CDNs And Why You Might Want To Consider Optimizing Your Site
CDNs have really been my focus lately. My post focus will be about CDNs, or Content Delivery Networks. Using a CDN can make your photography or art site load very quickly. If we look at your site from your potential buyer’s perspective, what is it that they want from you when they visit? They want to see your art, your style and contemplate whether or not they want to buy from you.
That means as a gracious host, you in turn need to make sure their visit is a pleasant and enjoyable one! Most mobile users in particular will not stay around waiting for your slow site to load if it takes over 4 or 5 seconds. Chances are, they won’t be back either.
We all know as bloggers and blog visitors that the sites we enjoy visiting the most are easy to navigate, have great content and value, and load quickly. Our blog visitors have many options as to where to find whatever it is that they need. If your site loads slowly, believe me, they will go elsewhere to buy art, photos, or find answers to challenges they may be experiencing.
Do you think that a faster, and more responsive website might help to keep blog visitors on your site to consume more of your valuable content? Or, do you think they’d rather sit and wait for scripts and images to load? 🙂
We all know that SEO is important in helping us be found much more easily. Did you know Google is obsessed with speed? (Yes, they actually came right out and said it). Google also states:
We’re (Google) including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests. Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users.” Google — Google Webmaster Central Blog
If you are marketing online, this is very important. Faster performing sites will rank higher in search engine results. As marketers look to optimize their WordPress sites, the conclusion should be that their page speed should be one of the top optimizations they need to consider.
How CDNs Work
“A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of proxy servers deployed in multiple data centers. The goal of a CDN is to serve content to end-users with high availability and high performance. CDNs serve a large fraction of the Internet content today, including web objects (text, graphics and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications (e-commerce, portals), live streaming media, on-demand streaming media, and social networks.” Content delivery network. (2016, August 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 17:40, September 8, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Content_delivery_network&oldid=733965630.
Take a look at the image below. On the left, you have your site with normal single-server delivery. On the right, you have a CDN delivering your content to your site visitors by providing alternative server nodes for your blog or site visitors to be able to download resources. As a photographer and artist, this is important because it means static content = images. The image representation doesn’t quite do it justice as these nodes are spread throughout the world, therefore being geographically closer to whomever is on your site. This will ensure a faster response and download time of content due to reduced latency.
Page Speed And Other Issues
Recently, I kept experiencing issues with security plugins on my Art and Photography Site. The issues were like ghosts flitting here and there, errors appeared one minute and were gone the next. Then, I had several plugins literally break my site! At one point, my site monitor showed my site had been down for over 4 hours! That’s just not acceptable!
This is why you have to closely monitor your site and clear your cache each time you add a plugin or delete a plugin. But, don’t think that all traces of a plugin are gone just because you deleted it! I have had several plugins leave changes on my .htaccess and my wp-config.php file. What a complete mess! At one point, my site was taking a full 60 seconds to load! Now, stop laughing!
I experienced various issues for weeks. It was time to put a stop to it. I’d finally had enough. Follow along and I’ll show you what I did.
Setting Up A CDN (Content Delivery Network) For Your WordPress Site
I had been thinking about CDNs for a few weeks, searching for information on how to make my pages load faster. It was imperative that my images display correctly. After all, an art and photography site is all about images! But, even if that isn’t your niche, you more than likely are a very savvy blogger who uses images to draw in more traffic and create a loyal following.
This information is for anyone that wants to accomplish the same goals that I set for myself. It is entirely possible that you might be able to reduce bandwidth and your hosting costs.
Speed + Efficiency + Optimization = Happy User or Visitor Experience (Increase in sales?)
If you care about your site visitors, then you will take these things seriously and do your best to provide them with a safe, fast site with tons of value. This should be everyone’s main goal as an online marketer and business owner! From there, as they get to know you and trust you, your sales will start increasing as well. 🙂 Everyone wins!
I am preparing a free e-book to share my secrets to overall WordPress Site Optimization and best practices. So stay tuned! The following is just one part of what I have done to get really good speed and optimization results.
After setting up my current system, here are my results:
Time for a disclaimer: CDNs can make a huge difference in your page speed loading times. These are my results and yours will probably vary depending on various factors. However, I highly recommend that you go to a few page speed testers (this is GTMetrix.com above), and take a screen shot prior to setting up your own CDN. I enjoy Pingdom as well. Just do a general Google search for page speed testers. I’m sure you will see a great improvement in your site!
If you would like to share your experiences if you have set up your own CDN or experienced issues like I mention above, please comment below so we can all benefit.
For those of you that would like my specific step-by-step instructions, you will find them in my next post.