Choosing the right hosting provider for your website is HUGELY important and probably the most important part of your website. Like a house, if you don’t put in the right foundations in at the start then your house is going to start getting problems and it just won’t be a good construction. Hosting is the same, choose a hosting provider that is below par and your website will see the effect. In this blog post I discuss why I had no choice but to leave my hosting provider.
My website seems slow do I need a CDN to help me?
The first thing I recommend you do before even considering buying a CDN is test your website using tools.pingdom.com/fpt/.
This website tests the speed of your website from various locations around the world and gives you a breakdown of what is the main issues effecting your website speed, you may find it isn’t your media files after all it may be something else…
Optimize your hosting provider first
When you put your url into the test box if you notice the first option that appears ( which happens to be your connection to your host ) is one of your slowest features ( anything about 1 second is pretty poor, anything about 3 seconds and you really do need a new provider ) then this will be a hosting server issue.
If your website is on what is called a “shared server” (which most websites are if they are not a large corporation with their own IT equipment) then getting a fast connection can be difficult. A shared server means just that, you share your server with other websites and sometimes there can be hundreds sharing the bandwidth to your server and why a connection can be slow. Some hosting providers do give the option of dedicated hosting but it does tend to cost a lot more…if you are a fairly young online business I would stick with shared hosting until finances permit you to make the transfer to dedicated hosting.
Research your hosting providers for your needs
Some hosting providers are better than others for different reasons and Bluehost.com is one particular host that is recommended for WordPress sites, but don’t take my word for it. I recommend that you consider doing some research about hosts, read customer feedback and possibly look into changing your hosting provider.
My host is great, so what is a CDN?
Why is having a CDN going to help your website? Speed is one reason a CDN can boost your websites performance but there are more reasons, if you are interested in what they are then please…read on!
So why should I buy a CDN for my website?
Users have a need for speed
Users are very impatient and getting more impatient.
They expect fast & efficient websites so they can reach the information they want at lightning fast speeds. A user just sees a browser window but behind that computer screen of that web request activated from a left mouse click of your right hand is traveling down the internet highway to process a large amount of data of varying types and putting it together like a jigsaw of varying file types to return it back to the screen of the user wherever they may be.
One datacentre in a big wide world
If you are lucky your website data will be stored on servers that are located in a high tech top of the range data centre like the one at MigSolv.com. Although this is great the problem with this is that if you are in a far off land such as California accessing a website stored in the UK it will take longer than one closer to where the web request is being made.
Geo-location on the CDN
This is where a CDN steps in. A CDN relieves this issue by delivering that data from the closest server, via geo-location ( Geolocation is simply the identification of where the electronic device request is being made from).
Improves your User Experience
Once you have set up your CDN then the website increases in speed & the user will be happier in at least one area of using your site. Since using my CDN I have seen my bounce rate decreases by 20% and the amount of time people staying on the site increasing.
A CDN will likely improve your conversions
As Goran Candrlic mentions in his post about website conversions and speed. For every 1 second of improvement they experienced up to a 2% increase in conversions.There is some great information on that post about speed and conversion so when you get time check it out!
Search Engines have a need for speed too!
If your site is fast the major search engines will fall in love with your content! You will find you start ranking higher for your pages and higher search engine ranks means more traffic and more traffic means more chance for conversions!
You can’t take me down so easily
The fear of hackers, spammers and others with malicious intent is a constant worry for website owners. Having a CDN gives you some extra redundancy should a hacker manage to take your website down because your files are stored in a type of cloud in varying data centres around the world so you content may still be accessible. One little piece of mind if it ever happens to you and you need to reinstall your content to your website.
A CDN can help you when you get popular
All website owners dream of gaining thousands of visits a day. Becoming web famous would be a dream and would be the best way to increase conversion rates. As you create more great content your traffic increases thus more requests for the data will be needed putting extra strain on your server. A CDN reduces the pressure on the server and will make your website faster even when you have unpredictable spikes in traffic.
Which CDN is best for a WordPress based site?
Why I am discussing WordPress? WordPress may be the most popular CMS widely used by website owners worldwide today. Its simplicity of use and lack of a need to understand in-depth coding ( although it is good to have at least some basic html knowledge at least ) to make a website work well for your business.
A very good cache plugin that ALL WordPress sites should have installed is W3 Total Cache.
W3 Total Cache and MaxCDN
W3 Total Cache has a feature to add MAXCDN. When a plugin as good as W3 Total Cache recommends a CDN you automatically know this is probably the best option for your site.
Tried and tested another CDN , Cloudflare
I did try Cloud flare first before I started using MaxCDN as my chosen CDN but I didn’t feel I was getting the level of service I was expecting.
It came with features to block well-known threats from certain IP addresses across the world that are recorded but the problem with Cloudflare is that sometimes it blocked some people who are genuine visitors which seriously frustrated them.
You may say this is a small price to pay for a CDN making sure to keep your website as secure as possible but I think as long as you back up your databases and content as regularly as possible using any backup program, then you have nothing to fear from hackers and spammers as a restore of the system should be pretty straightforward as long as you give your hosting account a very strong password.
MAXCDN was and is the best option for me
I use MAXCDN for my website content and I couldn’t be happier! I am writing this from the point of view of a very happy customer. I could write and promote several CDNs with the chance of getting affiliate percentages from all products like several blogs do but that isn’t why I write about certain products, I write about products I believe in and that I have had a great experience with. I believe in only promoting products that I truly believe in and that I think others can also reap the benefits of.
Exceptional customer service
I think what stood out for me with MaxCDN was their live chat feature. When I wasn’t sure whether I had set up the CDN correctly I spoke to one of their employees via the Live chat and I was very very impressed! I created another user with admin privileges so they could access the plugin and the employee then set up the CDN perfectly.
Of course giving access to my website to someone I didn’t know did give me a little apprehension but as I back up my site regularly I felt it would be okay to create a new account and delete it once it was completed.
I was blown away by this level of customer service , they could have pointed me into an online tutorial but they exceeded their requirements and helped all they could!
Clearly faster than before
Making my connection for users to my website faster was really important to me, probably the most important and MaxCDN really delivered. I am much happier with my website speed since using MaxCDN and I highly recommend the product.
So should I get a CDN for my website?
You may have guessed already but I think EVERYBODYS website should have a CDN. Fact.
If you are serious about generating traffic and providing a brilliant experience to your potential clients or readers then you have to own a CDN for optimum website speed experience.
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