One tricky part about living in the landlocked American Midwest is getting to places that are really, really far away. I didn’t set foot outside of the United States until I was 21, right before my final year of college. Spending a month in Rwanda will forever be one of the most impactful experiences of my life, something I hope my kids and grandkids never get tired of hearing about. As a student, I found Rwanda’s innovative Wi-Fi and internet system to be incredibly useful, but I quickly learned that even with the best internet services, my favorite websites might still have trouble reaching me in my new location. Those sites load quickly at home because they’re hosted near to me and don’t have to travel far to reach my device. But when I travel, those websites take a lot longer to reach me in my new location. This issue has nothing to do with the internet quality of the country you’re visiting–it’s simply a question of distance.
If you want to build a website that can be easily accessed by users all around the world, you’ll definitely want to consider choosing a hosting provider that offers a content delivery network, or CDN. In this article, we’ll talk about the purpose, features and benefits of CDNs, which greatly improve the experiences of your websites’ visitors, no matter where they are in the world. But some people might not know that WordPress CDN offers even more benefits. Hopefully you’ll see the importance of these benefits and migrate your WordPress website to a hosting provider that offers the best CDN features.
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What is WordPress CDN?
Content delivery networks are an awesome way to make sure online users around the world can easily access your websites. CDNs “deliver your content” through a collection of servers that host copies of your website in locations in various geographic locations.
CDNs aren’t exactly necessary for your website to work, so not all website hosting providers offer this feature. But web users experience slower loading times when they access websites that aren’t hosted with CDNs, and that can be a very big deal. This is because your website must be hosted on a physical server, where all your files are stored. When someone accesses your website, they’re really downloading the information stored on that server to their own device.
Without a CDN, website users have to wait for their request to be processed by the websites’ server, which could be located thousands of miles away. With a CDN, however, that same user could access a copy of the website in a location much closer to them, which will greatly reduce download times. That’s because CDNs detect the location of the person trying to access your website and direct that person’s request to the nearest copy of your website on one of its CDN locations.
A WordPress CDN is simply a CDN feature for a WordPress website. Since WordPress doesn’t host your website for you, you’ll want to make sure that your hosting provider offers a CDN. (If you don’t know what website provider can do the job, you’ll find out at the end of this article.)
What are the Benefits of CDN Hosting?
As we’ve already learned, the main benefit of a CDN is that it promises faster loading speeds for your online users. But, this benefit isn’t only for people who want to access your website from another region of the world. CDNs also offer more security, website customization and reduced costs for you or your business.
Better site performance
Since CDNs reduce the distance over which website data must travel to its users, they also reduce website latency, or the overall loading time of your website. Websites with higher loadings speeds perform better, not only for people trying to access them, but also for search engines that take site speed into consideration when ranking websites. If you want your audience to find your website quickly (without having to scroll to Page 5 of Google’s search results), you’ll want a website host that offers CDN. If your CDN service also offers reliable bandwidth, or the volume of data your website can handle, then your site performance is on its way to perfection. (Of course, there are other factors that affect your website performance, but we cover those in other blog posts.)
Many CDNs are built to reduce unusual traffic spikes, which are often the result of online hackers trying to flood your website infrastructure and block actual users from accessing your site. However, this isn’t the case for all CDNs, so make sure you’re aware of what CDN brand your hosting provider offers.
One reason CDNs can reduce your website costs is because they reduce your bandwidth usage, which website hosts charge you for. Bandwidth determines the volume of requests that your website can handle, as well as the energy it takes for your website to handle those requests. CDNs speed up the time and distance required for data to travel from your website to online users. This means they also reduce the energy your website needs to process those requests, making it possible for your website to process even more data requests and transfers. Since website hosts charge for bandwidth, having a CDN for your website reduces not only your bandwidth usage but also your bandwidth cost.
Improved audience engagement
As we’ve already mentioned, CDNs make it possible for users across the world to access your website. This is a great benefit, regardless of where you are in the world or what website you’re trying to access. Since CDNs also increase your site performance, security and efficiency, your users are going to have a much more enjoyable experience on your website. This means that they’re more likely to visit your website again and stay on your site longer. Just look at your own personal experience–when is the last time you stayed on a website that took longer than a few seconds to load? Research shows that more than half of all mobile users don’t want to wait more than 3 seconds, so there’s a good chance you probably found your answer somewhere else. Since CDNs reduce the load time of your website, they also reduce your website’s bounce rate, or the percentage of users who leave your site without any interactions.
What is the Best CDN for WordPress?
Like so many things in life, not all CDNs are created equal. Sure, making sure your website host offers CDN will greatly benefit your website, but you still should be aware of false promises that some providers make with these offers.
It’s no secret that Cloudflare is one of the most popular and highest rated CDN services out there. One great benefit of using Cloudflare is that you can cache all your website content to make it available across the world. Not all CDNs allow you to do this, so Cloudflare definitely stands apart. It’s also incredibly easy to use, since no coding is required for setup. Changes are implemented quickly and easily, which reduces your website’s vulnerability to attacks while updates are being made.
How Do You Use WordPress CDN?
Using a CDN for your WordPress site is incredibly easy. All you have to do is make sure your WordPress host offers a CDN feature. Not all WordPress hosting providers offer this, so make sure you’re choosing your host carefully. Once you’ve chosen a provider that offers reliable CDN, you’ll probably have to update your DNS nameservers, or the numeric identifier of your website’s name. This will allow you to use CDN services immediately, enjoying the benefits of content caching, increased site speed and performance, reduced costs and more.
WP Super Host is proud to offer Cloudflare CDN to all of our customers, including new WordPress customers and migrated customers. If you want CDN implemented on your website, all you have to do is change your DNS nameserver so it’s compatible with CDN. (If you don’t know how to do this, don’t worry. It’s not too complicated, and we’re here to help!) If you’re already hosting your website with another hosting provider, WP Super Host offers some of the easiest and most efficient site migrations.
When you join our WP Super Host team, you’ll enjoy the benefits of WordPress CDN, but you’ll also enjoy other super hosting features, too. We may be just a bit biased, but we see ourselves as hosting superheroes who are ready to save you from the bad (hosting) guys. No matter what plan you choose, you’ll experience our intuitive user dashboard, staging and development environments, site speed reports and the best customer service. Don’t believe that we’re better than the rest? Check out our feature comparison to learn more.
I hope you’ve learned a few things from this article today. First, that travel can open your mind and help you see the world in new ways. If you or someone you know is trying to decide if abroad travel is worth it (when it’s safe to do so, of course), take that opportunity! I also hope you’ve learned that good website hosting can do wonders for your website. Of course WP Super Host puts you, our customers, at the very top of our list. But we also value your customers, too. We want everyone to have the best experience online, so it’s our mission to be the best hosting providers out there. I hope you’ll join the WP Super Host team today!