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What Is a CDN and How Can I Get One from SSL.com?

What is a CDN?

Each day, businesses from around the world rely upon their web presence to reach diverse audiences in many nations. When major websites (think Amazon, Facebook, Netflix) serve content today, they do not simply do it from a single dedicated server, or even from a cluster of servers located together in the same datacenter. Instead, they use groups of geographically-distributed proxy servers, known as Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), to cache and deliver website content. By caching content all over the globe and coordinating distribution, CDNs work to reduce the load on a company’s web servers and bring content such as images, videos, CSS, JavaScript, and HTML physically closer to end users. Each location in a CDN is referred to as a Point of Presence (PoP) and contains caching servers that serve a particular geographical area.

Sound interesting? Read on to find out how a CDN can work for you, and how quick, easy, and affordable it can be to set one up with SSL.com.

CDN diagram
Source: Ludovic of Privacy Canada

Benefits of a CDN

A CDN can offer you and your business the following important benefits:

Increased Website Speed

While web pages and applications have gotten progressively heavier with content each year, users’ expectations of quick load times have simultaneously increased. A 2017 study by Google indicates that while “the average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds … 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load.” Statistics like this should be alarming to any business that relies on its web presence to reach customers. These numbers also make it abundantly clear why Google now uses load times as a factor in page ranking for both desktop and mobile search results.

A CDN can dramatically decrease website load times by bringing bandwidth-intensive content closer to end users. Imagine that your company’s origin web servers are located in San Francisco, but that you also have many customers in Western Europe and China. Without a CDN, it will take significantly longer for your pages to load in London or Beijing as opposed to Las Vegas because of the geographical distance from the web server and the number of networks and servers between them that must be traversed. With a CDN, your content will have already been distributed to proxy servers in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and will arrive quickly in all three locations.

Increased Reliability, Scalability, Redundancy, and Security

By establishing geographically-dispersed caches of web content on different networks, a CDN decreases a website’s vulnerability to isolated network and hardware failures. The failure of a single PoP server will not noticeably impact the ability of most customers to access your content, as some will not be in the affected region, and those that are will be re-routed to another available server until the problem is fixed.

Furthermore, by bringing multiple caches of content closer to end users, you immediately decrease your website’s load times for users all over the globe and increase your site’s ability to scale to meet spikes in demand. These temporary increases in activity, such as those generated by one-day specials or publishing a piece of content that goes viral, will be spread among your CDN’s PoPs instead of hammering your own web servers to a standstill.

A happy side effect of this increased ability to handle spikes in demand is that the global redundancy provided by a CDN can help insulate your origin servers and website from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. To make things even more secure and compliant with today’s expectations of universal HTTPS, SSL/TLS certificates can and should be installed on CDN PoP servers. (You already knew that SSL.com could help you with that part, but keep reading…)

Reduced Bandwidth Costs

By serving cached static content from its own PoP servers, a CDN dramatically reduces bandwidth demands (and accompanying expense) on a company’s origin web servers. This can be much more cost-effective than scaling up your own company’s web hosting plan. In fact, SSL.com offers plans starting as low as $20 per month, making it easy for even the smallest startup to get involved. Keep reading to find out more about how we can help you…

How SSL.com can help you with a CDN

You already know that SSL.com is a Certificate Authority, but did you know that we also offer a full-featured and cost-effective CDN to our customers? SSL.com‘s CDN offers full compatibility and simple integration with WordPress and other popular Content Management Systems. Some of the important benefits offered by SSL.com‘s CDN are:

  • Global coverage with no extra charges: SSL.com‘s CDN will automatically deploy your websites across our entire global network (Europe, USA, Asia, and Australia). And, unlike some other companies, SSL.com does not charge extra to include any region – you get them all at one low price.
  • SSL is included: All plans include free, auto-installed, custom SSL/TLS. (We are a Certificate Authority, after all!) You can get as many SSL-enabled custom domains as you want or need.
  • HTTP/2: SSL.com’s CDN is automatically HTTP/2-enabled. HTTP/2 is faster than HTTP and requires SSL. Both SSL and faster load times factor into improving your Google search rankings.
  • RESTful API: Automatically create, update, and delete multiple resources, or purge single files from the entire cache with our API.
  • Pay as you grow: We grow with you as your audience gets bigger. Scale up your CDN plan at any time with a simple click. SSL.com offers three tiers of service, starting at just $20 per month.
  • No long-term commitment: Pay monthly and cancel anytime.
  • No-suspend guarantee: Our no-suspend guarantee ensures that your site and CDN will continue to perform even as you go over your limits. Overages are rounded up to the nearest 100GB or you can simply upgrade your plan.
  • Real-time stats: Our in-depth analytics mean that you can track your content and usage on the fly.
  • 24/7 support: Our amazing support team are always on hand to help you out when you need it, by phone, email, and chat.

Interested? To find out more about how you can get started with a CDN from SSL.com today, visit our CDN product page for full details on the plans and pricing we offer. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at support@stg.ssl.com, 1-SSL-Certificate (1-775-237-8434) or just use the Live Chat option at the bottom right of this page. And, as always, thank you for choosing SSL.com!

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