What is a Content Delivery Network?

What is a Content Delivery Network?

A Content Delivery Network, also known as a Content Distribution Network or simply CDN, is a collection of global servers that caches and delivers content such as JavaScript files, videos and images. When you request a web page for example, content on that page is delivered by the closest server rather than the origin server, thereby hastening loading time.

CDN Management software dynamically calculates the distance from the nearest server to the requesting client and delivers content based on those calculations. This comes with a host of benefits, including:

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Accommodation of Heavy Traffic and Elimination of Pauses

Video streaming often results in pauses and jitters due to lags in transmission times, but CDNs help to reduce these occurrences by delivering better user experience when downloading audio and video content.

Faster Loading

CDNs improve page loading time causing almost instantaneous page loads. Of course, businesses, especially online ones, could experience increase in sales due to this.

File Mirroring

CDNs provide you with file mirroring abilities that protect data in case natural disasters happen and affect certain areas of the Internet.


Advanced mobile applications as well as new forms of technology place increasingly greater demands on servers, but CDNs have the capacity to handle these new materials as companies and businesses expand their online presence.

Why Do I Need a CDN?

Probably the best reason to consider using a CDN for your small business website is to improve your customer’s experience in terms of speed. Ensuring consistent experience for your customers is important.

You may, for instance, have your website hosted in a certain region yet the majority of your users are from an entirely different region and thus they might experience slow speeds that might discourage purchases. Using CDN, however, solves this.

Choosing a Content Delivery Network

There are a number of private or internet-based networks. Some integrate with online video platforms, enhancing video content distribution. However, before you settle on a network, find out if:

  1. They support high definition videos
  2. They support mobile delivery since it has become so important to customers
  3. They provide analytics on content delivery
  4. They have proper digital rights management, especially for licensed or protected materials such as Pay-Per-View.


Business owners can use CDN services to speed up delivery times of files, images and other media, increase customer loyalty and improve their search rankings. The service is a little bit costlier than single-server hosting, but the benefits make it worthwhile.

It is important for businesses to note that search engines penalize websites that take too long to load, so optimizing your site by using CDN services should improve your site’s performance overall.

Content Delivery Photo via Shutterstock


Antony Maina Antony Maina is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. His beat includes social media, general business reporting and exploring how people relate to technology. With a background in freelance writing, he is a contributor to other tech websites and can be found at Word4Bloggers.

2 Reactions
  1. CDN surely boosts website loading time. There are many service providers, you can even try cloudfare for free.

  2. Is this more of a website, software or hosting? CDN is quite a new term for me.

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