A Content Delivery Network also called as a Content Distribution Network (CDN) is a network of proxy servers and data centers that are distributed across multiple geographical locations. The prime aim of this sort of distribution is to ensure that the end-users can make the most of this layer of the internet ecosystem. They can enjoy high availability and high performance of web pages surpassing their spatial constraints. CDNs also help protect the site from huge surges in traffic.
With all these factors concerning CDNs in place, it makes sense to choose a befitting CDN. If you are confused about how to pick and choose the right CDN, here are the pointers that will become your guiding light.
- The Geographical Coordinates of Your Web Visitors
First and foremost, you should be in a position to determine the current location of your web visitors. For this, you need answers to two important questions. They are:
- Is your website registering traffic from various parts of the globe?
- Is a substantial percentage of traffic coming from visitors residing in a particular geographical location?
If you are able to answer these two pertinent questions, then you will be making a well-informed move in choosing the right CDN based on data points. And the data points here concern the location of your web visitors. If you notice a combination of these scenarios, it can be an intelligent move to choose a CDN with multiple POPs. This will enable your visitors to always check on your website, promising you increased traffic.
The second most important consideration to choose a CDN would be to delve deep into your financial needs. For this, you can knock on the doors of many CDN providers who can provide you with a monthly payment plan. There are others who bill as per the GB usage. Several others follow the “pay-as-you-use” plan. Hence it is crucial that you come up with your bandwidth requirements which can help your CDN provider to craft a befitting plan that will suit your pocket.
You simply don’t have a choice between HTTP and HTTPS. It is always advisable that you incorporate the HTTPS protocol to your website. And here is a smart way of doing this. Given a scenario that you haven’t migrated your original server to HTTPS, you can still avail the benefits of HTTPS assets that are available with your CDN. This way, you can secure your website from registering mixed-content warnings.
The “pull” and “push” zones are the determinants which enable your content to be cached on your CDN. Tagged as the most commonly used method, the “pull” zone ensures that you automatically copy your assets on to the CDN. You are lucky if you are operating with a CMS like WordPress. This will help you set up your “pull” zone within minutes.
In contrast, a “push” zone involves the manual upload of your files on to the CDN.
It is a normal practice with most of the CDN providers to provide you with a shared zone URL to host all your assets. But this comes with certain disadvantages. You will not be incorporate the principles of SEO and branding to a shared zone. Hence the way out would be to choose a custom zone URL which comes with a CNAME. Employing this zone, you will be in a comfortable position to host all your assets on your own domain.
The speed of your CDN can make or mar your website traffic. Hence it comes as a wise move to test the speed of a CDN before signing up for it. You can avail the free trial period that is offered by many CDN providers to make a befitting choice. Resting your decision on the test results, you can employ the “performance test tool” to evaluate the speed of a particular asset that your CDN can provide across 14 different geographical locations.
Last but not the least, you should tie up with a CDN provider who guarantees you data security. To arrive at a right choice, you should look into the security parameters like two-factor authentication, DDoS (Distributed-Denial-of-Service) protection, secure token and hotlink protection. Assessing the security capabilities of your CDN provider on the basis of these parameters will ensure that your website data is safe and secure at all times.
Wrapping It Up
You now have 7 pointers that will help you make a well-informed choice of picking the best CDN from the lot. You can thus conduct spade work with each of them to ensure that your website ranks high with fast and secure media delivery to your end-users.