The Internet has a need for speed; that much everyone already knows. But why is this so important for your WordPress site, and why should you use a CDN for WordPress to help with your site’s loading times?
You’ve probably seen the 3 second loading time chart many times. It, and countless charts just like it, are everywhere.
There’s a reason for that though – page loading time affects conversions. It’s as simple as that. And what are most WordPress sites aimed at, ultimately? I know that my sites are all focused on somehow making money. Whether they’re affiliate sites or service-based websites, they’re all aimed at converting.
If loading times affect conversions, then a fixation on speed is a good thing!
Take a look at four reasons that you may want to use a CDN for WordPress sites that you build or manage.
1. Your Site Will Load Faster with a CDN
This is one of the strongest selling points of setting up a CDN for WordPress.
One of the biggest speed killers for your website is distance . Specifically, the distance between your hosting server and the visitor’s browser. Whilst the size of your page makes a real difference, the distance the content has to travel can definitely be the largest bottleneck in website loading speeds.
Ideally, your visitor needs to be as physically close to the hosting server as possible.
Unfortunately, setting up a hosting server at a location which is physically close to any one particular visitor is all but impossible — unless you are setting up a CDN, that is.
The very idea of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) is exactly that. A CDN’s primary purpose is to set up as many servers as possible in different geographical locations, such that anybody who hits the service is as physically close as possible to one of the locations.
Have a look at the following image from Incapsula CDN (one of my preferred services) which explains the concept perfectly.
You can see that there are many CDN server points. In this manner, all visitors, in any location in the world, are always served content from a location which is (relatively speaking) near to them.
Hosting static content on a CDN network is the closest you can get to creating a global hosting setup for your website.
2. Your Website Will be Safer with a CDN
The next reason why a CDN is essential for your website is security.
Did you know that more than 51% of the web’s traffic actually comes from bots rather than humans?
When I first saw this report, I was completely taken aback:
The even scarier statistic from the above is that 29% of web traffic comes from malicious bots.
That means your website is constantly under a deluge of bad bot traffic. If you’ve ever taken a look at analytics data, or used a security plugin like WordFence, you’re already aware of this fact.
These bots are constantly probing your site for vulnerabilities. If you slip slightly in your security efforts, if you have not chosen a good WordPress host, or if you miss a WordPress security update or a plugin update, rest assured your site will soon be suffering the consequences.
Most CDNs are able to identify and block bad bots rapidly, making your site safer when plugged into a CDN. The collective knowledge gained by the network can be used to prevent attacks on your own sites.
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