How to Use WordPress With A CDN: Improve Page Speeds
Did you know that just a second’s delay in loading your website could cost you over 10% of your page views? How about the fact that mildly slow websites cause 20% of your visitors to leave unsatisfied? Clearly there is a need to have your websites load as fast as possible and a CDN can help you reach that goal, especially if you are using WordPress as a content management system.
What is a WordPress CDN?
A WordPress CDN can help you achieve greater content delivery speed, but what exactly is it and how does it work? To understand the concept of using a CDN, you first need to know what a content delivery network is and how it ties up with your website.
A CDN is an enhanced form of “hosting “made up of a number of powerful and highly optimized web servers. These geographically distributed serves usually take snapshots of your entire website including content, libraries and other assets in real-time and deliver them to your visitors.
Content delivery networks have become an essential part of the modern web as they provide much-needed performance especially now that mobile devices are the most popular web devices.
Your WordPress CDN, therefore, is a service, separate from your primary hosting that does a number of things for your website to improve its delivery speeds and enhance user experiences across the board.
Everything of interest on your WordPress websites such as images, stylesheets, text content, videos, animations, will be captured by the content delivery network at certain intervals and delivered to your visitors in real-time using the server closest to them.
Why Use a WordPress CDN?
You might be thinking that a CDN is yet another layer of complexity that you probably don’t need, especially if you are running a simple content or business website. However, having a CDN is becoming an absolute necessity in the current web environment. Here are five good reasons to use a WordPress CDN today:
1. Faster Page Speeds
This is, perhaps, the biggest benefit you will get from having a content delivery network behind your WordPress website. Content delivery networks are designed to use their immense computing power and geographical distribution to enhance the performance of websites on their network. CDN’s can improve your website’s speeds through caching, TFTB reduction and better compute configuration.
Most WordPress owners report a more than 40% bump in their page speeds after putting their website behind a CDN. This is a significant boost that will ultimately translate to better user experiences, higher conversions and better rankings on search engines (Yes, Google and other search engines do use page speeds as a ranking factor!).
2. Cost Reduction – Hosting Fees
A content delivery network will take a significant load off your primary host and therefore reduce the amount of bandwidth you have to pay for with them. Users who use flexible hosting will especially benefit from this as most of the incoming requests will be handled by the CDN and not the host. Expect savings of up to 60% if you decide to put your WordPress website behind a content delivery network.
3. DDoS Protection – Hight Availability
CDNs were originally meant to protect websites from distributed denial of service of attacks through the use of several servers that can scale with increasing demand. Indeed, today’s CDNs are not only good at handling DDoS attacks but can also detect other forms of attacks such as brute force or XSS attacks. You, therefore stand to benefit a great deal from using a CDN beyond performance.
4. CDNs Allow You to Scale Your Website
You may have a tiny website with very few monthly visitors when you are starting but that might not be the case in a few years or months. Using a CDN will allow you to scale your website as you add more content and attract more visitors.
These are just a few of the benefits you can get from using a WordPress CDN. There are certainly many more that you will realize as you use the CDN more such as improved rankings and better geographical presence.
How to Use a WordPress CDN
The best approach to using a WordPress CDN is identifying one CDN provider and opening an account with them. You will then be guided on how to go about changing your nameservers to point to the CDN as opposed to your host so that any requests to your web address will be handled by the content delivery network. Have fun with WordPress!