This information is targeted at a beginner who doesn’t care much for the technical side of a CDN, and is more interested in learning if they use one, what benefits they receive and how to set it up.
What does a CDN do?
A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a large infrastructure of web servers usually located in different areas around the world, which act to serve websites and their information to users at an accelerated rate. Basically a CDN will allow your website to perform much faster and undergo less downtime when someone uses your site.
A CDN will also cache your website incase it does go down, so that way users are still greeted with a version of your website which they can still use- although not make any changes to. (Users will not be able to upload any files, or change anything on their profile while the cached version is displaying. However, if your site is up and running, the cached version will never even be displayed.)
Should I deploy a CDN on my website?
A content delivery network should be utilized by almost any website, small or large. Since the CDN will host some of your web files for you, the user will enjoy a much more enjoyable visit with faster load speeds and less errors. A CDN will also protect against many web vulnerabilities, that hackers will try to exploit to take your website down, or gain access to sensitive information.
Most CDN’s are fairly reasonably priced, although their are a few free ones out there. My personal favorite is called CloudFlare, which offers a free and a paid option.
How hard is it to setup?
Pretty easy actually. Usually the only thing you have to do is update your DNS servers. Those can be found in your hosting provider webpage login, or through your Cpanel back-end hosting panel. CloudFlare will walk you through this process, which is simplified by their setup. Once completed, you should enjoy shaving a few seconds off of your page load times, and like the fact you are protected from many cases of bug abuse or server exploits.
Can I use this with WordPress?
In most all cases this should be compatible no matter what setup you use. WordPress works perfectly fine with a CDN and you should have no issues. Enjoy the speed!
Is it safe? Do they get any of my information?
When using a trusted name CDN they don’t need or want any of your information. They simply deliver your page to your audience faster and more reliable than your server alone. Since they require no passwords or logins of any sort, any information they do gather is available to the public anyways. You should be 100% safe when using a CDN.
I hope I answered your question about “What does a CDN do?” If you happen to want to know more, or have a question not answered please leave a comment in the comment section below, and I will answer it as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, The Eye Gen.