Lately, there is a lot of talk about this WordPress CDN thing, if to speed up WordPress, you have to activate a CDN… but do I really need it with WordPress? More importantly, what benefits do I get from using a CDN?
In fact, it’s more than likely that you’re already enjoying the services and benefits of some CDN, without knowing it, unless you don’t use any Google, Twitter, Facebook or even WordPress services of course.
What’s more, you should know what a CDN is because it’s one of the essential technologies on the Internet today, and the web as we know it works, and we enjoy it thanks in part to CDNs.
Do I need a WordPress CDN?
To sum up… You need a fast website, period. Need facts?
Seventy-nine percent of shoppers who have had difficulty shopping online would never shop on that site again. And half of them would tell their friends about their unpleasant experience.
The TagMan study showed that a 1-second delay causes a 7% drop in conversions, an 11% drop in page views, and a 16% drop in customer satisfaction.
And then, we have the example of Google, which delivers millions of search results for any query in a quarter of a second and shows at the top of the SERP sites that offer quality content, have authority, and are fast. If you don’t meet any of these values, you lose points in SEO, any of them.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, it’s pretty clear that a fast web is necessary to succeed in business, and this is where the WordPress CDN comes in.
Benefits of a WordPress CDN
Let’s see what services a WordPress CDN provides us with and how we can take advantage of them to improve our server’s response time and, consequently, our users’ browsing speed:
1. Storage and delivery of static resource files
Mainly images and CSS files. This is the main characteristic of the servers and almost their reason for being.
As mentioned above, having a local copy of the static resources frees the hosting server from having to send them to the browser when a user accesses one of its web pages, freeing it up to devote itself to other tasks.
2. The cache of the dynamic resources
Dynamic resources are those generated by a content manager every time the website is visited.
For example, in WordPress, web pages are generated every time a user access it. When the website has many visits, this process is repeated continuously, which affects the performance of the hosting server.
To avoid this, you can set up a CDN for WordPress, which stores a static copy of these dynamic pages and acts as a cache, when several users browse the same pages. It is responsible for keeping your local static copies up to date with the hosting server.
At this point, it should be noted that not all WordPress CDNs offer this service and that, in most cases, it is usually a paid service.
3. Faster response for users from other countries
Our hosting server is one or a small set of servers if the website is large, located in a single geographic location.
This server handles requests made by users from anywhere in the world. The further away that the user is, the more transit time is needed for the data to be transferred from the browser to the server and vice versa.
With this resource, this problem disappears, since they have their servers spread over all continents. When a user accesses our website, he will be served by the CDN server that is closest to his physical location, significantly reducing the transit time and, consequently, the download and navigation time of the website.
4. Optimization of the use of hosting server resources
In the complete process of generating and downloading a web page, a large part of the capacity of the hosting server, such as processing time and bandwidth, is dedicated to attending to and downloading static resource files.
By outsourcing this downloading, the server can dedicate a more significant percentage of its power to what is really important: attending to users and generating the web pages they visit.
In this way, it can attend to a greater number of users and serve more web pages without negatively affecting the download and browsing time.
5. Protection against hacker attacks
Especially Denial of Service attacks (DoS or DDoS), which consist of a high number of simultaneous accesses to the server, in order to saturate it and not be able to attend to the requests of legitimate users.
CDN servers have mechanisms to detect when this type of attack occurs and to counteract it, avoiding or limiting the effect it may have on the normal functioning of the hosting server.
However, a CDN for WordPress should not be used as the main protection tool against this type of attack since the hosting server is still accessible over the Internet, and hackers can find ways to access it directly by bypassing the servers.
Therefore, to prevent these direct attacks, you should always have a quality web hosting which has security measures against these attacks.
OK, seriously… do I need a CDN?
In case you haven’t made yourself clear in the previous points, I must remind you that a CDN offers enormous benefits for your website, not to mention your online business.
Especially if your website offers a lot of static content, such as images, documents, or computer graphics, you should already be using a WordPress CDN. This will relieve most of the load on your hosting server and serve your static content ultra-fast to your visitors, which will result in better user experience and, by the way, fewer costs.
As your website grows, traffic will increase, and you will need to move it to higher-level servers – and price – or even to dedicated servers, as requests to your web server increase. A CDN will allow you to defer these types of costly upgrades.
Do you have an online store? Well, you serve a lot of images and the success of your e-commerce, and consequently, the payment of your invoices depends significantly on the user experience and speed of delivery of content. Come on, take a look at the first point we have discussed in this article, yes, that one called Do I need a CDN?
Since most websites, not to mention online businesses, are geared towards a global audience, the use and popularity of the CDN are growing. At the same time, the price of this type of service is increasingly competitive, not to mention whether you can take advantage of any of the free solutions.
There can be several reasons that lead us to consider its use, such as organic positioning optimization, adding a layer of security against hackers to the website, or better use of the resources of the hosting server.
A WordPress CDN allows you to improve performance, save hosting resources, enhance availability, and increase security.