What Is A CDN (Content Delivery Network) & Why Should You Use One?

What is a CDN?

CDN is short for content delivery network. A CDN is a premium service used by a large percentage of established websites to improve page speeds and load times. A CDN is used to host your website's static files on a plethora of servers located across the globe that will dynamically serve your visitors content from their nearest server. This process vastly improves the speed of your website as your visitors are not stuck downloading large files like photos from a single server located thousands of miles away.

Here is a quick video with useful visualizations to help you understand a CDN better:

Why Should I Use A CDN?

  • Faster website speeds – by utilizing a CDN properly, we were able to bring our average page-load speeds from 7-10 seconds down to 0-4 seconds.
  • Higher visitor satisfaction – the quicker your website loads, the more satisfied your visitors will stay during their visit and they will be more likely to return or recommend your website to a friend.
  • Lower operating costs – CDNs are relatively inexpensive and can offset your server related costs significantly. By leaving the heavy lifting (images, video, etc) to the CDN, your web host will take on less bandwidth and resources.
  • More revenue – studies have proven that the faster your site loads, the more conversions will be carried out. Notable examples are Mozilla who shaved 2.2s off their page load and received 15% more conversions as well as Amazon who determined that for every 100ms it takes for their web page to load they decrease sales by 1%.
  • Better SEO – search engines have started taking page speeds into consideration as a factor used in their ranking algorithm. This means the faster your website loads, the higher you will appear in search results.

Which CDN Should I Use?

There is quite a few CDNs competing in the market today. From our personal experience, I have found MaxCDN to be the easiest, most affordable, and best performing option. At only $39.95 per year you receive 1 TB of bandwidth and a 30 day refund period. MaxCDN is currently being used on this website and it has dramatically reduced our average page load times. For the price, it is an absolute no brainer that it well worth the money. If you're looking to give MaxCDN a test drive, check out this 25% off coupon available only to TheTechReview.com visitors. Signing up with them was one of the best website investments that I've ever made.