A CDN, or content delivery network, improves the performance of your WordPress blog by optimizing server resources to let you handle high-volume traffic more quickly.
If you’re wondering whether or not a CDN can improve your readers’ experience, simply ask yourself these three questions:
- Does your site receive international visitors?
- Does your site experience lagging or slow load times at high volumes?
- Are you preparing for an upcoming increase in site traffic?
If your response to any of the above is “yes”, your blog can benefit from a CDN. Let’s take a look at what a CDN is, why you need one, and why we believe Jetpack has the best CDN for WordPress.
What is a CDN?
The further your visitor is located from your server, the longer they wait for your page to load, especially if your site has a lot of files. A CDN uses a network of servers across the globe to deliver your website based on each individual visitor’s location.
Let’s say that you have a blog based in the United States and a reader visits your site from Australia. If you’re using a CDN, then your site is loaded from the nearest available server to Australia rather than another server halfway around the world. This greatly reduces the amount of time it takes for your website to load.
Research shows that 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes more than three seconds to load — that’s a significant loss in readership. A CDN means more views, greater satisfaction, and a growing fan base.
Why your WordPress blog might need a CDN
You need a CDN if:
- Your site caters to an international group of readers — data takes time to travel long distances.
- Your site contains a lot of images or videos — large files take longer to load.
- You have regular traffic spikes — lots of visitors strain server resources.
- You pay for hosting based on resource usage — a CDN reduces the need for these expensive services.
Do I need a CDN even if I’m already hosting my site in the cloud?
In short, yes you do.
Hosting in a cloud environment has some great advantages, like high uptime/availability, but its capabilities are not the same. Cloud-based hosting is typically maintained more centrally, often providing servers only in a specific country or region.
Since the value of a CDN lies in its ability to improve performance based on proximity to many different geographic locations, it’s a much better way to improve global speed.
Additional benefits of a CDN
If too many people visit your website at the same time, your server can crash, especially if it’s not prepared for a spike in traffic.
Because a CDN distributes your site resources across multiple servers, your host doesn’t become overwhelmed as easily. This greatly reduces the risk of a site crash, even in very high volume situations.
Search engine optimization
Everyone loves a fast website, including Google!
While Google doesn’t make all of their ranking factors public knowledge, they’ve been clear that page speed is one of them and even provide a PageSpeed Insights tool to help developers test and troubleshoot issues.
Google is also set to include page experience as a ranking factor. And speed is an important part of that experience.
A quick-loading blog is a fast track to better rankings, more visitors, and an improved reader experience.
Why Jetpack CDN is the best choice
Unlike a third-party CDN, which is often very complicated to set up, Jetpack was designed specifically for WordPress and can be quickly and easily activated in one click — no need for confusing code or help from a developer.
A Jetpack exclusive: automatic image resizing
In addition to speeding up your site, Jetpack CDN also resizes images for display on mobile devices. This means that your website is better optimized for cell phones and tablets, which tend to have issues with large files like images and videos.
And if you change your theme, without Jetpack CDN, the sizes of your images may change, but images included in previously-published posts won’t automatically be regenerated. With Jetpack CDN, those images are automatically resized and cached so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
The best part? It’s completely free!