Everything you need to know about Content Delivery Networks
What is CDN, why is it worth dealing with, how much it costs and what benefit we will have ... are some of the most frequent questions we hear lately in a technology that is now economically accessible and should exist on most websites.
What is CDN and how does it increase the speed of your blog?
The popularity of CDN services is increasing nowadays as the majority of online traffic is served via CDN. More well-known companies such as Facebook, Netflix, and Amazon have done the same. In fact, a properly configured CDN will protect your website from hacking or DDOS.
The CDN is not however a hosting service, as your blog should be hosted somewhere before the CDN service can work and connect. CDN is an extra feature that will increase the speed of your blog quite a bit, providing your visitors with a faster and more enjoyable experience.
How does a CDN work?
In essence, a website is hosted only on a server in the country of origin but at the same time on a Greek server for Greeks, on an English server for English, on an American server for Americans, etc.
At the same time, due to the fact that the website loads from the CDN and not from our own server, it results in the server itself that hosted our website having much fewer requests and therefore needing much fewer resources to serve the website. As a result, this has to load more quickly our server and website, as there are our own resources to serve significantly fewer requests.
What are the benefits of using a CDN service?
There are several things you can take advantage of from a CDN service, bearing in mind how your SEO ranking will increase, but you'll see why below.
- Increases the speed of page loading: When you have a CDN service, it means that every visitor who visits your blog will put it from the nearest server. As a result, Google will see a higher score on the speed of your website and you'll see your ranking increase.
- It will reduce the bandwidth on your server: Bandwidth is obviously one of the things that worry bloggers the more people visit your blog, the more bandwidth increases. In most sharing hosting packages, bandwidth is often quite limited, and to make sure you don't reach it and you won't have to pay more for a larger server, with a CDN service you will save enough of your precious bandwidth.
- Greater security: In addition to the fact that a CDN service can increase your security from DDOS attacks if your server falls until you solve the problem your website will remain open with the temporary cache that is left over.
So since you know some of the key benefits of a CDN service, it's time to find the right one for you that meets your needs.
Cloudflare – The best free CDN
Cloudflare is one of the largest companies in the whole world and probably the most popular CDN service available. It provides an excellent free package for those interested in testing its service and some subscription packages for those who want to take advantage of more features, faster speed, and more tools available.
While the free package is frankly excellent, in fact, the difference between the free package and the cheapest one that costs $20 a month, is the day after night. At $20 a month the speed increases dramatically above, there is a firewall, automatic mobile optimization, automatic TCP optimization, and most importantly of all, compression and optimization of photos – things that are not provided in the free service package.
Essentially, with the free package you will receive protection from DDOS attacks and speed enhancement through the servers provided by the company, but in a limited number as only subscribers enjoy all servers, while free users are limited to only some of them. With the free package, you will also be able to minify your most important files and you will see the speed of your blog go up in scores from websites such as GTMetrix, Pingdom, and Google PageSpeed Insights.
To link your blog to CloudFlare, you will first need to change the nameservers of your domain name to those given to you by the service and then either install its WordPress plugin for better cache setting or add it to the plugin cache you are already using.
Do You need a CDN for Your Website and how Much will it Cost You?
All websites that have potential customers or visitors who are from different countries from the country where the website is hosted can benefit from the CDN. For example, a tour desk or hotel that has visitors from all over the world will have the greatest benefit from a CDN service.
Examples of maximum benefit are catering, tourism, vehicle rental, e-shops, transport, technical services, logistics, etc. At the same time, it is an optimal solution even for companies that have purely visitors from the country the website is hosted, but the website is hosted on servers abroad.
Indicatively without going into great detail, a website with about 100-200 visitors per day and with data per page 3-10MB will cost about three to five United States dollars per month. Of course, in calculating the cost, the optimization of each website plays a role in order to use a cache where necessary, making the necessary minifications, etc in order to drop, even more, the cost of CDN.
The cost of a CDN is solely related to the amount of data that will be transferred over its network. That is, the more traffic a site has, the more information will be transferred, so we will have a higher cost. However, the cost of a CDN is very low in relation to the benefits it offers. A feature of CDN costs is the variable cost/GB ratio, as the more GB transferred, the lower the cost of transport and hosting.
We consider that in our days when the cost of a CDN is inversely proportional to the benefits it offers us, CDN is a necessary service for websites that want to have a professional presence and image on the Internet.