content Delivery Network?
Without going into too much detail, a Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is a collection of multiple servers attached to the same network. These servers are spread out over a broad geographic region.
Instead of using a single server to respond to end-user access requests, when your site utilizes a CDN network, every server within its network is available to respond to incoming traffic. By leveraging the powerful resource allocation of multiple servers, your site experiences steady performance, regardless of end-user location or incoming traffic amount.
How CDN’s Boost Web Performance
Let’s imagine that an end-user lives in California, but your web server is located in New York. When you use a traditional hosting service, data must travel across the United States. While advancements in data transfer speeds and internet connections have come quite far, data can still only move so fast.
For this end-user, they must wait for data, which generally reduces performance and response rates. Now, if your site uses the power of a CDN, copies of your site are stored in each server within the network.
When the California end-user accesses your site, the CDN redirects their browser to the closest server, which could be within the same state. Rather than wait for data to travel coast-to-coast, the end-user browser connects with the closest server, which transmits the mirrored site files for enhanced response and performance.
There are many other reasons why a CDN boosts performance, but among the most noteworthy is its ability to support sudden spikes in traffic. Unless you have a dedicated server, or another robust hosting plan, when your site experiences a rush of traffic, its performance dwindles due to resource bottlenecks.
Since a CDN stores copies of your site across its network of servers, and responds to requests based upon closeness, the likelihood of performance issues due to traffic is essentially nonexistent.