Supercharge Your WordPress Website Speed with a CDN
So what is a CDN?
Why should I care?
Faster WordPress website speeds
If configured correctly a CDN can drastically improve your website’s load time. A faster website has a lot of benefits:
Improve Google search rankings
Google has stated that page load speed is a major factor in it’s search ranking algorithm. They are strongly behind helping you improve site load speed and have built a suite of tools just for that purpose
Better user experience for the visitor
The faster a site is to load, the easier it is for the visitor to navigate and consume more of your website’s content. The average person waits between 2.9 – 3.5 seconds for a website to load before they leave. Because of the growing use of all things web related people are getting much more impatient. A lot of content is now consumed while on the go, on mobile devices. People also have a lot more virtual places to go should you take too long to give them what they want. It’s not like someone has to walk from your shop to the next. Your competitor is only 2 clicks away!
Scale services based on demand on your site
Most CDN services allow you to add more bandwidth as you need it. For example say you were on Dragons’ Den pitching your business. Some customers have reported an increase of site visitors by approx. 50,000, within one day of appearing on the show. A lot of websites that are on basic hosting packages have went down because of this surge of traffic. With any decent CDN you can add additional bandwidth which would ensure your website was still active. This is much more cost effective than having to upgrade your hosting plan as that would be upgraded permanently.
Our Own Results
Being web designers we know a thing or two about coding so our own WordPress website would be really well optimised from a coding point of view. We also host our site on a very quick server over at the excellent Media Temple. Here are some snapshots of hiddendepth.ie being tested on GTMetrix (a website that tests speed and optimisation).
1) No add ons
The first test is without a CDN activated and no caching plugin installed.
As you can see our website loads in approx. 3.64 seconds. With the average visitor wait time at 2.9 – 3.5 seconds, this puts us just on the threshold of an acceptable load speed time but we may still be loosing some visitors due to load time.
2) W3 Total Cache and MaxCDN
We activated and configured the W3 Total Cache plugin which integrates with our CDN account and ran the test again:
The CDN and W3 Total Cache helps take our site load time down over 2 seconds. This is a huge improve of 160% and we can safely say that our site won’t be loosing visitors because of how long it takes to load.
Our recommended CDN