In the early 2000s, it was common for users to wait a long time for a website page to load. The Internet was slow and not advanced enough yet to run on faster speeds.
In fact, unless it was absolutely necessary to view a particular website, most people would tire of waiting and walk away from their computer monitors altogether.
Though Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) existed back in the 90s, they were not common enough for people to know how to use them or to know they existed.
CDNs were created to alleviate all the server traffic that makes the loading of website pages slow.
During the late 90s, there was an increase of users on the web. More people were buying their own desktop computers and teenagers couldn’t wait to log on to AOL Instant Messenger to talk with their friends.
All these factors started making the Internet work slow. Even now, despite the fact that people can enjoy Internet speeds surpassing 100Mbps, the need for CDNs is still prevalent in today’s digital age.
If you’re a business owner and you’re worried about potential customers not being able to view your web content because it’s slow to load, is it worth looking into getting a CDN for a little extra boost?
How much will this extra service cost?
Here’s all you need to know about CDNs to help you make the best decision for your business.
As previously mentioned, CDNs started popping up in the late 90s. Business websites were becoming a thing and business owners were using them more to promote their products. Needless to say, the loading time of a website became critical.
In simple terms, a CDN is a group of network servers distributed along different geographical locations to help ease Internet traffic. A CDN is helpful because it aids content distribution, which decreases latency issues when loading a website.
The location of a CDN is crucial to this entire process because it’s basically bringing the content closer to strategically placed Points of Presence (PoPs), accelerating loading times of webpages and being able to reduce bandwidth consumption.
Believe it or not, most of the websites that you probably frequent, like Netflix or Amazon, have a CDN in place to help facilitate browsing and streaming. Not only have CDNs grown in popularity, they’re also pretty cool.
No, they are not.
While CDNs can help deliver content, they cannot replace actual web hosting.
A CDN is there to improve the performance that’s already in place. They help deliver whatever information you are trying to convey through your website, therefore enhancing the experience of the user that’s on it.
Remember, CDNs help reduce the hosting bandwidth, which greatly helps reduce interruptions to the content and can also help with the security of the website. Think of a CDN as the Advil to your web host—it’s there to relieve all pain associated with it.
Now that you have a better understanding of what a CDN is, it’s time to understand what the benefits are of incorporating one into your life.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you’d like to use a CDN to improve website loading times. However, without the help of a CDN, instead of the user establishing a faster connection with the CDN, it will establish a connection to an IP address that’s using the local domain name system, or DNS.
If the DNS cannot resolve the IP address, then it has to pass to the authoritative DNS server where it’s hosted, resolve the IP address, and then connect the user’s browser to download the web content. All of this takes time, which is one factor that slows down the loading of a website.
Because the IP address has to go through so many channels in order to establish a connection with the DNS, it creates latency issues and adds delays whenever the origin is far from the user. The experience of a user on a website means everything to your business.
If the users cannot even browse or click around on the page, chances are that you’re losing customers and largely decreasing the traffic that passes through your website.
If you’ve made the choice to go with a CDN to enhance your website experience, there are plenty of providers to choose from.
Though choosing the best CDN service is a big decision, try not to get overwhelmed by how advanced the program may seem. There are plenty of user-friendly CDN services out there that can make your experience easy to set up.
Remember, the end goal of adding a CDN is to enhance customers’ experience on your website. The longer a customer stays on your website, the more likely they are to purchase your product or services. A CDN can enhance both your experience and theirs.