- BY ERIC KARKOVACK
The Types of Websites That Can Benefit From a CDN
A lot of time and effort goes into creating a killer website. But we can take all of those blood, sweat and tears and narrow them down into a few key components.
In general, websites need three things to flourish:
1. A User-Friendly Design
2. Great Content
3. High Performance
Each one of these items is equally important. If you’re missing just one, it can really hold you back. Funny enough, perhaps the easiest of the trio to attain is that lightning-fast performance. While most basic web hosts can’t necessarily deliver top speeds, there is a service that can: a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
If you’re unfamiliar with what a CDN does, it essentially takes your site’s content and distributes it among a network of high-speed servers. When a user visits your website, the CDN serves content from the server nearest to the user’s location.
This results in faster load times and lower latency. It can take a lot of pressure off of your average web hosting account and provide a much better UX. Beyond that, it can also be super cost-effective.
That being said, there are certain types of websites that can benefit from using a CDN more than others. Let’s have a look at a few website categories that are a perfect fit.
Websites that contain a lot of photos, videos or audio clips can really put a load on a web server. When it comes to photos, each one that loads on a given page results in a server request. More requests mean more work for the server. Put enough of those requests together and things can slow to a crawl.
Video and audio are more often on-demand services that fully load in once a user has interacted with a media player. But these files can be huge. Consistently loading in files for a popular video or podcast is also a major drain on server resources.
How a CDN Helps: Because your content is distributed on a wide network of strategically placed servers, those multiple requests are geographically closer to the user. This cuts down on the time it takes for a request to be served up in the form of content.
Plus, your web host doesn’t have to grind out those giant media files. The CDN’s powerful setup handles all that dirty work in short order.
Sites Prone to Traffic Spikes
One of the great joys of publishing content on the web is when something you’ve created really catches on. But if your server can’t handle the traffic, it also becomes a missed opportunity. If hordes of anxious visitors can’t get to your site, they’re going to move on to the next big thing.
The same thing goes for ecommerce sites. Around the holidays, more people are looking to shop online. If your site is slower than a snail stuck in glue – you’re going to lose crucial sales. That one bad user experience can even have long-term repercussions for your business.
How a CDN Helps: A CDN has the added benefit of scalability. So when you get hit with loads of new traffic, the network can handle it. That’s important for both the expected holiday rush and the unexpected viral sensation.
Far-Flung Online Communities
Building an online community through shared interests like hobbies or industries can be a very rewarding experience. It provides an opportunity for people to connect with other like-minded individuals regardless of their location.
But sites that enable communication through forums or chat can wreak havoc on a shared hosting account. Plus, the fact that members are spread out across the globe can result in a ton of latency for those who aren’t near your server. That leads to an underperforming site that can jeopardize your ability to keep members.
How a CDN Helps: Off-loading content to a CDN takes a load off your server, which helps to speed up communication between members. And since content can be served from different geographic zones, users can benefit from lower latency no matter where they live.
Third-Party Resource Sites
A resource site is one where that serves up content that is used by other websites. Items like ads, videos, forms and chat services can be used in any number of places. The great thing is that just about every site utilizes resources from a third party somewhere along the line.
For example, if you’ve ever embedded a YouTube video or served up an ad from a network – you’ve used a resource service.
Of course, the more popular your service becomes, the more weight that is put on your server. Simultaneously serving content to other websites is serious business. It’s also a major undertaking – even for a dedicated server.
How a CDN Helps: When you’re serving more than just your own website, uptime and reliability is absolutely critical. Since a CDN is redundant across multiple servers, you’ll be better protected against outages. Even if a single server goes down, the rest of the network can pick up the slack.
A CDN Offers Reliability, Scalability and Affordability
Integrating a CDN into a website solves one of the most vexing problems most site owners face: Building a robust infrastructure on a budget. Not everyone can afford their own datacenter. But thankfully, a CDN offers us an affordable way to take advantage of the type of global, high-speed infrastructure a website needs to be successful.
If you’re interested in learning more about what a CDN can do for your website, check out KeyCDN. They offer a blazing-fast worldwide network that has been built to handle the demands of the modern web. Plus, they offer an affordable pay-as-you-go pricing plan that means you’re only paying for the data you use.
Look to KeyCDN to provide simple, fast and reliable content delivery.