When you hear someone refer to a CDN, they mean a content delivery network. The topic most likely comes up during a discussion about website speed and WordPress hosting. CDNs play a big part in delivering your website from the closest server to your visitors’ browsers.
You may be wondering, why do you need a WordPress CDN and what does it do for your site?
This post addresses:
- What a CDN is.
- The benefits of a CDN for your WordPress site.
- Options for connecting your site to a CDN.
You may be wondering, what is a CDN? A content delivery network is a feature for the modern web. CDNs deliver most of the content you consume. They distribute the work of delivering content to your web browser. By increasing the number of sources, their closeness, and caching, CDNs make delivering content online more efficient.
In other words, a CDN is a network of remote servers that contain a copy of your website to give access to visitors from anywhere. A CDN’s goal is to minimize the distance between your visitors and the source server for your websites. A CDN stores and optimizes the static content of your website (images, style sheets, etc.).
For example, your hosting company and your website’s server are in San Francisco. Your visitor is in New York. They theoretically receive your site’s content faster than someone residing in Berlin or London. But a CDN uses copies of your site’s images and files that result in the people in all the locations mentioned above accessing your website as fast as someone in San Francisco.
What are the Benefits of a CDN?
Your site visitors value the page loading speed that comes with a CDN. They get impatient if a website takes too long to load. They might not even wait long enough for the important content to be visible. Speed is an obvious benefit of using a CDN, but it’s not the only one. There are many other benefits to using a CDN.
Crash Resistance and Increased Availability
Together with cached pages, a CDN increases your website’s uptime. It makes it available even if your server is down for a few minutes. A CDN ensures continuous availability of your content and takes some load off of your primary server. It reduces the site’s size via compression of various files, decreasing the bytes it needs to travel the internet.
Improved User Experience
With the images and other assets like video traveling short distances, the user experience improves. Users expect your site to load within two to three seconds, regardless of their connection’s bandwidth.
A WordPress CDN guarantees that your visitors don’t have to wait needlessly for images to arrive. Critical business interactions like purchases happen more quickly and more reliably. After deploying a WordPress CDN, you should see a reduction in shopping cart abandonment and payment interruptions.
Improved Search Engine Optimization
Google recently started using site speed measurements as a ranking factor.
Google measures three main Core Web Vitals:
- Loading speed.
- How fast a user can interact with your site or page.
- Visual stability.
A CDN is crucial for page loads and how fast a visitor can see the relevant content.
The higher your site ranks in the Google search results for specific key phrases, the more likely potential customers will find your site, services, and products.
Options for Implementing a CDN for your WordPress Website
There are multiple ways to obtain a CDN for your WordPress website. You can install a plugin, sign up for a third-party service, or use your hosting company. Managed hosting companies offer CDNs with all their basic hosting plans.
WordPress offers plugins to assist you in connecting and configuring your site’s CDN.
WordPress CDN plugins include:
These plugins require a certain level of technical understanding of CDNs and caching content. In addition, you can only use them after you sign up for an account with a Cloud service provider like Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services.
WordPress Plugins By CDN Services
CDN services also publish WordPress plugins to connect with your website natively. They provide a seamless connection between your dynamic content and your static content.
CDN service plugins include:
These plugins focus on the CDN connection and provide good documentation and setup guides.
CDN with Managed WordPress Hosting
The best option for a WordPress CDN is to choose a fully managed host that offers the service. Using a CDN through your site’s host is easier because you don’t have to install or set up the CDN. You also will get the best performance from the service. In addition, you’ll get hosting support with the streamlined service.
How Nexcess Can Help
Nexcess provides fully managed WordPress hosting that includes a built-in CDN service. We help you keep your site loading quickly and performing at its best to eliminate visitor frustrations.
Contact us today to learn more about our hosting services. Or start your free two-week trial of Fully Managed WordPress by Nexcess today.