What Is CDN and How It Works

A content delivery network (CDN) is a set of servers scattered across the planet, helping you deliver content to users faster.

The internet is everywhere. If you have a hosted website, it’s available everywhere, too.

However, the website content is stored somewhere, at a physical location, from where it delivers content to visitors worldwide.

Additional Resource: Check out our Hosting a Website guide for recommendations that may make hosting your website quicker and easier.

Let’s assume that your website is hosted in San Francisco, California. When a user loads a webpage on your website, it fetches the content (including images, videos, CSS, JavaScript) from your server in San Francisco and displays a view to the visitor. It works perfectly fine if the user request is coming from San Francisco or from anywhere within California.

But if the requests are coming from Canada, China, Cuba, or Chile, your content needs to travel a lot of distance before they reach where they need to be displayed. Moreover, if many users request the same content simultaneously, the server gets bogged down and may take more time to manage the load and queue up responses. Quite naturally, the speed of content delivery is affected as a result. The website may experience higher latency and longer page-load time.

This is where CDN comes in.

CDN Speeds up Content Delivery and Decreases Website Load Time

A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a vast network of servers spread throughout the globe. The static assets and dynamic content of your website are cached and saved on all these servers.

When any visitor requests a page – from Canada, China, Cuba, or any other location – the website fetches cached content from the nearest server and delivers it to the visitor locally. In this case, the content is not required to travel across the globe; it’s always around the corner. So, the speed of content delivery is lightning fast.

Contentstack: A CDN-enabled CMS

Contentstack is a headless CMS platform that enables faster content delivery through its reliable web framework, cache policies, and several other features. As a result, it has always ranked amongst the fastest content delivery platforms available in the market.

But what gives Contentstack that lightning speed? The answer is CDN. Contentstack has a fully functional CDN platform that adds more speed to content delivery operations. Everything you need comes pre-configured with Contentstack. And therefore, you don't need to spend any maintenance time, money, or effort from your side.

Note: If you are using Contentstack to manage content for your website, lightning-fast content delivery comes by default.

Additional Resource: Interested in setting up a CDN of your own for your Contentstack websites? Refer to our Set up a Content Delivery Network for Contentstack-powered Websites guide.

Four Major Benefits of a Content Management System with CDN

Apart from the significant benefits of using a headless CMS, here are some other services that you get by using CDN-enabled Contentstack.

  1. Better reliability and response times: When a page request is made, the content is fetched and delivered from the nearest server rather than from the original server. This ensures that content is always available and delivered even in cases of high visitor traffic, intermittent spikes, and server outages, resulting in better customer experience and satisfaction.
  2. Accurate analytics and intelligence: CDNs provide data about end-users such as user location, device types, browsing patterns, and upcoming trends across the globe. This performance data helps in getting critical and actionable insights as well as intelligence into the visitor base.
  3. Reduced costs: A CDN eliminates the need to invest in advanced infrastructure and several high-priced servers across the globe. It enables you to achieve similar results by investing a fraction of the amount in a global CDN that can be managed through a single platform and reach millions of users. For Contentstack users, CDN comes as a free feature.
  4. Improved SEO rankings: Search engines love fast sites. They consider speed in the SEO ranking algorithm. Moreover, due to quick page loading time, the bounce rate is usually relatively low compared to slower sites.

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