What is a CDN?
Most people looking at this article will already know the concept of a CDN and why someone would want one, for those individuals you can read about the SEO benefits here. For all the others a CDN is a Content Delivery Network for digital content. In other words it places content such as web pages and downloadable files all over a developed network of web servers that are strategically placed to provide a maximum amount of accessibility to this content for everyone, everywhere. Some CDN’s have options to host this content in certain locations such as one particular country in-case your content is specific to one region. Typically a web host only hosts your website from just one location, and problems can arise from this. To understand some of these issues, consider the following:
Imagine you have a business in New York and at this business you restore engines for classic cars. You gain popularity because you, of course, do an exceptional job all the time. You decide to open a blog on your website to help car enthusiasts learn how to do certain tasks which in turn facilitate your services. Your website is hosted by a local company and like that company most, if not all of you customers are located in New York. So overall your site performs very fast when it comes to navigating between pages locally. The main reason is, the site doesn’t have to travel far to get where it needs to go. Serving a website to New Yorkers when your server is in New York couldn’t be anymore ideal than that. We have to ask ourselves, how about those guys in Texas or Colorado. They may be suffering a much unappreciated lag. This lag usually comes from the further distance from where the website is being hosted and/or because now you have more people hitting your blog and the local web server isn’t designed to handle that amount of overhead. That’s where CDN’s comes into play.
CDN’s allows your website to be hosted from many places at once, allowing it to always be close to anyone trying to gain its access. For instance, take a look at a very popular CDN providers’ network map. From San Jose to Sydney your one small hosting account can syndicate its content to a robust, developed, load bearing web server network.
CDN’s overall are considered a performance and load bearing enhancement. The implications beyond that are not hardly limited, but the ones mentioned above are very substantial. SEO enthusiasts know that Google is well known for indexing and giving more “link juice” to quick, well coded, and useful websites. It is widely agreed that CDN’s make the web a better place by minimizing the distance a users’ browser has to travel to a website and thereby giving the user a quicker experience. So the SEO question we all have been waiting for; would adding a CDN give your site the “umph” it needs to go from a Page Rank of 2 or 3 to a Page Rank of 3 or 4? The answer is probably not, but if a CDN works for your site, it could only help your Page Rank, and provide an overall great experience for all your users. Cloudflare has a free option; give it a test drive today. Along with Cloudflare there is also Microsoft Azure, Amazon CloudFront, Max CDN, and many others. Good luck on your quest in finding the right web hosting applications.
TJ Moynihan has been designing effective SEO strategies and websites for customers in all industries. Swing by and say hello today!