CDN in short stands for Content Delivery Network. As the name suggests, it’s a technique to deliver content via a network. A network is the combination of two or more interconnected components.
In today’s era of the World Wide Web, a CDN refers to a system of interconnected cache servers that store structural components of a website. It is done in order to serve users with high availability and high performance.
Confused? Don’t worry; the purpose of this guide is to provide a clear image of what a CDN is, how important it is when we talk about CDN in WordPress, and to point you towards some FREE CDN providers to get you started.
How does a CDN Work?
Let’s take an example. We’ve setup a server using a well known WordPress Hosting provider and the server is located in New York. Whenever someone visits our website, a request is sent to the server which responds accordingly. Suppose, a visitor from Australia visits the website. How long do you think it will take to send a request to the server and getting a reply back? It will take considerable amount of time to respond.
Is CDN beneficial for WordPress?
In my opinion yes of course. Below are a few reasons to integrate a CDN with your WordPress website.
Please take note that, a CDN is an additional way to boost your websites performance. A CDN not only speeds up your website, it can become a dot point optimisation strategy for critical websites that observe a large network traffic on a daily basis. A CDN speeds up your websites performance by providing your files from nearby nodes, however your website still entirely depends on your server configuration.
Most of your websites content is served directly by a CDN. Thus, visitors are less likely to reach the server every time. In this regard, your server will be less busy. If there is a spike in your websites traffic, most of the content will already be served by the CDN, this technique dramatically reduces load on servers enabling them to serve more users at a similar instance.
Improves User Experience
Improving user experience is a common practice. Let’s assume that we visit a website and its taking quite a long time to load. We usually just close the website and never try to visit it again. This results in leaving a bad impression on us for the website which is the most generic reason of losing visitors on a website. A CDN, however, curtails down your worries reducing lost visitors, which decreases your bounce rate to a considerable extent.
Improvements in SEO
It’s clearly stated by Google that faster sites will be ranked higher in search engine results. Google is trying to make the web a better place based on user experience. If your website is taking a long time to load, Google will avoid ranking it higher in search results as it can destroy user’s readability.
Because, Speed matters!
Cheaper & Faster
After reading the above benefits of using a CDN with WordPress, you might be worried about cost, wondering whether you have to buy an entire hardware or so. Don’t worry! no additional hardware is required for integrating a CDN with your WordPress website. One can find a number of CDN providers across the Internet which are absolutely FREE. If you really find the service useful, you can further upgrade it to it’s premium version.
Since, you’ve integrated a CDN and distributed your traffic between a CDN and your server, it will definitely help you save money from upgrading your hosting plan, typically CPU and RAM.
Most Popular CDN Providers
There is a huge list of Content Delivery Network Providers. It’s hard to filter among them. But, after some efforts we have compiled the top 3 FREE CDN providers for our readers.
Choosing a CDN
You might be worried about which CDN is best for you. I would suggest to check all the features and data centres they offer. Like, if your targeted audience is from the UK, you might need to go with a CDN provider that has more data centres within the UK.
Once again, just using a CDN doesn’t completely speed up your websites performance. It is a technique to distribute your static content among different parts of the World.
If you’ve successfully setup a CDN and haven’t observed any improvement in speed and performance, then you might want to take a step back and look for an optimised WordPress hosting platform. Once you have a good host, you can always make use of caching plugins. Make sure you also have optimised your server and application by using recommended plugins for WordPress.
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