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What is a CDN and why use one with WordPress?

July 19, 2017

By Yorgos Fountis

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What is a CDN and why use one with WordPress?

In today’s media-filled Web world, the need for delivering content globally in an efficient way is more crucial than ever. Content Delivery Network services (or CDN for short) enable that and much more. As WordPress sites can be quite media-intensive, CDN services nowadays are considered a staple in the WordPress world.

Thus, it is important to know what CDN is, why and when you should use one and how you can quickly set one up with just one click, using Pressidium’s WordPress CDN integration.

What is a CDN?

A Content Delivery Network is a network of geographically dispersed servers, that deliver content globally. You sign up in one and have your website’s assets automatically copied and replicated to all servers of the CDN. These servers (called edge servers) hold cached copies of your website’s static content (images, videos, file downloads, Javascript, CSS, etc) and serve a particular geographic region of users.
Then, the URLs of your website’s assets are changed to point to the CDN servers. This is all done automatically. So when a visitor visits your website, their request gets redirected, and the content is delivered via the closest CDN server geographically. For example, if a visitor from Europe visits your website that is located in North America, the content will be delivered by a CDN server that is located in Europe. 

Why use a WordPress CDN service?

Since the content of your website is delivered to your visitors by servers that are geographically closer to them, network latency is minimised. The result is faster content loading and a snappier user experience. These two variables also play a role in enhancing SEO: having a website rendered fast is looked upon favourably by Google. So besides happy users, you also enjoy higher rankings!
A CDN service also contributes to your site’s uptime and availability (which in turn improves SEO as well!) by mitigating sudden traffic spikes. In case you go viral, or launch a new product and get an influx of visits and new users, your website won’t suffer by trying to serve content to everyone. Visitors will be served by the corresponding CDN edge server at their location, and your website will stay online.

The effects of a CDN service are particularly noticeable if your WordPress site uses lots of images, file downloads, or videos. If that’s the case, don’t think twice! However, if you host a relatively simple site then the cost will not be worth it.  If you’re not sure, trying a CDN service to see if your website has significant speed improvements is probably the best way to go.

Pressidium WordPress CDN

At Pressidium we do things having you in mind.  We spare you from the hustle of researching for, choosing and setting up a separate WordPress CDN service by offering one for free on all plans! (except for the Micro).  Our CDN service offers  22 edge servers for North America, 31 for Europe, and 3 for Asia.  It supports the new HTTP/2 protocol which implements superior multiplexing, raw binary data transfer, header compression and much more.

Furthermore, it is built on SSD storage, and it is integrated with our own Pressidium caching layer. WordPress developers will also find a nifty feature that allows them to invalidate the cache on demand, and serve different versions of the same content.  By using URLs with parameters such as ?v=1.2 , these requests are treated as separate cacheable content!

Finally, setting it up is extremely simple: Log on to your Pressidium Portal and visit Websites > Overview > CDN. Then click on the gear icon and select Enable.

Pressidium WordPress CDN

 

Click on the button on the next screen to automatically open a CDN ticket, and you’re done!

Pressidium WordPress CDN

JOIN HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES THAT USE PRESSIDIUM TO SCALE THEIR WORDPRESS SITES

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