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What is a CDN?

A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of servers that deliver content. The purpose of the CDN is to cache and more quickly serve static content based on the geographical location between the origin server (the server your site is hosted on) and the user making the request. This means when someone in Japan visits your website hosted in the United States, it will load just as fast as a website hosted in Japan.

The benefits of using a CDN are:

  • Improved content availability and redundancy - High volume traffic or hardware failures can cause downtime for your website; a CDN distributes the load so your site can handle more traffic and endure hardware failure better than a single origin server.
  • Improved load times - Users are served content from a point of presence (PoP) geographically closer to them than the origin server, which means faster load times for your website.
  • Increased security - A CDN can increase security by mitigating distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, preventing vulnerability hacks, and stopping brute force attempts against your website login pages and more.

Not all CDNs are the same, some have a zone URL and others have a custom URL. The difference between them can be seen when viewing the source code for your page. The differences are:

  • Zone URL CDN bundled with Managed WordPress.
    • A zone URL CDN uses a default URL for cached content like images using the following structure:       
    • Zone URL CDN are less expensive to run and support, so they're typically offered as a free or limited use addition to another product.
  • Custom URL CDN bundled with Website Security Advanced and Premium.
    • A custom URL CDN uses the site's domain for cached content like images using the following structure:
    • Custom URL CDNs are usually a premium option or upgrade.

Note: If you're using a plugin that relies on absolute URLs, we recommend using the CDN bundled with our Advanced or Premium Website Security plans.

Whether you're using a zone URL CDN or a custom URL CDN to cache the static elements of your website, a CDN can improve your click-through rates since slow loading websites are often abandoned before they load.

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