A great way to improve your time to first byte and page speed is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN's distribute your website's assets around the globe.
A great way to improve your time to first byte and page speed is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). CDN's distribute your website's assets around the globe. You can think about them as handling a key aspect of your site's logistics.
By distributing content the push it physically closer to your visitor. When files do not need to travel as far they get to the requester faster.
When I first read I need to use a CDN in Steve Souders' book I thought he was nuts. Since then the rise of cloud services has made CDNs a low cost commodity that anyone can afford.
There are multiple reasons you should use a CDN today. But first you need to understand how content delivery networks work.
Like I said, CDNs distribute your content around the world in different data centers. Today this is a common service offered by cloud providers and for very little cost.
Traditionally when you host a website it is on a server in a single data center. This means when someone across the country or on the other side of the world requests a page on your site it must travel a long way.
The time it takes packets to traverse back and forth between these two locations varies, but distance and the number of hops increases the time or latency between the two points.
Traditional Web Hosting
A CDN would use the web server as an origin or source of content. It copies the content from the web server to each of the CDN distribution points. Now, your content is closer to potential customers. The time to traverse the Internet is reduced, shortening your time to first byte.
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