How to Increase Website Speed by 68% With a CDN

When it comes to your website and succeeding online, the speed of your website should be at the top of your list. This can affect your SEO, bounce rate, conversion rate, and even the average time people spend on your site. People are not patient and will most likely leave your site if it loads slow. Read more below about how to increase website speed by 68% with a CDN.

Increase Website Speed With a CDN

There are hundreds of website optimizations you can do to increase website speed. But one of the easiest ones is to implement a CDN. A CDN, short for content delivery network, is a network of servers located around the globe which keep a copy of your content (like images, Javascript, CSS). When visitors hit your website, the content is quickly served up by the CDN from the closest physical location. By decreasing the distance from the content, this in turn turbocharges the delivery of your content.

cdn servers

Let’s say you host your website with a provider like Linode in Chicago, Illinois. When visitors near Chicago hit your website it will most likely be fast because they are close to your web server. The problem occurs when visitors further away hit your website. If someone from Germany visits your website, it will be very slow because of the latency involved. This is one of the primary ways that a CDN helps to increase website speed.

Another great thing about a CDN is that there is no extra work involved once it is setup. They utilize what they call “pull zones” which automatically copy your content. For example, whenever you upload an image to a WordPress site, this is immediately available on the CDN on servers all around the globe.

Speed Tests

I ran some speed tests to illustrate just how much a CDN can increase website speed. Each test was run 5 times and the average test was taken. This was done on another website I own. I am using KeyCDN as my CDN provider in my tests.

Speed Before CDN

First I ran website speed tests via Pingdom without the CDN enabled. A big mistake people make when testing a CDN is testing from the same location their web server and CDN are both located. This will not show you the true power of a CDN. The website in the example is hosted on a server in Dallas, TX so I ran the tests from Sweden to show you just how big a difference a CDN makes. Total load time average was 1.88s with a performance grade of 99.

increase website speed before cdn

Speed After CDN

Then I ran additional website speed tests with a CDN, KeyCDN. Again, I ran the tests from Sweden. As you can see the CDN cut my load time by 68%! The speed dropped from 1.88s down to 601ms. It also boosted by performance grade to 100.

increase website speed after cdn

Results might vary based upon your own environment and where your server is located. But you should be seeing drastic differences at locations further away.

CDN Pricing

So after seeing those results above you are probably wondering just how much a CDN costs. I use KeyCDN on this website which costs $0.04/GB. To give you a better estimate, on a typical blog that has around 50,000 visitors a month, you are looking at around $3.50 a month. This can change based on the types of files you are serving, but that gives you a ballpark idea. If you have larger files even serving 1TB a month only costs $40. A CDN is a lot cheaper than a lot of people think.

Visit KeyCDN

Would you pay $3 a month to see a decrease of over 50% in load times? Of course you would. It’s really a no brainer.

CDN Setup

A CDN is very easy to setup, and in fact I recommend you check out this tutorial on how to setup a CDN. You can be up and running in a matter of minutes. You can setup a CDN on almost any platform out there, whether it be WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento, or even a static website. brightkite.com is a WordPress site and I use the free CDN Enabler plugin.

Summary

As you can see, a CDN can drastically help you increase website speed. It’s one of the easiest website optimizations you can make. If you have any questions regarding how to use a CDN I am always happy to answer any questions. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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