What Is a CDN and Does Your Website Need One?

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Site speed is critical for a good user experience (UX).

If your site takes a long time to load — and even five seconds can feel like an eternity to your visitor — then chances are you’re losing a lot of traffic. People are bouncing away without giving you a chance.

My own website was slow to load. So I decided to roll up my sleeves and speed it up.

However, I discovered that reducing a website’s page loading time is a complex process. In fact, I broke my website several times in the process — if you’re seeking to speed up your own load times, I suggest you find an expert instead!

It was a painful learning curve.

But I did learn a lot.

And one thing I learned about was something I think you’ll find useful in your web writing business… CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)… what they are, why we need them, and which one to use.

Before we dive into the mysteries of CDNs, let’s take a closer look at what started this journey… page loading time.

Breaking it Down

We can broadly break web page loading times into two parts:

  1. Background tasks — How quickly each web page downloads from a host server and is then displayed in a user’s browser window.
  2. Foreground tasks — The time it takes to fully load a web page in a user’s browser.

Where do CDNs fit into the picture? A CDN is a background task.

Think of background tasks like the workings of a kitchen in a café. All the things happening in the background, the things we don’t see. Relaying the orders, cooking, preparation, cleaning, and so on.

Foreground tasks are how quickly you’re seated, cleanliness, friendliness, and so on… the things we see inside the café.

However, both background and foreground tasks directly affect UX. Even the friendliest staff and best service ever, would mean nothing if you had to wait an hour for your meal.

Same deal if a web page takes ages to load. Very few users will see your amazing website if it takes forever to load.

Instead, they’ll click away.

The other factor to consider is Google and all the other search engines. They keep a close eye on your site speed and penalize sites that take a long time to load.

One way to reduce page loading times is to use a CDN.

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Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew has traded the daily grind for a life on the road. He loves the lure of Australia’s wide-open spaces, solitude and isolation. Andrew and his wife Peta are experienced remote travelers, living the simple life on the road. They travel, work and live in their 4x4 truck camper. Andrew plans to build his Money-Making Website Top Wire Traveller to the point where it provides a regular income... enough to sustain their lifestyle on the road.

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