As a website gets more visitors, it becomes more complicated to transfer static data; server loads increase, site load-times grow, and the user experience declines. Geography plays an important role in this: the further away a user is from a site’s server, the slower it loads for them.
Distance from the end-user can interfere with a web project’s development and the growth of its audience. Many areas of the world lack high-speed Internet capabilities. For example, people in certain areas of Russia (like Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) hardly listen to Internet radio and can’t watch videos online. Internet providers in these regions don’t even offer unlimited traffic. As the amount of “heavy” Internet content grows, low speeds become less acceptable.
Today, we are ready to help our clients overcome distance and deliver static content as quickly as possible as we’ve connected our cloud storage to the Akamai CDN.
A Matter of Seconds
Four seconds may not seem like a lot, but according to statistics, if it takes even a few milliseconds longer for a website to load, users will leave and may never return. For commercial projects, a few extra seconds may lead to financial loss.
Search engines more often than not give preference to faster sites. Firstly, a page’s load time is factored into the ranking formula. Secondly, behavioral factors also play a role: users abandoning a slow site lowers the site’s “weight” in a search engine. It’s unlikely that a slow site will gain immense popularity among a wide audience. Experience shows us that high speeds can noticeably increase a service’s attractiveness.
When a site struggles to load, the effectiveness of contextual and banner advertisements noticeably decreases. If visitors are transferred to a site from an ad, but don’t wait for the site to fully load, it means money spent on the advertisement is wasted: the user doesn’t see what they should.
These examples should be convincing enough that slow loading sites have serious problems.
Of course, the Internet is becoming faster and less expensive everyday; however, the abundance of “heavy” content, slow download speeds, and related problems aren’t going anywhere. Many sites that are saturated with images and animations open unbearably slow on mobile devices with a 3G connection.
A CDN can solve these problems and let sites load quickly from anywhere on the planet.
How a CDN Works
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. It consists of an origin server and caching servers, known as edge servers. These edge servers are located at various points around the world and cache a site’s “heavier” elements. When someone accesses a site, they are redirected to the nearest edge, effectively reducing the distance between servers and, from the user’s point of view, decreasing the site’s load time.
Below is a good visualization of a CDN:
The pros of using a CDN are obvious:
- Faster content delivery. By transferring data from the nearest edge server, users anywhere in the world can receive data in the shortest time;
- Lower loads on the origin server. Since heavy content is downloaded from the nearest edge server, the origin server’s workload is greatly reduced. Information saved to edge servers only needs to be kept up-to-date;
- Lower infrastructure costs. Since all heavy information is sent from caching servers, there’s no need for additional storage or distribution equipment, letting you save on infrastructure costs.
Many clients use our cloud storage for sharing large files with friends and co-workers: audio and video, photos, print designs, etc. By integrating our cloud storage with a CDN, these files can be transferred at high speeds to anywhere on Earth.
How to Use It
To take advantage of our CDN, simply change change the URL from selcdn.ru to selcdn.com. If you have your own domain, you can bind it in the control panel. Just be sure to use selcdn.com when configuring your CNAME record.
Distribution via SSL is only possible using a shared certificate from Akamai.
Thanks to the work we’ve put in with our partner, we’ve been able to consolidate traffic costs so that CDN traffic won’t cost any more than regular outgoing traffic (although charges will be delayed). Unfortunately, if you already have a contract with Akamai, then you probably won’t be able to transfer your traffic to our service.