5 Benefits of Using a Content Delivery Network
August 25, 2014

William Vuong

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Today’s internet has penetrated nearly all corners of the globe, propelling the number of global internet users north of 2.4 billion. For businesses, the web offers a never-before-seen opportunity to connect with individuals that may be interested in their products regardless of their location. However, delivering web content across vast distances can often result in latency and poor user experiences.

While the potential of global reach is a major appeal, especially for international brands, it’s important to remember that today’s e-business is a game of seconds. A few seconds of delay could lead to page abandonment, frustrated users and ultimately, revenue loss. Businesses looking to capitalize on this opportunity should consider engaging a content delivery network (CDN).

CDNs offer cost effective and easy to deploy solutions for accelerating website delivery to different regions around the world. An inter-connected network of servers, strategically placed in high traffic regions around the world, ensures faster web content delivery and minimizes load time. In most cases, it is a more practical alternative to building and maintaining multiple datacenters.

Let’s take a closer look at the five primary benefits of leveraging CDN services/solutions:

1. Global Reach Becomes a Reality

The Internet’s massive user-base is scattered across the world, and initiatives like Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org project is focused on furthering web access, possibly opening the door to internet access in parts of the world currently without it. CDN’s, give companies an opportunity to leverage web acceleration products that use local points of presence or PoPs (servers) across the globe to reduce load time and deliver user-friendly experiences.

Another major draw that some CDNs offer is the ability to reach end users, while sustaining reliable web performance in challenging environments such as China. The “Great Firewall” is a common barrier for many foreign brands trying to reach Chinese consumers, as it presents various technical challenges when delivering content into China through standard internet protocols.

2. Faster Load Times Increases Revenue

Fast loading websites are not only desired by users, but also improve search engine rankings, and most importantly, increases sales and conversions. In fact, cutting just 3 seconds off load time increases revenue by 7-12%. A high performing CDN speeds up load times and ensures lag-free transactions, which is extremely important for companies that rely on the web as the primary source of revenue generation.

3. An “All-in-One” Solution

While there are many different tools and services for improving web performance, most CDNs can offer a fully integrated solution. In addition to bringing web content closer to end users, tier 1 CDN solutions often incorporate other features such as load balancing, DNS optimization, security, storage and other services designed to relieve the pressure of having to build and maintain your own infrastructure.

4. Valuable Data Offerings

Accelerating global web content delivery is not the only redeeming quality of a CDN. They can also harness and present site owners with valuable data on user trends and potential performance issues that can occur in the future. Understanding request demand volumes and anticipating traffic spikes can help you better allocate network resources and implement intelligent scaling strategies. Improper performance planning can often hinder a site’s reliability and lead to down time.

5. Cost-Savings

Lastly, leveraging a CDN will yield significant savings. Investing in an effective infrastructure to maintain quality web performance on a global scale is costly and impractical in most cases. A global content delivery network will cut costs by removing the need to pay for foreign hosting and hardware investments, offering a single platform that provides great performance in all targeted regions.

CDNs may not be the absolute solution for all web performance challenges, but is essential for implementing a cost effective and scalable strategy. A dynamic global network constantly tuned for performance and reliability is the key to accelerating global reach.

William Vuong is Marketing Communications Manager at CDNetworks.

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