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Using CDN To Improve Your End User Experience

November 19
22:16 2010

If you take the time to notice the actual content being delivered to your browser when you load a page on any large site, you’ll find that many of the images – and even the text content itself in some cases – are not actually being retrieved from the site you thought you were hitting. For example, I just loaded the CNN.com home page at the time of this writing and I can see a photo of the Washington, D.C. subway. If I view the source on that photo, I can see it is actually being loaded from a content delivery network, or CDN:

<img src=”http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/CRIME/10/27/virginia.plot.arrest/t1main.dc.metro1.gi.jpg” width=”250″ height=”250″ alt=”Man charged in alleged D.C. subway bomb plot” border=”0″ hspace=”0″ vspace=”0″>

In most cases, the purpose of a CDN is really three-fold:

  1. It offloads server processing for “static” resources such as images, Flash files, and JavaScript files to other servers, which reduces the loading on your own web/application servers.
  2. CDNs are designed around a global infrastructure to ensure that the content being loaded comes from the most geographically optimal location. If you are located in the state of Texas and are hitting the CNN.com site in Atlanta (or wherever it sits), you won’t necessarily be sent a set of files from Atlanta – they may come from a CDN datacenter in Houston, Texas. This ensures fewer network hops which results in a faster page load and, the site owner’s hope, a good user experience which will keep you coming back for more.
  3. The ability to manage specific content within a page such as advertising using a single management tool across a network of sites. This, in a way, blurs the lines of what a CDN is but for some the only offloaded content on a page may be the advertising, which in effect makes the ad delivery mechanism that site’s CDN.

Deployment of content onto a CDN can also help with search engine optimization (SEO) as the search engine algorithms now factor in speed as part of their scoring. Leading hosting providers today offer arrangements and direct integration into CDN providers through their tool-sets so this is yet another item to be considered when selecting a hosting provider.

Approved Host provider who can assist with the tool-sets is DedicatedNOW.com.  For more information on DedicatedNOW and the FindMyHost consumer guarantee included with your purchase: www.findmyhost.com/dedicatednow.

About Author

FindMyHost Editor

FindMyHost Editor

The 'Web Hosting Blog' at FindMyHost.com was established to provide the web hosting industry with the very latest in news, technology, interviews, event information and more. About FindMyHost.com: Launched in January 2001 to protect Web Host Consumers and Web Developers from making the wrong choice when choosing a Web host. FindMyHost.com showcases a selection of web hosting companies who have undergone our Approved Host program testing and provides reviews from customers.

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