This article originally appeared on Venture Beat Magazine and is reprinted with permission.
As we all know, content that takes forever to load will increase your site’s bounce rates, decrease your conversions, and undeniably scar your bottom line. And by “forever” I mean more than a few seconds. A recent study by KISS Metrics found that page abandonment rates increase drastically after a load time of just four seconds or more.
The greater the physical distance between your users and the host servers where the content is stored, the more likely it is they’ll experience slow load times. If your site is heavy with visual content and has a national or multi-national audience, your content delivery challenges increase. You need to be able to store your content locally to ensure fast load times and positive user experience. But how?
The answer is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN).
We recently announced a multi-CDN feature that routes users to different CDNs based on geography, server load, and other parameters, ensuring quick media load time.
A CDN is a network of servers that deliver web content based on the geographic location of the end-user. They allow you to store your site’s content in strategic locations so that users receive it quickly.
The CDN market is growing rapidly as developers and content managers continue to realize the benefits of maintaining multiple points of presence. In fact, the global CDN market is expected to grow from nearly $6 billion in revenues in 2016 to nearly $23 billion in 2021, according to MarketWatch.
But CDNs aren’t without drawbacks. Individually, they can be expensive and time-consuming to set up. They may also perform inconsistently in different locations, and none of them have 100 percent uptime, despite the claims in their marketing materials. They may also want to lock you into using their services regardless of whether they offer the best content delivery options as your needs evolve. This means you might get stuck using a sub-optimal CDN that can’t get your content as close to your users as you’d like.
If you can use multiple CDNs at once, you can redirect user requests to the most efficient server based on your user’s location and your company’s needs. However, manually implementing multiple CDNs can be a nightmare — among other things, you need to set up and maintain an account for each one and manage its integration into your own network. Moreover, since CDNs keep a cached version of the content served through them, tracking and synchronizing caches on multiple platforms can be expensive and error-prone. The resources, time, and energy needed for these undertakings can ultimately undermine the benefits.
Cloudinary’s multi-CDN offering promises all the advantages of using multiple CDNs without the drawbacks of managing each one yourself. Before Cloudinary deploys images to the various CDNs, its proprietary image optimization software condenses the image to the smallest file size for each screen combined with the highest quality possible. It also gives developers many advanced options for image management.
“A multi-CDN strategy is something that big online brands like Facebook and Netflix have already developed themselves, however, most organizations don’t have the technical resources to build them on their own. Using a multi-CDN solution like ours enables you to manage your online content the same way as these online business leaders at a fraction of the cost,” said Ran Rubinstein, vice president of solutions at Cloudinary.