The Importance of Using a CDN with Your WordPress SiteWith the numerous studies that have been conducted in recent years – all of which illustrate the importance of running a fast, high-performing website – it is no surprise that one of the major areas of focus for webmasters and WordPress developers is user experience. Speed is a factor that is consistently ranked high when evaluating user experience. There is good reason for this: the frustration that individuals experience while attempting to visit a slow-loading or malfunctioning website directly affects their likelihood of revisiting the page in question. Some users will simply close the tab if a website is taking a long time to load. If you are concerned about the number of visitors who use your website and are investigating various options to increase the amount of traffic you experience, you should be curious about your website’s speed performance.

One way to increase speed and user experience is through the use of a CDN (Content Delivery Network). The first thing to keep in mind, however, is that a CDN is not a host but rather a tool that is used in addition to your hosting account. You need both a CDN as well as a host, in other words – one does not work without the other.

The Advantage of Using CDNs

Your WordPress website is hosted on your host provider’s server. When an individual attempts to access your site, they are directed to your webhost provider’s server in order to view your webpage. If your website sees a lot of traffic, it is possible to overload this server. If the server is overloaded it means that your website will load much slower than normal; if the server crashes, then your site will not load at all.

Content delivery networks, known as CDNs, are networks of multiple servers that store static content – images, stylesheets, JavaScript files, etc. – from your WordPress website and deliver that cached information to users depending on their location in the World. A CDN will ensure that users are directed to the available server closest to their geographic location, which in turn ensures that they will not experience delays caused by using a server located far away from them. Your website is still hosted on the server of your web host – a CDN simply ensures that multiple servers share the load and reduces the likelihood of downtown due to high traffic and server crashes.

There are multiple benefits to using a CDN. In addition to those touched upon above, the benefits include a boost in overall website speed and performance, improved visitor experience, and improved search engine optimization (SEO). A website that loads properly and quickly not only tends to have more visitors than one that is slow and lags a lot, but also tends to be listed higher in search engines such as Google. Additionally, an improved user experience, free of delays and interruptions caused by heavy server loads can help users form a positive association to your website. This increases their chances of visiting the page again, exploring your website and reading about the products or information you offer, and recommending your website and services to others.

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