There are several ways to give your website visitors a pleasant and fast user experience. In a previous article, we mentioned that we were optimizing BJJ Fightgear for mobile users. But your can do more besides optimizing your code. To deliver static objects quickly, such as images and videos (among other things), Content Delivery Networks (CDN) were invented. Depending on the size of your website and the number of visitors globally, you can decide to deploy such a network.
What does such a network look like?
A CDN is a large number of servers placed at strategic locations across the globe. These servers can save (cache) images, documents and other static content for a certain period (long or short). When a visitor attempts to connect to your website, the network will pick the server best suited to serve the requested data. The network sees which server is placed the closest to the visitors location but also which server is the most cost-efficient, or which server has the least load at the moment of the request.
Using a CDN can be most advantageous for companies with many users across the globe. If someone in Africa attempts to reach your server in the Netherlands, it will cost more bandwidth, time and money. But a CDN server close to Africa can give the user the requested files more quickly, at lower cost, leading to more conversions and more customer satisfaction.
A CDN is often set up with an external party. There are several providers of CDNs, each with different advantages and disadvantages. Of course, cost is a factor, so it is important to consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs. Take care to research the speed, reliability, locations, costs and security, among other things. YTEC is experienced at this and can help you set up your CDN.