How to Improve the Speed of Your Website with Multi-CDN

Every brand seeks to bolster its reputation and professionalism. In 2023, a key part of how brands were perceived was through their online presence, especially their websites. There are many things to consider when developing a successful website including theme, design, and structure. But, another important consideration is how fast and reliably the content is served.

It’s natural for prospective customers to view faster websites and content such as video streams as more reliable and professional, while slow ones typically cause frustration and are far more likely to lose potential customers. In fact, research by Kissmetrics demonstrated that 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. Organisations utilising slow content delivery are fighting an uphill battle from the get-go and changing that initial negative perception can be very challenging.

Multi-CDN vs. Single-CDN

In order to deliver web content, a content delivery network (CDN) is needed. For businesses, these geographically-distributed servers and their effectiveness play a significant role in the success of any website. Traditionally, websites relied on Single-CDN providers, which offer content delivery services from a single source. However, because all the web content is coming through one single provider, Single-CDNs face notable issues with downtime and latency. Should there be any disruption to your CDN provider, your website has no redundancy.

As a result, businesses are increasingly turning to Multi-CDN solutions. Multi-CDN, as the name suggests, involves diversifying your content delivery across multiple CDN providers. This approach is designed to maximise performance and provide redundancy. Should there be any disruption to a CDN, Multi-CDN switches and re-routes traffic to the available CDN provider, ensuring uninterrupted content delivery.

What are the Key Benefits of Using a Multi-CDN Approach?

Often new businesses will start off using Single-CDN providers. This will typically be in a brand’s growth phase when they are only targeting certain geographic locations. Once a business has scaled up and is handling larger volumes of customers/data, it will often find switching to a Multi-CDN is both more cost-effective and reliable.

One crucial point to note is that Multi-CDN doesn’t inherently add latency if properly configured. Switching from one to another CDN provider based on real user performance is the preferred option. Additionally, the Multi-CDN should either maintain or improve the current cache hit ratio. Multi-CDN is specifically tailored for high-workload applications, where the demand for content is substantial and includes large files like games, videos, and software uploads/downloads, making it the preferable choice for larger businesses. It’s also the better choice for applications that run on-demand services, or live streaming.

Multi-CDN is also particularly well-suited for businesses that can’t predict their traffic patterns accurately. During peak traffic, a Single-CDN’s point of presence (POP) might become overloaded, leading to latency and low-quality content delivery. In contrast, Multi-CDN constantly monitors the performance of various POPs and can switch to the best-performing provider within seconds, ensuring seamless content delivery regardless of the traffic volume.

Security Concerns

While Multi-CDN offers many advantages, security can be a concern. Not all CDN providers offer the same level of security, which can be a drawback. It’s advisable to use a layered approach: while protecting your website with a Single-CDN provider, especially for web and application security, Multi-CDN is best utilised for content delivery. Implementing Digital Rights Management (DRM) can help ensure that only authenticated users can access and play your content, mitigating security risks.

Looking Forward

Multi-CDN has come a long way in the last five years. It’s no longer a novelty but rather a commodity. This offers cost-effectiveness, scalability, and enhanced performance for high-workload applications. Real-world use cases demonstrate their effectiveness in managing traffic spikes during high-profile events. While security remains a consideration, Multi-CDN, when used in conjunction with robust DRM, ensures that your content delivery is not only fast but also secure. As the market continues to evolve, Multi-CDN will remain a critical component for businesses looking to deliver high-quality content to their users.