what it is and how to use it on your website – WAU
When a user clicks on the address to request content, CDN takes action: it finds a server geographically closest to display the required data. With a much higher transfer rate, the usability of the website is attested. By recognizing that the page is more friendly, the search engine improves its ranking.
The speed of a website interferes with the traffic optimization process and is closely linked to the quality and physical location of the server. The more geographically distant the server is, the more this condition is compromised.
CDN is a feature that guarantees this performance. The usability of a page is much greater when its content loads quickly: it is this agility that improves conversion rates, inhibits bounce rates and allows a website to have more relevance in the ranking of search engines, making your Digital Marketing strategy more effective.
Despite its great functionality for the performance of web pages, the CDN is still unknown to the vast majority of people. Others are aware of its importance, but do not know what to do to enjoy its benefits.
By understanding the basics of a CDN, and learning how to add it to your WordPress site, you ensures better performance and relevance your brand on the web.
In this article, we will introduce:
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What does a CDN mean?
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network, whose translation is Content Distribution Network. Although a CDN is not a host or replaces the need for web hosting, the feature allows you to cache the content to improve the performance of the site.
Hosting platforms invest in CDNs because they can reduce hosting bandwidth, which avoids service interruptions, improves the user experience and adds an extra layer of security on the web.
There are three types of CDNs:
- content service protocols: networks hosted, managed and designed to serve the content of a website;
- point to point (P2P): networks configured between personal computers;
- private networks: work as a cluster of servers.
How does a CDN work?
Each of the servers that make up the network stores replicas of the content of the sites in memory (cache). It works as a data sharing, and copies are kept for eventual request.
When a user clicks on the address to request that content, the CDN finds the nearest physical server and displays the requested data at a much higher throughput, that is, with a lower latency. In addition, as content is loaded from multiple servers, the site becomes more resilient to traffic spikes and resistant to failures, vulnerabilities and threats.
This is because some features, such as load balancing, distribute network traffic evenly across multiple servers and facilitate the scaling of fast pulses. In addition, the intelligent failover provides uninterrupted service even if one or more CDN servers are offline, mainly due to hardware malfunction.
In summary, CDN is a group of hosting servers based around the world, which share page data to speed up the loading time of the requested content. In the event that an entire data center is experiencing technical problems, routing the CDN transfers traffic to another available data center, ensuring that no users lose access to the site.
Why use a CDN on your website?
Here are some reasons why CDN is so important for the growth of your business due to the increase in website traffic.
Increase site speed
We have already covered how speed can be a differentiator on your site. In addition to improving the user experience, it allows search engines to recognize the usability of the page and improve its ranking.
Maintain effective SEO strategies
Do you know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is? Google and other search engines value efficient sites. Thus, speed is a determining factor for the page’s ranking in search engines. The faster the site, the more it will appear. Visibility means more leads and, consequently, more sales.
In addition, a quick website increases the user’s time on the page. He feels more comfortable browsing because he knows that the experience at that address will be superior.
CDN protects your site against spikes in traffic that can cause it to stop responding. Thus, end users are not affected, even with a greater demand for access.
A CDN can dramatically reduce monthly infrastructure costs, as it minimizes bandwidth and server costs (less load on source servers).
Although some CDN providers charge monthly, which allows greater predictability of expenses, someCMS (Content Management Systems), such as WordPress, make this feature feasible without charging extra for it.
Enable greater security
Any website is subject to DDoS attacks or other threats. With a CDN, the response time is shorter, which inhibits loopholes and vulnerabilities affecting network security.
In addition, most CDNs allow you to configure full SSL (Secure Sockets Layer), so that you can encrypt traffic between CDN and the end user, as well as traffic between CDN and your origin servers, using custom certificates or provided by the CDN itself.
How to use a CDN?
Do you know how to create a website or blog, but don’t know how to use a CDN? You need to implement a CDN right at the beginning of the creation of your website or landing page, so that it is easier to plan, choose a provider and implement it according to the needs of your business.
The first thing you must do is choose from the wide variety of options. For that, it is necessary to consider your demand and available resources for investment.
For sites with a high volume of requests, it is recommended to choose a larger CDN provider. There are many solutions on the market, such as Google CDN and Amazon CloudFront. Medium to small sites, with low demand for scalability, can opt for hosting services that offer CDN as part of their service.
If you have chosen a hosting company that offers a CDN as an integrated part of its services, such as WordPress, just update your account settings to ensure that it is enabled for your website.
Now, if your site has a lot of traffic, and you prefer to opt for outsourcing the CDN service, you will need to choose between several providers available on the market: Cloudflare, MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront, Amazon S3 and CoralCDN, for example.
Installing a CDN can be a relatively easy process. In most situations, you can follow the simplest settings and customize the features to meet specific needs. Before you start adding a CDN to your site, remember that you will need administrator access on the WordPress dashboard. Then, just use plugins, such as the WP Super Cache Plugin.
This plugin speeds up the site, as it provides cached static HTML files whenever possible. This reduces stress on the server to render full WordPress pages on all requests. It also integrates with any CDN, as it requires files directly from the website, instead of the domain. See the step by step:
- go to settings> WP Super Cache in the WordPress panel;
- on the CDN tab, check the box “activate CDN support”;
- paste the URL provided by the chosen CDN in the text entry space;
- save Changes.
There are other plugins, such as W3 Total Cache Plugin, used as a more advanced option, as it offers more precise control over cache and CDN settings and, although it offers similar benefits to WP Super Cache, there are more options for adjusting the solution.
But its qualification is a little more complex, so it is recommended to consult the settings in more depth. After choosing the right plugin for your demand, install it and activate it on your WordPress site. You can then connect the dots between the platform and your new CDN.
A CDN can be the fastest and most effective solution for improving the scalability and availability of your website. By caching data through an optimized and geographically distributed server network, you are able to significantly reduce latency times and speed up the loading of your page to improve the experience of your end users.
With plugins and support platforms like WordPress, you can still take advantage of additional threat mitigation features such as DDoS, allow encrypted communication between the website and the browser through full SSL, monitor users and compress assets.
CDN is an essential tool to optimize the use of sites with higher traffic volume and to guarantee the visibility of the brand through strategic ranking in search engines.
See how to take advantage of these CDN benefits associated with your WordPress account through our platform, WAU Stage!