CDN is short for Content Delivery Network. It is a network of servers that deliver content from websites to users depending on the geographic location of the user visiting the site. CDNs exist to speed up a website and the browsing experience, though they also have security and other performance benefits.
To get an understanding of how a CDN works, let’s map out an example of what happens when a visitor comes on to your site. Traditionally they would be loading your site from the server that is hosting it. Let’s say your server is in Canberra but your visitor is from France. Instead of sending the content all the way from Canberra to France, a CDN which has bits and pieces of your information stored around the world, would send that information from one of its servers nearby – say Germany. This is an example of the performance benefit of a CDN in terms of loading speed.
By using the network of servers within a CDN, and taking some of the stress away from your main server, a CDN can also help your site deal with traffic surges. Instead of pushing your main server to its limits coping with all the requests, a CDN would spread the load within its network.
One final, yet crucial benefit, is that using the same technique as above but also scanning the traffic coming through, a CDN can keep your website secure and redirect any traffic intending to do damage to your site.
Futuretheory’s hosting platform includes a CDN that can be activated should you need it. Feel free to ask us for more information!