What is a Content Delivery Network?
This article will explain what a Content Delivery Network is and how it will assist your WordPress website.
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a network of servers, typically distributed around the world, that stores and delivers your website’s content to visitors. This is important because the geographic distance between your origin server (where your website is hosted) and your visitors has an impact on your website’s loading times.
Let’s say, for example, someone from the US visits your website.
Without a Content Delivery Network, your website’s content will be retrieved from the origin server, which could take several seconds to deliver. While this may not sound long, research has found that the likelihood of visitors leaving your website will increase by 32% as the load time goes from one second to three seconds, with the probability increasing more and more with every passing second.
With a Content Delivery Network, the servers will work together to retrieve and deliver content from the server that’s closest to your visitor. That way, it will load just as fast as a website that’s hosted in the US.
Here are a few additional benefits of using a CDN:
- Lower bandwidth consumption – Every time someone visits your website and data is transferred from your origin server, this uses bandwidth. Since this won’t have to provide as much data with a CDN, your bandwidth consumption and costs will be reduced.
- Improved response to high traffic – If one of your ad campaigns goes viral and your website experiences a sudden, high volume in traffic, this can cause downtime for your website. A CDN will distribute this volume across multiple servers to prevent any of them from being overloaded.
- Improved security – Hackers use distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to disable websites and online services by flooding their server with traffic. A CDN can mitigate this by distributing this increased volume across its network of servers.
There are different types of CDNs available, including static asset cache CDNs and full page cache CDNs. With full page caching, fully generated pages will be saved, or cached, on the servers that can be retrieved by the CDN (instead of having your pages built every time someone accesses your website), thereby reducing the amount of processing needed to deliver your website.
Our Managed WordPress Hosting plans come with a Content Delivery Network, which include the following:
- An updated version of the bundled CDN offering, complete with full-page caching, is now available for eligible customers. This new solution can reach 95% of the world’s population within 50 ms and comes with a built-in Web Application Firewall (WAF) service, which will filter, monitor and block HTTP traffic travelling to and from your website, preventing any malicious users from extracting unauthorised data or exploiting any vulnerabilities.
- For sites ineligible for full-page cache, the static asset cache will remain in effect.
- All Managed WordPress sites can opt out of any 123 Reg CDN within their hosting dashboard.
Can I disable the Content Delivery Network?
Yes, you can turn the CDN off at any time by following the instructions outlined below:
Start by accessing your Managed WordPress dashboard. For details on how to do this, please read our Support article: How do I access my Managed WordPress dashboard?
From there, select Settings in the toolbar.
In the area titled ‘Production Site’, untick the box opposite CDN.
After a few moments, a pop-up window will appear, informing you that the CDN has been disabled. Click OK to return to your dashboard.