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Last updated on 9/2/20

Use a Content Delivery Network

Content Delivery Networks (CDN)

A CDN is a global network of proxy servers (intermediate servers), which speeds up the data processing for end users.

CDNs are used to enhance the overall user experience and provide a more efficient network.

How do CDNs improve the user experience?

In simple terms, a CDN stores a cached version of your content in several geographic locations (a.k.a., points of presence, or PoPs) to minimize the distance between visitors and your website’s server.

Carte du monde, avec Main server en France et des Point of Presence partout dans le monde.
Each PoP contains a number of caching servers responsible for delivering content to nearby visitors

A CDN allows your visitors to access the content on your web pages more quickly.

In practical terms, when a CDN is installed on a site hosted in France, and someone in Switzerland consults the website, they are doing it through a local PoP in Switzerland.

Decide if Installing a CDN Is a Priority for You

There are many advantages to a CDN, especially for SEO:

  • Improved page load speed and improved website crawlability.

  • More traffic without crashing your server.

  • The ability to block spam.

  • Improved server coverage, and thus website speed.

Is it always worth installing a CDN?

Installing a CDN can negatively impact your SEO if not configured properly. It can also be costly, depending on your provider.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have traffic from around the world and need better coverage?

  • Do you see a lot of traffic on your site (over 50,000 visitors per month)?

  • Do you often have spikes in traffic (media campaigns, for example)?

  • Is your site the target of spam or frequent attacks?

  • Do you have many static resources: images/videos/PDF?

If you did not answer yes to any of the questions, there are other optimizations you can do before installing a CDN. :)

Choosing the Right CDN Provider

There are many CDN providers. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Installing Your CDN

There are two options:

  • If your host offers a CDN or has a partnership with a provider, you can probably just check a box in your host interface. 🙌

  • If you select your own provider, you need to make some changes to your DNS entries. 🛠

Example Installation of a CDN

Let’s look at installing the Cloudflare CDN step by step:

  • First: input your website’s URL.

Capture d'écran de l'étape 1 de l'installation du CDN de Cloudfare sur votre site.
Installing Cloudfare CDN on your website - Step 1
  • Select a plan.

Capture d'écran de l'étape 2 de l'installation du CDN de Cloudfare sur votre site.
Installing Cloudfare CDN on your website - Step 2
  • Cloudflare will then retrieve your DNS info and tell you which ones to change in your host interface. Here is a guide on how to make DNS changes for popular hosting services.

  • Make the changes, and voila!

Let's Recap!

  • A CDN is a network of servers.

  • A CDN has several advantages, the main one being shorter page load time.

  • Several providers exist. If possible, choose one that is integrated with your host provider.

Now that we have examined website optimization techniques, let's look at how to quickly set them up on a website created using a CMS.

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