What is CDN (Content Delivery Network)

CDN, an abbreviation of Content Delivery Network, is a need of almost every websites these days. CDN does a simple task, it delivers the content to the users world wide, via their nearest data center.

What is a CDN

By definition, A content delivery network or CDN is a setup of servers that are distributed all over the globe and deliver websites content to the user based on their geographic locations.

However, these days, probably due to the age of competition, various cdn are not only getting to competitive pricing but also adding various addon services along with their content delivery network facility.

Benefits of Content Delivery Network (CDN)

what is cdn

There is no second opinion about it. If you can get hands on a CDN, go for it! There are numerous benefits of using a CDN for any type of your website. CDN is specially useful for WordPress blogs too!

Lets see some of the benefits and services provided mostly by popular Content Delivery Networks these days.

CDN reduces Server Load time

As your visitors get almost all static files from the content delivery network, the load to the server is considerably low! thus reducing your server cost too!

Not only this, the server load time reduction will improve your SEO and ranking in google specially. Even if search engines aren’t important, faster loading sites are preferred by users!

Please note, not all cdn are equally fast. Some might seem cheaper but their speeds might be an issue, as the purpose of cdn isn’t speed, it’s scalability originally.

CDN prevents threats

As the CDN providers deal and monitor so many websites hosted via their content delivery networks, the data they have for malicious activities and known threat is huge. Good CDN providers constantly use that data to prevents threats to the users and improve their traffic quality. There is no reason why not to employ the prevention from known threats! In fact this reduces further unnecessary load and hack attempts on your server too!

Hotlink prevention via CDN

Well there are various ways to prevent hotlinking, directly via server by using htaccess for example, however this still happens once the request has reached your servr.

By preventing hotlink through the CDN, you’re preventing it before the request even reaches your server! again, less load on server due to hotlinks, stealing your bandwidth and server load!

Minify Service by CDN

Google counts in the page size a lot for page speed. Several CDN will also provide the functionality to directly minify the source code as it passes through their network.

What happens is, that the first time your data goes through their database, the minified copy is saved, thus all upcoming users gets the minified version of your site immediately.

Make sure you check the site front end and other functions if you turn on this feature for your CDN (if they provide it too!) as minify may break certain sites. The minify can be of html, css or javascript, or all!

Extra services by CDN

Various other services are provided by a lot of CDN! including auto modifying your code to lazy load / async load javascript and thus again improving your site ranking and load speed!

Content delivery networks used by popular sites

CDN used by Facebook

Facebook is known to use cdn by Akamai.

Free CDN providers

Cloudflare and Amazon provide free cdn services.

Cloudflare cdn is virtually free, until you opt for paid package, however amazon cloudfront is free for new customers until a certain time limit.

Their names are quite confusing though!

Setting up CDN

Now here comes the real deal. It’s not just that you pick a CDN and everything is streamlined! You have to configure each CDN according to your site! Incorrectly setting up the CDN will not only result in worse load times, but also caching pages and data which you might not want to be cached. Not to mention, incorrectly setup cdn on WordPress based site might result in unexpected response from wp-admin for logged in users too!

Setting Up CDN Service

Let me know if you want my services to set up CDN for you!

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