Let’s face it; a business website is a handy tool for any company in the digital age. Without it, you lose many opportunities and potential clients to your competitors. However, a website may not be enough! You must improve your network speeds to ensure faster load times. Why is this vital? It makes it easy for users to locate the desired information, products, and services on your site. Again, users will spend more time and engage more with your site with faster load times.
And this is why most companies take advantage of content delivery networks. A CDN offers numerous benefits, including reducing bandwidth costs, enhancing page load times, and increasing the global availability of the content. How can I make the most out of my CDN? Read on for ideas.
Know your customers
Knowing your clients is presumably the first step to using a CDN. The network works by caching static content on certain websites to the network servers worldwide. This minimizes latency experienced by users and supports faster load times and a better browsing experience.
It’s then critical to know where a huge chunk of your customers exist and how they interact with your site. Also, it’s crucial to determine the type of content they often seek. This helps determine whether you need a content delivery network and the best one to implement.
Track your cache-hit percentages
Users seek different types of content online. When a client requests uncached content on a local server, the CDN will request this from the origin server and save a cached copy. And this will ease future retrieval by making it faster but will slow down the delivery of the initial request.
Although you may experience cache misses at some point, keep this at a minimum. The best cache ratio should be about 95%, but the higher, the better. If you’re experiencing cache ratios below 80%, investigate and optimize your CDN.
Improve delivery times by forcing compressions
Your CND may not force compression by default, but it’s advisable to request it do so. Compressing files on your network will significantly improve your load times on a broadband connection. Although some users may not access compressed files, uncompressed files will still be sent to users if compression isn’t supported.
Update your security certificates
Secure pages rank higher on search engines compared to their unsecure counterparts. More secure pages guard customers’ data and attract many users. However, HTTPS can slow down your site’s pages, and it’s advisable to update as required. Besides, users will likely leave the site after encountering a security certificate error. To reduce latency and enhance user security, invest in a secure CDN that uses the newest HTTP protocol,
Augment your CDN with other solutions
A CDN network will benefit your business in various ways. It reduces your bandwidth usage and costs. Also, it ensures global availability of content and improves internet speeds resulting in faster load times on your website. However, it’s not an all-encompassing solution, and you may need to augment your network with other solutions such as;
- Front End Optimization
- Application Delivery Controllers (ADCs)
- In-house engineering.
Will a CND affect my site’s SEO rankings?
A CDN will enhance user experience by improving load times and minimizing latency. It also enhances data security by employing different encryption techniques without affecting users’ operations. Can I tell you more? The network will improve your rankings on search engines. This is how;
Improving load times
Nowadays, users expect a site to load almost immediately, and a slow site makes users impatient. As we all know, pages that load faster rank higher on search engines. Faster load speeds encourage users to spend more time on your page, making CDN useful for sites with a global audience.
Lower bounce rates
You expect users to engage more and stay longer with a faster site. This helps minimize bounce rates which is a significant factor for a site’s ranking. A bounce rate is the percentage of users who abandon your page once they visit your site. This may result from non-engaging site design, irrelevant content, and slow load times. Implementing CDN on your site makes it easy to engage users and improves conversions. It also enhances the site’s performance, thus enhancing SEO rankings.
What are the best features of a CDN?
There are different attributes to consider when investing in a CDN solution, these include;
Hotlink protection is a handy feature in any CDN. It helps prevent bandwidth theft, which refers to others directly linking to your images on their servers. Bandwidth theft can cost you money, and the feature will protect your assets.
This is a HTTP cache header comprising various directives. It allows you to determine when and how a response will be cached and for how long. Browsers store their information and won’t make additional requests, which speeds up access. With this feature, you can alter and control the cache-control response header fields as required.
Secure Token is a feature that enables you to generate secured links within a certain timeline. Once the token expires, it’s impossible to access the content. Some providers offer a CDN solution with a free secure Token, and choosing one with this feature is a plus.
This is an extra caching layer on a CDN solution that helps minimize the load on the origin server. It expedites content distribution on the origin server to the edge servers. It’s a great feature that helps reduce traffic on your origin server and guards your infrastructure against traffic spikes.
The X-Pull Key is a handy feature in traffic control. It allows you to block traffic to your CDN, and there are various reasons you would want to do this. These include improving performance, creating a custom logic on the origin server, or restricting access to visible URLs.
In summary, site speed will enhance user experience and transform how users view your site. Implementing a CDN is an excellent way to engage users more and improve your ranking on search engines. However, it’s advisable to consider the mentioned ideas to make the most out of your CDN. Also, get the right solution for your needs and only engage a reputed service provider.