SSL Certificates are fundamental to internet security. They are used to establish an encrypted connection and allow data to be transmitted securely between a browser or user's computer and a server or website.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a collection of geographically distributed servers that speeds up web content delivery by bringing it closer to users. Caching, a practice that temporarily saves copies of files in data centres worldwide, allows you to access internet content from a web-enabled device or browser more quickly through a server near you. CDNs cache web pages, images, and videos in proxy servers near your physical location. This eliminates the need to wait for content to load before watching a movie, downloading software, checking your bank balance, posting on social media, or making purchases. Websites and web applications delivered through a CDN experience faster page loads, faster transactions, and a more consistent online experience.
Content owners use CDNs to improve user experience, lower abandonment rates, increase ad impressions, improve conversion rates and strengthen customer loyalty. CDNs can also help defend websites from malicious actors and security threats such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
Benefits of CDN
- Improving website load times - Using a nearby CDN server to distribute content closer to website visitors (among other optimisations), visitors experience faster page loading times. Because visitors are more inclined to leave a slow-loading site, a CDN can lower bounce rates and increase the time people spend on the site. In other words, a faster website means more visitors will stay and stick around for a more extended period.
- Reducing bandwidth costs - The cost of bandwidth consumption for website hosting is a significant expense for websites. CDNs can reduce the amount of data an origin server must provide through caching and other optimisations, lowering hosting costs for website owners.
- Increasing content availability and redundancy - High traffic volumes or hardware failures can disrupt normal website operation. Due to its distributed nature, a CDN can handle more traffic and withstand hardware failure than many origin servers.
- Improving website security - A CDN can improve website security by providing DDoS mitigation, security certificate upgrades, and other optimisations.
- Greater availability. Even a powerful origin server can be overwhelmed by high traffic, so businesses must ensure that their content is available in high-stress situations. CDN providers help spread that traffic across an extensive network of servers, preventing traffic spikes from causing unexpected failures.
- User insights and analytics. When someone surfs the web, a massive amount of end-user data is generated. CDN providers provide critical insights into users’ browsing activity worldwide, allowing businesses to modify their sites for a better user experience.