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Why CDNs Should be Staple for Web and Apps

Content Delivery Network

By Joshua Blackborne

The world is going mobile. Statista reports that mobiles account for more than half of the global online traffic including 48 percent of all web page views, 62 percent of all video plays, and 64 percent of all retail visits worldwide. It’s evident that smartphones and tablets are the people’s new choice for browsing the Internet.

Though it’s beneficial to the online retailers and service providers in terms of growing traffic, however, it brings various challenges as well. Among them, the biggest challenge is the need for superfast websites. Since mobile networks are slow and unreliable, mobile users may experience slow page-loading times, which shackles their experience. Then, if the user isn’t happy, he may just close the web page, switch to a competitor, or skip buying the product.

In either case, it’s a big loss for you as an online retailer or a service provider. That’s why Content Delivery Networks are important — they help speed up your web apps or websites. However, that’s not all, there are many more reasons for using CDNs. But first, let’s get to know the fundamentals of Content Delivery Network (CDN).

What is Content Delivery Network?

A CDN refers to the geographically distributed platforms of servers (usually data centers) that work together to provide fast content delivery. The content usually includes HTML pages, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files, images and videos, documents, and more.

Since its advent in the late ’90s, the popularity of CDNs has ever grown, thanks to the ever-growing size of websites and shrinking users’ patience levels. Even if you don’t know, this web page and the majority of web content is served using CDNs. For example, the videos you view on YouTube or the shows you watch on Netflix — all are quickly served to you via Content Delivery Networks.

How does it help speed up your website? Let’s suppose your website is hosted in London, England, and your user is located in Jakarta, Indonesia; then the content has to travel all throughout London to Jakarta. But if you opt for a CDN, and its servers are located in Singapore, then the content only requires to travel from Singapore to Jakarta, thus the website is loaded a lot faster than earlier.

3 Reasons to Use CDN for a Website

Since now you know about the fundamentals of Content Delivery Networks, let’s learn the key benefits of or the reasons for delivering content via CDNs.

1. Boost the Page-load Speed

Since we looked at mobile page speeds last year, the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page has dropped by seven seconds. The bad news is that it still takes about 15 seconds, according to our new analysis. That’s far too slow when you consider that 53 percent of mobile site visits leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load. Our data shows that while more than half of overall web traffic comes from mobile, mobile conversion rates are lower than desktop. In short, speed equals revenue,” according to a post by Think with Google.

As it’s told, mobile page speeds are slow and 53 percent of site visitors leave a page if it loads slowly, i.e., 53 percent of site visitors usually leave a loading page. So, you must opt for CDNs to improve the page-load speeds, which lead to faster performance and lower latency, which further helps in pledging better user experience.

2. Improve the Website SEO

Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs. Like us, our users place a lot of value in speed — that’s why we’ve decided to take site speed into account in our search rankings,” according to Google Webmaster Central Blog. That means if your website is not fast enough, it loses its ranking in the search engine result pages on Google Search.

So, what’s the solution? Content Delivery Network is the answer to solving the speed problem of any website. As it’s already told above, CDNs help to speed up content delivery. And when a website is fast, Google Search ranks it higher on its search engine result pages. It’s not just Google, but many major search engines use page-loading time in their formulas for ranking websites.

In short, if your website has faster page-load times, it helps in boosting Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Also, if you opt for CDNs, your website becomes fast, meaning your images load fast as well. That means Google will crawl your site and its images frequently, letting them get indexed faster by Google.

3. Secure the Infrastructure

Since the Content Delivery Networks live at the front of your website, i.e., most of your web traffic passes through CDNs. So, if the CDN supports any security features, your website is double secure against online threats. For example, Imperva’s CDs is integrated with a DDoS attack and failover features — one of the worst attacks for any website, especially when such attacks or threats are on the rise.

What are the reasons? First of all, CDNs bear the most load of your website, so they help to keep your website up and running — even if your primary web host is down or failing to attend to the heavy load (i.e., a large number of incoming web requests). Then, if the origin web host is directly attacked, CDNs still keep your website up and running, thanks to the replication of website data.

That’s not all; “In 2016, about 29 percent of website traffic came from bad bots. We’re not going to delve much into what bad bots are, but suffice to say, they’re not doing your website any good. The typical bad bots are either impersonators, sites which mimic legitimate tools to try and attack your website, or straight up malicious hacking tools. Most CDNs have built-in mechanisms to implicitly block bad bots, which will not only reduce the load on your server but also prevent many of attacks from happening in the first place,” according to a post by WPMU DEV.

That’s all about Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) and their primary benefits for any web app or website — traditional or modern.

Disclaimer: CISO MAG did not evaluate the advertised/mentioned product, service, or company, nor does it endorse any of the claims made by the advertisement/writer. The facts, opinions, and language in the article do not reflect the views of CISO MAG and CISO MAG does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.