Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a large distributed system of multiple servers deployed in numerous data centers. The sole goal of CDN is to serve content to end-users with high performance and availability. Nowadays CDN serve a large fraction of content over the internet.
So you can also say that CDN is a kind of service which makes internet a lot faster and websites with millions of users in terms of traffic affordable. If websites owner started paying for bandwidth and multiple or high-end servers, they’ll end-up shutting down their own websites.
What CDN does and why you should use it?
So if your blog has over 500,000 monthly visitors, you will notice a lot of downtime of your server. This downtime of your server will increase bounce rate of your site. This enormous amount of traffic will also use all of your server bandwidth and will make your server CPU cry of its life.
So what you can do is try a CDN service for a better load delivery. Since the files are shown from the closest server, the load time is drastically reduced. With a faster page load time, you’ll see a decrease in bounce rate and a good amount of regular visitors.
Now before trying to pay for big CDN services like Amazon S3, Max CDN, etc., you should give a try to these free CDN services and see if using CDN really helps your website or not.
A list of 5 free CDN networks
CloudFlare is one of the most popular free CDN service out there. It operates on 20 data centers throughout the world. It caches your static files at their edges nodes, so that these files are stored closer to your visitors. CloudFlare uses Anycast technology to re-route your visitors to the nearest data center which results a faster load time for your website.
CloudFlare states that they save about 60% of your server bandwidth. And the best thing about CloudFlare is that they never charge you for bandwidth usage as they believe that each and every website should be fast.
CoralCDN is a free and open content delivery or distribution network. It works on peer-to-peer technologies, composed of world-wide network of nameservers and web proxies. If you want to use CoralCDN to publish content, then just append the URL with “.nyud.net” or you can simply open a website using CoralCDN by just adding .nyud.net to the hostname.
CoBlitz provides a means to scale large files of a server over an HTTP content distribution network. It requires no modification of the clients or servers, since all the necessary support is located on the content distribution network. To run URL through CoBlitz content distribution network all you have to do is add “http://coblitz.codeen.org/” to the URL which you want to serve.
Incapsula offers state-of-the-art performance and security to websites of all sizes. Just a simple DNS change, your website’s traffic is routed through incapsula’s globally distributed network of high-powered servers. It even protects you from threats like multi-Gigabit DDos attacks (Not available for free). It only takes about five minutes to add your website to Incapsula by making changes to your DNS (Domain Name Server).
Closing Words: Using CDN for a website with lot of traffic will definitely help you in decreasing load time and increasing visitors. But before paying a good amount of money to big CDN services, you should first give a try to free CDN networks, just to find out if it is really helping you and your visitor or not.