My first experience of using CDN wasn’t lucky – I made a big mistake by ordering a free service and spoiling user experience. But SpaceCDN helped me to save my online business and improve it considerably. I want to share my story with those who need to boost website speed and performance, but have no idea how to do it.
What is a network for content delivery?
First, I will explain what CDN is, and how it works. It’s important to understand the essentials and peculiarities of this technology. CDN, or content delivery network, is a service used to accelerate websites and applications. The system consists of edge servers located in data centers over many different regions. They serve content to users, reducing the distance between the visitor and the source of data. Note that CDN is not the same thing as hosting, it’s rather an additional service used for website acceleration.
It works the following way:
- The user uploads content and files on the origin server (the one provided by the host).
- When a visitor makes the first request for the content, it is sent to the main server and back with the data. The content is cached on the edge server the visitor was connected to.
- Next time, visitors will get the same content from the closest edge server – content is already stored in the cache.
- Every file has TTL (time to live) – a period during which it is stored in cache. When TTL expires, the file is updated and pulled from the main server again.
However, I did not consider the fact that the number of PoPs wasn’t a key factor for CDN performance. When I found a free solution with more than 50 PoPs, I hurried up to deploy it. But the thing was that most PoPs were located in Europe, while my target audience concentrated in the USA, Canada and Latin America. As the result, some customers started complaining that my website takes ages to load. Instead of solving problems with speed, I created new ones.
Another mistake was choosing an unreliable provider. I had to deal with several DDoS attacks on my own – the customer support answered when it was too late, and I had to ask my tech-savvy friends to help me. Only later I found out that advanced content delivery networks go with firewall that prevents such issues.
What made me completely disappoint in the customer support was the fact that nobody helped me to implement the network and maintain it. Being a beginner, I didn’t know how to work with settings and account, how to analyze website and CDN performance, how to limit access in some regions. No guides, no documentation provided – seems like company’s motto was “If you’re drowning, you’re on your own”.
Why I chose SpaceCDN?
After all these problems, I’ve decided that free CDNs are not worth using at all. Being an individual website developer I couldn’t afford a costly solution, and wanted to find an affordable network with optimal performance. This is exactly what SpaceCDN offers.
Before opting for this company’s services, I analyzed offers of other popular providers and read hundreds of reviews. I’ve discovered that popularity doesn’t necessarily mean the company is the best-of-the-breed. Even leading CDN companies have drawbacks and weak sides. SpaceCDN reviews were mostly positive, so I’ve decided to give it a try.
The reseller works with the biggest CDN providers (Verizon, UCDN, HighWinds, AhCDN, CDNNow) and has pretty low prices for networks. The lowest monthly payment is $10/month only! My network was a bit more expensive, but I’m sure that every website owner can afford such service. SpaceCDN figures out individual prices and you can negotiate it with agents. Besides, there’re always some special offers and discounts. The company provides everything you need for successful hosting:
- More than 200 PoPs located in different regions: the USA, Europe, Russia and CIS, Latin America, Asia and Australia. This time, I figured out a network that covers my target audience, so I don’t have to overpay for extra PoPs.
- A wide range of CDN solutions with different configurations. In SpaceCDN, it’s easy to find a network specifically targeted for your needs. If you need a recommendation, customer support agents are always ready to help.
- Enhanced security option. It was another key aspect for me. As far as I’m not competent in IT security issues, I needed a solution with a consistent level of protection. SpaceCDN has networks with strong firewall that repels all DDoS attacks and hacking.
- Pay-as-you-go system. For me as an individual customer, this option is precious. I don’t have to overpay for unused resources: pricing policy is totally transparent and fair. Besides, there are no contracts, so if you don’t like the service, or want to make a switch, there won’t be any problems with that.
- Up to 30 days of free trial period became a great opportunity to try a network before paying for the service. From the very start I realized that the difference between a free and paid brand CDN is so dramatic!
It goes without saying that SpaceCDN has strong round the clock customer support: agents can be contacted any time, almost by any means (Skype, live chat, email, phone). No matter when I write, I always get reply within a few minutes. SpaceCDN team backed me up when I had technical issues with network, when I needed to deploy the network and to specify security settings. Working with them is a pleasure.
How it helped my website?
As soon as I deployed CDN ordered in SpaceCDN, performance of my website changed dramatically. First and foremost, I’ve finally managed to reach the target audience, page loading in the USA, Canada and Latam countries accelerated by 50-70%. Many users admitted that they could open the website within 2-3 seconds, so I’ve managed to achieve my primary goal – site acceleration.
Another positive outcome was the fact that SEO has also been improved. I’ve managed to get to the top-10 and outperform my competitors. Thanks to that, the number of visitors has grown up considerably (by 20% in three months, and by 40% in eight months). The level of sales and revenue has increased correspondingly.
Besides, I finally overcame the problem of high bounce rate and abandonment rate. For some reasons, users closed the website without buying what was in their carts. Probably, better performance contributed to better loyalty and trust.
All in all, I have managed to refresh my website and business, and SpaceCDN was truly the right choice. I’ve been working with the company for almost a year now, and will continue our partnership. I would recommend them to any website developer, be that an individual, or corporation. You won’t find cheaper CDN solutions with the same excellent characteristics.
Content provided by Barry Marshall