Have you ever felt this frustration in front of a slowly appearing website? What have you done ? Did you wait until he finished loading or did you leave the site, exasperated?
The communication time between your website and the user, or reaction time is called latency. When the time between the moment the information is sent and when it is received, it is called “lag”. A Content Delivery Network (CDN) can help you decrease the latency of your site.
Why is the speed of your site important?
Google considers that the loading speed of a website is one of the most important points for SEO. But that’s not all. This is the first impression of a user, well before seeing the design of the site. The speed of a site strongly influences the user experience even before it arrives on the site.
According to some studies, 57% of users leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to display. Of these, 80% say they will never come back to the site after this first failed experience. The slow loading of a site can therefore be negative on the turnover of e-commerce sites.
How does a CDN work?
The method used by a CDN to reduce latency is simple: a version of your site is deployed on different servers placed strategically on the planet. When a request is made, someone visits your site for example, the nearest server accepts the request and sends the files of the site.
To better visualize everything, let’s go with a concrete example:
Scenario 1 – No CDN
Mr. Soandso, who lives in the suburbs of Paris, visits your site hosted on a server in North America. His device (computer or mobile) makes the request to your server and it responds. Between the sending of the request and the reception of the files, 3 to 5 seconds have elapsed. Not bad for a transatlantic round trip!
Scenario 2 – With a simple CDN
Mr. Soandso visits your site once again, hosted on a server in North America. His device makes the request to your server and the nearest CDN server (in Paris) sends the files in 2.2 to 3 seconds.
Scenario 3 – With a new generation CDN
The same Mr. Soandso who visits your site, hosted on a server in North America. His device queries your server and the three closest CDN servers send the files. Total time to view the website: 1.6 seconds!
So between scenarios 1 and 3, we see an improvement of more than 1.4 seconds per request. It may not seem like much, but considering that after 3 seconds of waiting your visitors may go exponentially, it’s huge.
For example, if you have a heavy site or a lot of images, a CDN can make a real difference by going from a loading time of 4-5 seconds to less than 3 seconds. This will not only keep your visitors on your site and not on your competitor’s site, but will also help your SEO!