For those who haven’t heard the term before, CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It works by speeding up the delivery of your content website, serving it from the closest location near where the user is accessing your web. Here is a quick intro about what a CDN is and how it works.
A CDN will not only cache your files in a location close to your users, allowing a faster experience and response times. But it can also help you define policies on how you want your files to be cached. Depending the user device based on the types of files.
How does this help? Sometimes users go back to your website, especially if they are interested in your offering. If you have the right cache policies in place, the second time a user accesses your website, it won’t have to wait because all the files they need for your website to be shown on their screen are already in their device. The experience for them will be swift.
As the name says, Image CDNs have a dedicated architecture and were designed to deliver your website’s images faster to the users accessing your website.
Image delivery involves more than being close to the user location; some Image CDN may include image transformations, re-encoding, compressing, and quality control.
Not all users are equal; some of your users may be using a 5G network with the latest iPhone in the market, some others may have an old Android phone with a spotty network connection.
People will access your website from various scenarios. A well-designed Image CDN or Image Optimization Service will adapt to that and send different files for the same image, based on the user device, browser, and network connection. Here is the coverage of Piio, it uses a network with 216, in 84 cities and 42 countries:
How to choose the right type of CDN
There are very cheap CDNs on the market, but there are also some very expensive ones. Your cost will vary based on how much data is transferred to your users and your users’ location.
Generally, delivering content in Latam might be more expensive than delivering content in the US. Understanding how your users are distributed across the globe can help you optimize cost based on the location.
Another way of evaluating CDNs is by benchmarking the CDN performance for different files. You can test it from the user’s location. A CDN that performs very well in the UK might not perform that well in Canada. And some CDNs might work better for smaller files, others may be better with large files.
Understanding how your users will access and navigate your website, is the first step to choose the right CDN for your website. Let’s discuss which CDN fits you.