A Dummy’s Guide to Content Delivery Networks

You’re scrolling through the web having the time of your life. You should be sleeping but each article you read is enticing and boy-oh-boy, a slide show of the best-dressed movie stars pops up! You start to wonder how all of this content can load so fast, it’s almost magic. You think to yourself, if my website would load that fast, my bounce rate would surely decrease. I could start actually making money, and that would be good because mom and dad’s basement is getting old and I can’t get dates to come over.

You ask yourself, how would it be possible to achieve that success? Well the answer is a whole bunch of things really, like image optimization, server resources etc. However, the first thing you can do is use a CDN (content delivery network), and it does much more than help load content faster.

First, let’s discuss how users typically land on a website. A user types in an address and the server that houses the website returns it back to your computer. Now that server could be anywhere in the world as you can see from the image below. Let’s say you’re that poor fellow in Australia. That website is being delivered all the way from the US through the internet infrastructure, which is basically a mesh of hubs, and that can really slow things down.

A Content Delivery Network is a series of servers that are all over the globe. These servers take a copy of the website content and store it so that users in different geographical areas can access the content from the closest and fastest source. So let’s pretend again that you’re that poor fellow in Australia. Guess what? You’re no poor fellow anymore; you’re getting that website delivered from Thailand instead of the US. This means there are a lot less hurtles for the website to take in order to get to you, so now that website full of kittens is loading faster!

So what’s great about a Content Delivery Networks is that, not only does it help content delivery times but it also helps in the following ways:


DDoS Protection

  • By storing your website all over the globe, the likelihood of a DDoS attack taking your website down will decrease drastically
Traffic Increase

Protects an increase in traffic

  • When you post that great image of a margarita on the beach and everyone is directed to your blog, the CDN helps by absorbing the effects of the traffic surge. Go margaritas!!

Helps with SEO

  • By loading your site faster, search engines will rank you higher in search results.


  • By having servers all over the globe that have a copy of your website, if any server goes down, there will be another one that will still function for your users.

So now you know the basics of what a Content Delivery Networks is and what it can do for you. The next step of getting out of mom and dad’s basement so that you can finally grow up and go on dates is finding the right Content Delivery Networks provider. If you have read my article “Why Managed WordPress Hosting Beats Peanut Butter Pancakes”  and you have a WordPress website, then you know that most managed services offer a CDN service, and you should take advantage of it. If you don’t use WordPress or you’re not on a managed hosting platform, then Cloudflare  would be my recommendation. It has a free plan so that you can test the waters out before purchasing the recommended pro plan.  Now go get your Content Delivery Networks and move out of your parent’s house already!

Join the conversation below: How did your website perform after using a CDN? Which CDN provider do you prefer?