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How CDN Can Improve the Performance of Your WordPress Website

Content Delivery Network

Performance is a vital factor that affects your WordPress website and can have a big influence on the page UX, UI, bounce rate, conversions, and SEO ranking. There can be lots of factors that affect your page performance, but predominantly, it’s the lack of a quality web hosting service.

However, there’s a solution to the problem – CDNs (Content Delivery Networks). They have the power to immediately improve the loading speed of your WP website. But because CDNs sound too complex for most of the webmasters, people don’t know how to use them.

In this article, we’ll outline the basics of CDN and help you learn how to improve the performance of your WordPress website by implementing them.

Related: The Complete Action Plan for Building and Growing a Professional WordPress Website

What Is CDN (Content Delivery Network)?


Simply put, a CDN is a collection of web hosting servers that are spread across the globe. This network is designed to host and distribute the static content of your WordPress website such as images, CSS, JavaScript, videos, music and more.

This is achieved by copying the static content from your website to these remote servers, so when a user requests access that content, the image or the CSS/JavaScript file is delivered from the closest server to the place where the user tries to access.

A Content Delivery Network works on the same principle as the Internet/web. The CDN provider positions servers throughout the Internet just like the web’s network of service hubs. In most of the cases, CDNs are installed in locations that are directly connected with the ISPs (Internet Service Providers).

In essence, the CDN service is a group of big caching terminals that sync between each other. This provides the users non-centrally located content and it improves the WordPress page speed as a result.

How CDN Improves Your WordPress Website Performance


When your WP website uses CDN, the visitor that requests to visit your page will only get the HTML code from your origin server. The rest of the content will be loaded from a separate server of the CDN, which is created and optimized for the purpose. Let’s see how that’s beneficial for your WP website.

1. Speeding up Your Website

Increasing your website speed is the most considerable reason why you’d opt for Content Delivery Network. It’s already a no-brainer that a fast website directly results in better conversion rates, better UX, low bounce rates, and prolonged web visits.

Because most of your website loading time depends on downloading static files like images and CSS stylesheets, it’s not hard to conclude that using CDN will result in a bigger website speed. This is done mainly with the principles of file caching.

Just like you would use caching plugins for your WP website, Content Delivery Networks also use caching to deliver your files faster to the users’ browsers.

Caching is the heart and mind of CDN. This is done by moving your static content files to much more powerful proxy servers that are specifically optimized for faster content distribution.

The closer the caching server is to the user, the shorter the timeframe needed for the entire data of your page to be opened in the browser. These servers use boosted RAM and SSD storages. The RAM is used for the content that has the biggest priority and the SSD is used for content that has lower priority, but it is still cacheable and can be requested by users.

2. Reducing Bandwidth Costs


A substantial benefit of using CDN for your WordPress website is the release of files from your original web server. This is extremely useful if you want to stop overloading your host. It can also reduce your bandwidth costs. A global CDN will lower your costs by removing the need to pay for high-priced web hosting services.

An international Content Delivery Network means that you’ll use a single platform that will work across different continents and regions for a fair price, which is excellent if you have a tight budget. This is a good and inexpensive way to improve your WordPress website’s performance across the world with one major hosting platform.

3. Improving Website Security


A lot of CDNs offer an extra layer of security by providing protection against DDoS (Denial-of-service attack). This is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet.

The effects of this can be devastating for your WP website. These attacks can cost you a fortune and can have a serious impact on your company brand and online reputation.

What CDN does in these cases is take on the traffic and keep your website online and running. It is designed to prevent these attacks before they get to your database.

Related: Interactive Guide: the Definitive Guide to Securing Your WordPress Website

4. Improving Availability and Uptime

With the hosting of a significant part of your web content, CDNs can do you a big favor by improving your website availability and uptime. Because your content is duplicated and available in different geographic areas, if one server goes down because of an overload, the web traffic will be automatically redirected to another available server.

