Let’s say a valley has been overrun by two warring factions. Whichever side wins gets out of cleaning the dining hall for a week. One side pulls their stockpile of paintball weapons on a sled behind them and leaves them in one spot where they can get back to it easily if they need more ammo. Their opponents thought ahead. They came into the valley under the cover of darkness, dug trenches all around the valley and buried their resources so when ammo runs low or they need to replace their shooters, they can do it within five feet at any spot in the valley. Who will win?
A content delivery network, also known as CDN, is kind of like preparing for a hectic and challenging situation. It’s a smart hosting strategy that ensures a business website is never left without ammo at the moment of potential victory.
What is a CDN?
When a company signs up for typical website hosting, regardless of whether that hosting is shared, dedicated, or on a virtual private server (VPS), the company’s data is stored on one server. If that server goes offline for any reason, the website goes down. Even when a server is online, its location has an impact on a website visitor’s experience. Any lag time can be a business killer.
A content delivery network is more than just a single server. With CDN hosting, a company is actually paying for a network of servers to store data, and that network is an intelligent network. When a visitor comes to a website, the network automatically pulls data from the server closest to the visitor to ensure the best possible experience. If that server is down, no problem; the network just redirects to the next nearest server. Since it’s highly unlikely that all the servers in a network will be down at once, this results in 100 percent uptime and it’s also a great way to speed up your website.
Why is Uptime important?
Most business owners recognize that, when a site is offline, they’re not in business, and every minute not in business is a loss in revenue. What business owners may not realize is how much a slow website can hurt profits. Just because a website is up doesn’t mean it’s getting the job done, and with the super-fast speeds of the most popular websites, users don’t have to be patient. A survey by analytics company KISSmetrics found that just a one-second delay can reduce site conversions by seven percent. That same delay decreased customer satisfaction by 16 percent.
Not every company website requires 100 percent uptime or the fastest speeds, but neither of those things will ever lead to complaints from customers. Businesses that rely heavily on their websites for income, such as online retailers, should consider every instance of downtime and slow-loading lost revenue. With a CDN hosting service, a company can eliminate downtime and ensure its website runs at top speed, increasing sales and improving the customer experience. It’s like stockpiling resources, so there’s no need to scramble when traffic is heavy.