The first step just after installing a WordPress blog or website is to make it easy to navigate and fast to load. But, sometimes newbies want to know when exactly they should use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for the reason that everybody is talking about them, and even say that every website should use the CDN.
But, what’s the truth? And, what if you can’t any of the CDN services? This is our topic today. Let’s understand these points and make them clear without being lost between CDNs.
When should using a Content Delivery Network?
First of all, the CDN is a good method and technic that create a cache copy from your blog. Most of these files are CSS, Java Scripts and images. These files are what makes a website loading slowly if you never optimized them. The idea here is more than creating a cache, but the main goal for every CDN company is to reduce the loading time that your website takes to appear fully in the user’s browser.
Read also: How to optimize images in WordPress.
When a user type your URL in his browser, he will get the nearest location where you have a copy of your website. This seems to reduce some milliseconds only. But believe it or not, those milliseconds will affect your website traffic if you don’t have them. Not all users have a patience of waiting for a website that loads slowly when there is a huge traffic to the server.
You might think about the benefits of using a CDN on the blog. Well, there are thousands of people who talk all the day about their experience with their best content delivery network, right? Now forget what they’re saying and test their websites to see if they’re really fast or not.
If that’s the truth, then believe them and you’re the winner anyway. On the other side, if you find that their websites are slower than the others, then they’re lying, and that’s what makes the web confusing sometimes.
To make this point clear, You don’t have to use the CDN if you have a small blog hosted on a fast and lightning fast servers like WP Engine. If you have some hundreds of visitors per day, then your blog will still load without any issue and even faster than the other hosting companies. Now let’s take a look at the cases where you have to use a CDN.
1. When you have a huge traffic
The only case that you should use a CDN is when you have a popular website with thousands of visitors every day. Every server has some limits and can’t go all the way at the same performances, even if you have the best of dedicated servers, you still need to cache your pages in a CDN.
If you take a look at some of the popular website, you can see that they’re all using their best CDN, in the majority of cases, it’s MaxCDN, it’s a globally distributed content delivery, and they are used by popular companies like Nissan and Pinterest.
There is no exact level to say that your website receives big traffic that needs a CDN, a few thousands of visitors can crash the website if they’re browsing your website at the same time.
The dedicated server will lose some of his benefits here, no one can handle that traffic and this is what the CDN rule is, it balances the traffic between their different servers and minimizes that work for your server. This is what makes a fast website in the end.
2. When you have a Commercial Website
The main reason that every commercial website should use a CDN is that they have payment pages and even many of them. The last thing you want is that the payment page crash when you have an additional traffic, no one can expect when you will get that problem.
The visitors that will be a customer won’t wait until you solve the issue and even will think that the website is not secure at all. You know what the result, you will lose customers for some technical issues caused by additional traffic that your website receives.
3. When you have a Gaming Website
As you know, a game is a software that needs bigger resources than any other type of website. You can’t start a gaming website without a powerful dedicated server, and when you have some users, you will notice some crashes from time to time.
These issues will stop the entire website to work with more players. The CDN role is to give users a copy of the website, not all the files, of course, but the ones that can affect the loading and response time, such as, images, CSS, Java and many others.
To avoid problems with your website loading time, you need to balance the traffic between different servers across the globe, the player still play the game, but won’t crash the website. A simple advice here for gaming websites is to make the page where you list the games as simple as possible. Just list the minimum number of games as possible and never use big images there.
Thus, the page still loads fast and you will minimize thousands of requests to your server.
3. When you have a Video Streaming website
No one wants to watch your videos if they loads slowly, even the giant YouTube is working to solve some issues with loading time. The video is the biggest problems that a website should solve, the file size is bigger than any other media file and this is what will cause problems later. There are a few CDN that supports the rich media files such as video on demand, flash and audio files.
Recommended CDN services
There are many companies that can make a cached version of your website and load your web pages from the nearest location to any users worldwide. But, not all of them are really good, I recommend MaxCDN for their high quality service. They are one of the best and fastest CDN today. With thousands of servers all over the world, your website will be loaded fast like never before.
At the same time, they offer high performance caching system for both websites and gaming platforms and they have popular customers such as Pinterest and Nissan.
I also recommend CacheFly, they are another good CDN service that works well in all platforms. If you have a blog or a big website, their service will amaze you, but the only thing that I don’t like with them is their expensive prices, especially, for small business. They offer big plans and that’s why I recommend it only for projects with good budgets, or simply use MaxCDN and you’re a winner, they offer good prices and the best services.
The CDN is the next level website speed optimization that will not only make your website fast load, and navigate. But also, to avoid losing traffic and ranking when problems happen. You still have cached files, even if there are some server issues. When it comes to a CDN, they are all paid services, and each one is different from the others.
Remember that you don’t need a CDN for small blogs or websites with a little traffic. CDN is a paid service, and not all bloggers can pay for that. You can get good CDN benefits from the Cloudflare free plan, at the same time if you have a website with thousands of daily visits, you should think about a CDN.
Fathi Arfaoui: A Physicist, founder and owner of Trustiko.com. He shares Business, WordPress, Web Safety, and Blogging tips to build better websites and blogs. Thus, you will succeed online with the right marketing strategies and recommendations. Of course, you’ll find much more topics.