So you’re ready to purchase a Content Delivery Network to enhance web performance, but can’t be sure which CDN provider will truly deliver? Using a CDN service to maximize the performance of a website is usually a smart choice for companies, particularly those with international customers or heavy traffic, but only if the CDN hosting service selected really does the job. That’s why we’ve compiled the top tips for finding the best CDN hosting provider.
Tip #1: Location, location, location
When conducting an initial search for a CDN provider, always consider where the provider is located. Why? Chances are you’re seeking out the help of a CDN in part to improve issues with latency (the time it takes to load a page), and a CDN can improve speed only if a CDN edge server location is chosen wisely: physical distance matters. For the auto parts store that gets almost all of its web traffic from customers in the surrounding three counties, latency likely isn’t even an issue for its website because the information doesn’t have to travel far. But for the Silicon Valley company that experiences high web traffic from users around the globe, latency is likely a serious issue, which is where a strategically located CDN comes in. If the company selects a CDN provider with an edge server connection in Madrid, when a user in Spain clicks on the Silicon Valley website, the page will load much faster (up to four times, actually)as information is transported from a more proximal location.
Tip #2: Determine your specific needs, and pick a provider that meets all of them.
This may seem like an obvious word of advice, but it’s an important one not to be overlooked. Always know exactly what kinds of features and functions your company will rely on from a CDN provider. While your search for a CDN may be spurred by a desire to just decrease latency, keep in mind that your company may depend on or benefit from other CDN functions as well, such as the media types it supports, APIs or access to analytics. Consider options for user control as well; will a CDN provider grant access to things like uploading files via the FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or monitoring your website’s traffic with the CDN?
Tip #3: Check for Provider Support
Look into the support and customer service options offered by a CDN provider before agreeing to a purchase. In today’s digital age, a company’s website is at the heart of its success; if you experience problems with a CDN connection, you’ll want to be sure you can count on reliable support from your provider to get business back up and running for your customers around the globe. Specifically, check for outage availability. While most providers claim that your CDN service will be available almost all of the time thanks to back up servers, you’ll still want to review the specific language in the customer service level agreement. You’ll also want a CDN hosting provider that offers 24/7/365 technical support through various lines of communication, includes compensation for network outages, and that an accurate measurement of their services and speeds can be made readily available to you.