Content delivery networks (CDNs) are often thought of as necessary only for high-end websites with large amounts of traffic and content, but today, virtually any business can afford the benefits of a solid CDN provider. In general, the biggest benefits of using a CDN are an increase in website reliability, faster page load times, and significant savings on IT overhead costs. While these results can be difficult to accomplish, a content delivery network can help network operators on a tight budget achieve them with a few simple strategies.
Improved website reliability
Many website owners often make the mistake of relying on a single server or data center for their operations. While most data centers are fortified to withstand even the toughest disaster, placing all of your servers in one location is never a good idea—if something goes wrong, your entire network could go down. Fortunately, you can increase your website reliability by using a CDN to spread your website files across a network of servers located around the nation or the globe.
Traditionally, running multiple servers for your business can be costly. CDNs are designed to store key pieces of your website—such as scripts, multimedia files, and other static file types—and serve them only on-demand, meaning you only pay for the resources being used. This is in contrast to a traditional server, which runs around the clock and costs money even when it is not being used.
Faster website speed
The second major CDN strategy deployed by network operators is to spread files onto servers across targeted locations. While your website might seem fast at your office, it is important to remember that the farther away from your data center a visitor is located, the slower your site will load for them. CDNs are a great solution for businesses of any size that work in a global industry.
The biggest benefit of a CDN is that you can pick and choose the regions you want to target. Even if you want to focus purely on a national campaign, you can keep costs in check by only optimizing your site for the regions that matter most to your company. CDNs store key files onto their servers within the regions you specify, and whenever a visitor within one of those regions pulls up your website, their computer will be directed to download the website files from the server located closest to them.
Although the content delivery network used to be reserved only for companies with large budgets and extraordinary needs, the technology has become accessible for virtually any business owner. Although they may seem complex, CDNs are simply a way to give your company access to a network of servers so that there isn’t a single point of failure for your website. An added benefit of such an arrangement is that visitors to your website will receive content from the server closest to them—ensuring that your website will always load quickly, regardless of where your visitors are located.
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