One of the must-haves when it comes to website speed is a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs take the load off your web servers and speed up content delivery to all site visitors. As a result, everything from your user experience to search engine potential is improved! A great way to start learning the topic is to activate the WordPress CDN.

In this article, we will explain the easiest way to add a CDN to your WordPress site. But before that, we outline the basic definition of a CDN, why you should use one, and some additional benefits. We’ll also share some speed tests so you can better judge how much performance improvement you’d like to see on your site.

CDN acceleration on WordPress can greatly improve website speed experience

One of the must-haves when it comes to website speed is a content delivery network (CDN). CDNs take the load off your web servers and speed up content delivery to all site visitors. As a result, everything from your user experience to search engine potential is improved! A great way to start learning the topic is to activate the WordPress CDN.

In this article, we will explain the easiest way to add a CDN to your WordPress site. But before that, we outline the basic definition of a CDN, why you should use one, and some additional benefits. We’ll also share some speed tests so you can better judge how much performance improvement you’d like to see on your site.

WordPress users are sometimes reluctant to research content delivery networks because they sound too complicated. But the function of CDN is relatively simple. Here’s how they work, in three easy steps:

step 1

You sign up with a hosting provider with a free CDN or choose a separate CDN provider and subscribe to their services. Third-party CDN providers often offer free and premium plans based on data usage.

Step 2

You activate the CDN on your website. You can install a free plugin for third-party CDNs like CDN Enabler or WP Rocket to integrate it.

These plugins automatically link your assets to the CDN. You don’t have to do any work to put your content on the CDN; it’s all hands-off! Deploying a CDN is much easier than before.

Step 3

When people visit your website, it loads the content of your WordPress site from different servers around the world. Visitors in Europe receive your website content from servers in Europe, while visitors in the United States get the same content from servers in the United States that are closer to them.

CDN acceleration on WordPress can greatly improve website speed experience

How does a CDN achieve this?

CDNs typically use two techniques to route users to the correct location: IP Anycast + Geo-Routing. They can automatically detect the origin of user requests and route requests to the nearest server.

However, choosing a strategic server location for your WordPress hosting is still crucial. Because even if a CDN helps distribute your media and content, when your website is loaded, you still need to make a request to your hosting provider – unless you’re using full page caching on a proxy server, which we’ll get to later Introduce.

Benefits of CDN

Below are the many benefits of using a CDN on your WordPress site.

1. Performance improvement

Performance gains are one of the biggest reasons to use a CDN. It’s been proven time and time again that faster loading websites correlate with higher conversion rates, lower bounce rates, and longer average visitor duration—not to mention a better user experience.

When was the last time you hit back in your browser because your website took too long to load? This is the last thing a website owner wants to happen. But don’t take our word for it. Here are some statistics from industry leaders on the importance of website performance:

A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversion rate. (Source: Kissmetrics)

The BBC found that 10% of users leave their site for every extra second it loads. (Source: Creative Blog)

Every second of delay in load time can reduce conversion rates by up to 20%. (Source: ThinkWithGoogle)

After reducing page load time by nearly 40%, Pinterest saw a 15% increase in signups. (Source: Pinterest Engineering on Medium)

Here are a few ways a CDN can help improve the performance of your WordPress site.

Reduce TTFB

We already mentioned above that a WordPress CDN can help reduce latency by reducing the physical distance required for data transfer. But it can also help you reduce the time to first byte (TTFB).

This measures how long the browser waits before receiving the first byte of data from the server. The longer it takes to get that data, the longer it takes to display your page.

A common misconception is that TTFB is calculated after DNS lookup time. However, the computation of TTFB in the original network always includes network latency. This involves a 3-step process, so delays and delays can happen anywhere in between, increasing your total TTFB.

High TTFB can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as poor code or a misconfigured cache on the host server. But geographic distance is an issue.

We ran two tests to show the difference in TTFB with and without Cloudflare. We run each test 5 times and take the average.

Test 1: TTFB without CDN

Test 2: TTFB vs CDN

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