When you think of “cheap” service, your immediate reaction is that anything cheap is poor. With a cheap CDN and no expensive upfront costs, you can improve your site’s revenue and lower the costs of hosting should your site outgrow your current hosting plan. Using a CDN, you can lower costs of risks associated with an outage and increase speed during traffic spikes that would otherwise bring your site crashing down. Here are just a few advantages of a CDN, and they don’t require any high-cost fees.
Caching for Speed
The biggest benefit for any website is the caching mechanism a CDN offers. Caching speeds up your perceived website speed and delivers content directly from server memory. CDNs cache content on each data center location, so it’s even faster than caching on a traditional website server in one location.
Speed has been shown to affect user engagement. A four-second delay in load times increases bounce rate by 25%. This means users left your site to find another site that’s faster. A CDN and its caching mechanisms will improve this speed instantly, saving you money in lost visitors.
Stay Ahead of Traffic Spikes
Every industry has its busy season. For a website, this means you get a spike in traffic. With traditional servers, you need to beef up your server resources and wait for traffic — if it actually happens. It’s an expensive upfront investment and you might not invest enough to handle massive traffic increases. With a CDN, you no longer have this problem.
CDNs deliver content cached and from the closest geographic location to the visitor. This means that content delivery is spread among data centers instead of from one location. Even behind a load balancer, it can be difficult to handle huge spikes in traffic. A CDN delivers from dozens of locations around the globe.
Most site owners think that having a high-end CDN service is expensive, but you can scale CDN service in the same way you use cloud hosting. Scale it up or down as you need it. You can get cheap CDN service for as little as $.01/GB.
Since CDNs have multiple data centers, your site falls back on a working server should an existing data center fail. It doesn’t happen often, but disasters strike with no warning. Also, since data centers cache your content, should your server fail you still have a viable copy serving content to users.
You could have a traditional failover server in-house, but it’s expensive and requires permanent IT staff to maintain the system. Leaving your failover to a CDN is much more reliable, and you pay much less than building your own massive in-house network.
Server failure is common with traffic spikes when site owners don’t plan for busy seasons. Having a CDN, you no longer need to watch traffic spikes and scale resources to reactively account for an increased need for more bandwidth and server hardware. You’re now proactively dealing with the issue, so you can focus on traffic and revenue rather than traffic and server performance.
You can have the best hosting available, but without a CDN you put your site at a disadvantage. CDNs can actually save you money should your site fail or you experience a spike in traffic. It’s a cheap, effective way to invest in speed and failover resources.