Understanding CDN Costs

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers located in different geographical regions that work together to deliver Internet content quickly.

CDNs enable a rapid transfer of assets necessary for loading Internet content such as HTML pages, javascript files, stylesheets, videos, and images. CDN services have become so popular over time that today, the majority of web traffic is served by CDNs.

A well-configured CDN can help websites protect themselves against malicious attacks such as Distributed Denial Of Service (DDOS).

Content Delivery Networks and their numerous benefits for users:

Although there are many benefits to using a CDN, the undermentioned are the most important—

 

  • CDN speeds up website loading times: 

Site visitors can experience faster page loads by being served content via a CDN server closer to them. CDNs can help reduce bounce rates by increasing the number of time users spend on a website. A quick-loading website means more visitors stay and are likely to return.

 

  • Bandwidth cost reduction: 

Website hosting bandwidth is a major expense. CDNs allow website owners to lower their hosting costs by using caching and other optimizations.

 

  • Addressing redundancy: 

Large traffic volumes or hardware malfunctions can cause disruptions to a website. CDNs are more resilient in this regard as they have been designed to handle higher volumes of traffic.

 

  • Security: 

Website security can also be improved by a CDN. Most CDNs provide DDoS mitigation and security certificate improvements.

 

  • A CDN facilitates global reach:

One-third of the world’s population uses the internet, meaning that global internet use has increased exponentially in the past 15 years. CDNs offer cloud acceleration and local POPs. This global reach eliminates latency issues that can interrupt long-distance transactions online and slow download times.

 

  • Analytics:

Content delivery networks not only provide content at an extremely fast rate but also offer valuable analytical data to uncover trends that could improve advertising sales. CDNs are able to provide real-time load statistics, optimize bandwidth per customer, display active areas, identify which assets have been most popular, and give customers viewing details. These details are crucial as usage logs are removed once the server source has been added. Developers can use info analysis to find out everything they need to improve the website’s performance. All this leads to a better user experience which in turn affects sales and conversion rates.

 

  • A CDN can save you a lot of money

A CDN is a cost-effective way to save money for your business. Instead of investing in infrastructure and different service providers around the world, you can invest in a CDN. A global CDN can eliminate the need for expensive foreign hosting. It provides a single platform that can handle all operations and works across many regions at a fair price. CDNs can also be recommended for companies that work on a limited budget.

 

  • Improved SEO: 

Search engine optimization is another important benefit that a CDN can offer. The SEO ranking of a CDN-powered site improves because of two main reasons.

 

—Improved site speed

Search engine optimization is positively affected by website speed improvements. 

Google has used page speed since 2010 as a ranking indicator for SEO in order to improve user experience online. Meaning, it is more likely that visitors will stay on your site if the site loads quickly.

The vast number of servers that a CDN network is composed of is where you can see a benefit. SEO benefits are consistent with the benefits of a CDN, which is designed to make it easy for users to see your content without lags and delays. 

 

—Use rich media more effectively

No matter what your industry is, being able to stand out from the crowd is a key skill. Many doors are open to you if you have the ability to use rich media without worrying about your site’s performance.

Websites that include rich media, such as video, high-resolution images, and custom assets, can tell better stories.

It becomes easy to build trust in the market when you use different forms of engaging media that allow customers to interact with you. Even if the website is fast, users might not like it if it doesn’t appear professional or isn’t well-designed.

By using a CDN you can increase your website’s performance, without compromising on your media assets.

How does a CDN function?

A CDN stores a cached copy of your website’s content in multiple locations to minimize the distance between visitors and the server. Each PoP or node on the server has a number of caching servers that deliver content to the visitors living within its vicinity.

Since CDN allows you to place your content in multiple places at once, this provides superior coverage for your users. If someone is in London and wants to access your US-hosted site, they can do so through a PoP in the UK. This is faster than having visitors’ requests and your replies travel across the Atlantic.

How does CDN improve user experience?

Customers’ experience on your website is crucial to the success of your business. Google’s 2018 research revealed that 53% of mobile users abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. 79% said that they would not visit a site with poor performance.

A high-performing website that is user-friendly is always a big hit for any business with an online presence.

SMBs can take this advantage by incorporating a CDN into their website. A CDN will dramatically improve the speed of their websites and make them more user-friendly.

Note that a CDN can make a website load 30% faster than a server-based system. This could, depending on what type of website is being loaded, mean that your site loads in milliseconds or even faster.

CDN pricing: What all you need to know

Pricing variables

People need to realize that a free CDN can work but has very few features. For freelance artists with just 2 or 3 pages, this may be fine, but for those who run growing startups or established businesses, a free CDN won’t do the trick.

Moving on, CDN markets continue to be very active and CDN pricing models remain dynamic. The fact that services have become cheaper is a bonus. Similar to cell phone plans, it is now becoming more common to bundle essential delivery platform features with standard CDN requirements. These include WAF, SSL DDoS Protection and Monitoring Tool in addition to DNS Network and Live Video. However, you won’t get all the features you see above in a free CDN. So, it’s important that you sign up with a reliable service provider so you are exposed to many amazing services with the lowest CDN pricing.

 

The best CDN pricing models and what you are paying

Today, clients have the option to choose between Pay-As-You-Go or negotiated monthly agreements. There are numerous service providers that will also allow you to cancel the subscription at any moment.

When it comes to pricing, here’s where your money goes:

  • Traffic costs for your website

Solutions, features, services, including customer support and organ shield, SSL certificates, as well as CDN storage and data centers.

  • Set-up fees for CDN, if applicable

If applicable, minimum monthly fees or other commitment rates.

It’s important to keep in mind that the pricing of CDNs is affected by regions and data centers. A CDN having a number of locations that can better serve your global requirements is always a good bet for your business.

Why is a free CDN not always the best solution?

Even if you don’t understand how a CDN works or how it will benefit your business, you can use one as free CDN services are readily available. So, yes you can jump right into the free service side of technology if you want to. But then should you do so? Well, even if you do, you’ll soon realize that a free CDN is not sufficient to cover all your important needs.

  • There could be a huge gap in terms of customer service

There are many CDN providers that will answer your questions. However, you won’t be given the opportunity to have the first preference. Expert help will not be available until they have addressed everyone else’s concerns. Professional tech support is essential for any business in the digital publishing or e-commerce industry. Your site will not be able to function properly if it goes down. So, getting a paid service would be the best bet here.

  • Distribution issues could surface

It is important to know the extent of your CDN provider’s coverage because that’s how you reach your market. Although some CDN providers offer free CDN services, these don’t always cover all data centers. The solutions you receive will be less comprehensive and the PoPs might be lower in number. So, it’s highly advisable that you don’t take that risk.

Endnote

CDN is a revolutionary technology that doesn’t just offer a seamless user experience to site users but also helps prevent site crashes during traffic surges. But for desired results, it’s important to get a service that meets your requirements and is in line with your growth goals.

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