Things you need to know about Content Delivery Network (CDN)

Discover Best Content Delivery Network (CDN) Services for your website

Content Delivery Network (CDN), as the name suggest, it is something related to the delivery of the content over the network that obviously is the internet. In simple understanding, CDN means to deliver the desired content to the end users in fastest time.

Since the advancement of online worlds and almost all types of information, services are available to any corner of the world. One of the most interesting data about the people accessing your website is the country from which they are consuming your information, services. And how many miles they are passing virtually to read your content?

As you are already aware that public information over the internet, is not bound to any area/ city/ country/ continent. In fact, all this enormous information is just accessible to everyone on the internet across continents.

Every time a website aims to reach a wide international audience, its distance from the origin server is one of the critical factors of web performance.

So, if your server is in Asia region say New Delhi, but your end users are from New Zealand, New York, or Melbourne, how can you improve the website latency by decreasing the distance and facilitate your end users to benefit from your content at a similar speed?

In this article, we are going to explore the solutions for these questions, and discover the magic world of CDNs: a bridge that makes users closer to the websites they are visiting, no matter where they are in the world!

What is Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a group of servers that spreads across different geographical location worldwide to speeds up webpage loading for any given website. When a user visits a website, its data from that website’s server travel across the internet to reach the user’s computer. If the user is located far from that server, it will take long long time to load a data heavy web page, such as a video embedded content or heavy website images.

In order to ensure the fastest web speed, the website content is stored on CDN servers located at the nearest geographical point closer to the users that enable the web content to reaches their computers much faster.

How actually CDN works?

To understand CDN, lets first go through the dedicated type of servers i.e., origin server & edge web server, which handles all the magic. An origin server is the server that hosts the original version of your website.  On the other hand, an edge web server is a computer server that keep copies of web content retrieved from origin server.

Once the content of your site passes through CDN for the first time, the edge servers retain a copy of the static content (images, CSS, and JavaScript files) and then deliver it to the end-users, allowing them to access the content a lot faster.

Every HTTP request made by your users will be served from the nearest geographical location. The communication is also two-way, with requests going from the client to the server and responses coming back.

The primary purpose of a content delivery network (CDN) is to reduce latency and Network communication.

Credits: wikipedia

For example; with reference to the above image;

The left-side image depicts that all end-users are receiving content from the same origin server: the website requested by the user will be accessible only after every HTTP request is transmitted from the central location.

On the right-side image depicts that the same content is now delivered through different edge servers, which are linked to the main origin server. In this scenario network round trip time(RTT) becomes shorter, meaning that loading time is optimized and end-users will be able to access the website much faster than before.

A CDN improves efficiency by introducing intermediary edge web servers between the client and the origin website server. These CDN servers do manage some of the client-server communications and it decrease web traffic to the origin web server, also reduce network bandwidth consumption, and improve the user experience of your applications.

What are the benefits offered by CDN?

The fundamental purpose to have the CDN is to focus on improving the end user customer experience by providing high speed of downloading/uploading of web data, coupled with low latency, resulting in awesome end-user response time.

CDN offered four significant benefits:

  • High Speed Website Performance: Using a CDN can reduce the load times by up to 50%. This is done by reducing file sizes, decreasing the distance between where content is kept and where it is headed, and optimizing servers to respond faster to user requests. CDNs are very helpful for the businesses which are mostly dependent of their websites to cater their end user’s requirements. For example, an e-commerce website that needs to convert shoppers who land on it quickly into customers and grow sales. Any significant delay in page load times can lead to loss of business, with visitors bouncing off the web page or closing the website, and even worse moving to a competitor’s website. With CDNs enabled website, the end-user requests for a web content delivered instantly as it does not have to wait for the request to go to the origin server. The nearest located edge web server provides the web content by minimizing the delay for the end users and improving web performance for the business through better network round trip time. Website Performance is a regularly monitoring activity which can be maintained by optimizing the website images, minify CSS & Java Script files, reducing the HTTP request as much as possible, by using HTTP browser caching, by avoiding redirects as much as possible, by minimizing the inclusion of external scripts.
  • Cost effective: CDNs do reduce Network Bandwidth costs directly. Network Bandwidth is the amount of data transferred and downloaded from your website. Most of the hosting providers offer a defined bandwidth plan out of which you choose one. For a large business with heavy online traffic, the network bandwidth needed to serve end users is typically the single highest costly element of running a website. For very large websites, this bandwidth cost can be extremely high. By caching website content at each distributed edge web server, a CDN limits the amount of data transfer required to run the website, reducing bandwidth costs. CDNs can decrease bandwidth costs because they reduce the burden on your hosting platform. Since the static content & CSS files being cached through the CDN edge web server in-between, your origin server gets less burdened by the traffic. The final effect is that CDNs reduce the traffic passing through your origin server, and avoid the additional cost of bandwidth charges from your hosting. For example, let us think how much each of the following situations could cost a big business e-commerce website:
    a) An unknown number of users click away from the site due to poor loading times.
    b) Search engines penalize the website for poor performance, ranking it lower in search results.
    c) An unexpected flood of traffic causes a server to crash frequently, preventing an unknown number of potential shoppers from  reaching the website.For a business that is heavily dependent on its website traffic, any of the above situations could cost thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Any organization that relies on website traffic—either directly or indirectly—for revenue, exposure, or any other critical business need has a huge incentive to use a CDN rather than relying purely on a static web hosting system.
  • Enable additional layer of security against Cyber-attacks: CDNs add a security layer to your website. Some of the important security features of an enterprise CDN include:

