A lot of blogs use CDNs these days this made me wonder if they seriously need a CDN or is it just because they can get one. What felt weird was how personal blogs used CDN, where the content was mostly text. I believed strongly that they used CDNs because the website was powered by a heavy CMS or was served by a slow server, because of my previous experience of hosting on a slow shared hosting service and use of WordPress, thank you iPage for that experience. Now I use Digital Ocean, which offers VPS(Virtual Private Servers) called as droplet and gives you the option to choose from a wide verity of locations, so you can have a server close to you or your visitor.
It made sense to use a CDN with WordPress because of how there are too many clients sided files being loaded and it turns into an override from to infinity and beyond thanks to plugins and legacy code writing people.
What I found instead was even static sites used CDNs which was quite of a shock, because none of those sites were image heavy, they had quite lightweight client-side scripts and stylesheet.
To such sites all a CDN would do would offer down time when the CDN service hit down time or had an issue with a specific instance that handled these client’s files.
I wanted to research on why this was a trend and the results are quite interesting.
It is not a surprise that a lot of sites especially the new ones what to be more competitive and be part of the Alexa master race.
The main goal of these websites is to reach as wide of an audience as they can and will do anything to do so. The authors, publishers, and owners want to do any optimization in the client or server side without understanding if it is needed just because a click bait article describe to them using a CDN makes your site blazing fast while is true, it does not make the content or subject great.
A blog succeeds when it has great content that is a delightful read and grows when such reads are served constantly. Most people learn this only after a bit of an experience and will be misled and given inaccurate information till clickbait is the trend to get views.
I can understand a publisher’s mind they want to be out there and seen, noticed and seen some sites even personal blogs that turned completely clickbait just to gain views and immediate popularity, while other who had blogs gave up just because it got harder when it came to maintaining one and decided to shut it down when it was difficult. Yes, this is a sad reality, people give up too fast and want everything instantly.
When to use one
You might be already familiar with the concept to a CDN, if yes, then skip this if not then continue with the read.
A CDN has several servers or you can say instances in different locations and replicate the data from the provider(client) and replicate it onto those servers/instances, these serve then serve the content from the closest server to the visitor reducing the amount of latency and data travel on a given network. I have written a much [detailed post on this topic]
Without a CDN
The server is in the US, the visitor is in Singapore, the visitor is served directly from the US server.
With a CDN
The server is in the US, the visitor is in Singapore, the visitor is served from the closest server which may be in Singapore or in some part of Asia, this means it is served by a server inside of Asia.
These days CDN services offer servers in many countries, letting the visitor be served by a server inside the country, for example, there can be servers in India that in both Mumbai and Delhi, so visitors of Mumbai will be served a server in Mumbai.
Do you need it?
If you have large amounts of posts or data being served and is large files or image heavy then you must go with a CDN otherwise you don’t need one if your server can handle decent traffic and the page load time is not very long
I compiled a list of software and services that I use to improve my workflow, here is the link to the list.