5. Enhancing SEO

More website speed and better performance mean a better SEO ranking as a result. By implementing a Content Delivery Network you can also use the latest technology like enabling a secure HTTPS connection and using the new HTTP/2 protocol to enhance your WP site speed and its uptime.
The outcome of this will be in the form of satisfied users that landed on a fast and secure webpage.

Related: 7 Reasons Why WordPress Is the Best Platform for SEO

Implementing Content Delivery Network to Your WordPress Website

Installing CDN doesn’t have to be hard. But, if you have distinctive WordPress settings and too much customization involved, you may need to ask for support from your CDN provider.

Choosing the Right CDN Provider

The market grows and today you have more CDN providers than ever. There are 2 major factors to look for when it comes to choosing a Content Delivery Network Provider:

1. Functionality


You need to know exactly what a specific CDN can do. For example, the basics are Origin-pull and Gzip compression. There are other things involved too, like custom CNAME for more secure websites.

As a user of CDN, you should be able to view every statistic and data of your usage process, upload your files, do a Purge-All via API and override the browser caching headers that your original web server sends.

The speed obviously is pivotal. You need to know exactly how fast the Content Delivery Network Servers can deliver your files to your target users. The main KPIs that you need to consider for speed are latency (ms) and throughput (kbit/s). For the latency and the throughput, you should know upfront the minimum, maximum, medium and the average for long periods of time and during peak web traffic hours.

The server power is also one of the key factors for choosing a CDN. Yes, the servers can be close to your end user but, they can still get slow, due to the following reasons:

  • The servers can’t handle the number of simultaneous connections from the visitors’ browsers which results in a queue.
  •  Hard drives are outdated and slow.
  •  Servers without enough capacity.

Before you decide, see if you can have a trial period with one or more of the CDNs that you consider for your WordPress website. During this test phase, you’ll want to monitor and get exact data about the CDN performance. Understand the data and compare it with the other Content Delivery Networks of your shortlist.

2. Expenses

Budgeting and money are always important when it comes to online success and business in general. Custom pricing packages are no surprise in the CDN marketplace so asking if you can get that kind of package for your WordPress website is a definite recommendation. CDN vendors should know exactly how to tailor their solution for your goals and needs as a business.

When it comes to choosing a CDN provider, customer service and ongoing support also matter as much as any other factor. Besides 24/7 availability, people that work in these providers need to be extremely knowledgeable about their products and what they can do. They need to know how to solve a problem fast and give you full attention immediately, instead of making you “wait in line” like in a grocery shop.

Approaching a CDN provider means giving them as many details as possible about your WP website and business to see how they’d respond and if they’re the right fit.

There are many CDN service providers that you can choose from. Some of the most renowned are:

When you choose a CDN provider and register, the next step is to implement the network on your WordPress website. First and foremost, your website needs to be prepared. For this purpose, you can use a caching plugin, like W3 Total Cache.

This plugin provides you with a total overview of your caching and CDN files and offers lots of options to set up the plugin to your own exact needs. Follow the activation steps provided by your CDN service provider. When your files are synchronized by your CDN provider, you need to adjust your WP website to call for the CDN itself.

Related: The Smart Way to Choose Your WordPress Plugins

In W3 Total Cache, find the ‘Performance’ tab. Then, click on ‘General Settings’. After that, scroll down and find the CDN section. There, click ‘Enable’ and choose ‘Generic Mirror’ from the “CDN Type” drop-down menu. After that, click on “Save Settings”.

Go back to the side menu under ‘Performance’ and click on CDN again. When you scroll down to the Configuration section, there, you can enter your Zone URL or CNAME. Enter it, and again, click on “Save Settings”.

Wrapping up

As a WordPress website owner, you already know how important your website performance is for the user experience and your conversion rates. The user experience and satisfaction are the biggest assets that you can have as a brand online.

CDNs are created to help you improve your online presence. In short, a fast WP website means more readers, interest, and eventually, more sales as a result. It’s your choice whether you’ll speed up your website performance or gets left behind.

Browse more at:WordPress Maintenance

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