    a) Securing HTTPS websites with updated TLS/SSL certificates:
    This ensures zero leakage in the network traffic and follows the standard of authentication, encryption to protect both the organization and website visitors from several known security vulnerabilities.
    b) Edge protection: A CDN sits between an organization’s origin servers and outside users. This makes CDNs ideal for preventing known security threats one step before they reach up to origin server boundary.
    c) DDoS mitigation:
    Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are malicious attempts to exhaust the capacity of the target server by flooding it with multiple redundant external requests. Think of these attacks, are like a massive traffic jam collapsing a highway, where everyone is stuck and no-one is going thru. Similarly, during the DDoS attacks, the targeted hosting server gets congested which ends up being unavailable. Due to the CDN’s position at the network edge, it is ideally placed to intercept DDoS attacks before they disrupt internal infrastructure. Enterprise-ready CDNs protect organizations from DDoS by identifying malicious bot traffic within seconds and rerouting it away from the target organization.
  • Reduce Server Load: A CDN can reduce your server load and speed up your website by caching your site’s static content. By keeping copies of your website stored on edge web server around the globe, a CDN ensures that end user receive content from a nearest located edge web server. Thus, round trip time is drastically reduced, and the origin hosting server spared from all this traffic handled by in-between edge web server. Given that a typical site can be comprised of up to 80% static assets, using a CDN can be a great help in offloading data from your origin server.
  • Reduce Network Latency: From excessive traffic to server failures, plenty of events can disrupt website uptime. CDNs use distributed edge servers with redundancy built-in, enabling a website to handle much more traffic than it usually could while maintaining close to 100% uptime—even in the event of a server failure.
  • Improve Website SEO metrics: Website speed has a huge impact on user experience, SEO, and conversion rates. Improving website performance is essential for drawing traffic to a website and keeping site visitors engaged. It is general solid belief that Google loves fast and secure websites, we can certainly confirm that enabling a CDN on your web site will definitely improve your SEO and the PageSpeed Insights performance score. In fact, using a CDN can boost the Largest Contentful Paint score – one of the Core Web Vitals metrics.
    When the CDN is working on the backend of your site, your content loads faster and remains available even during high loads of traffic: Google notices these details and considers them as a factor to improve your ranking!

Choosing CDN, what to look for?

Now that we understand that CDN is one of the important elements for any online businesses, it is time to get going, which type of CDN you should use.

When choosing a CDN service, there are four important factors to take into consideration:

  1. The predominant location of your visitors that determines the majoring of website traffic into your hosting environment. According the CDN edge web server placed to handle the traffic load.
  2. Your bandwidth requirements as a business scalability in the coming future.
  3. The size of your website and the kind of complexity and algorithm while serving the HTTP request and the kind of network return response in the form of static content or dynamic content, all that matter before zeroing on any CDNs.
  4. Your budget; money is all that define the business and its processes. Services do warry with the business requirement and so the budget for the same.

Considering these four elements is essential to pick the right CDN that will best serve your business needs and your end users.

Some of the most popular CDNs services available for the business are;

  1. CloudFlare
  2. Amazon CloudFront-AWS
  3. Google Cloud CDN
  4. SmushPro CDN
  5. RocketCDN


Now that we know, Content Delivery Network (CDN) is one of the components which cannot be ignored and very essential for the growth and sustainability of any online businesses.

WordPromise is always a click away to play an active and important role to identify all your technical needs for the successful implementation of CDNs into your business system. We have seasoned experts who can handle all the ifs and buts regarding the CDNs implementations.

Let us make our website more secured, faster with CDNs!

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