Page Load Speed Improvements of a CDN

A good Content Delivery Network (CDN) will improve your website’s page load speed. This is a great advantage for your visitors and for the search engine results you seek to improve.

Primary reasons to use a CDN to improve page load speed:

  1. A better website visitor experience
  2. Reduce or eliminate page abandonment due to delayed page loading
  3. Reduce daily impact on the host web server
  4. Save on host bandwidth costs
  5. Increase site and server security
  6. Comply with search engine interest in improved page loading speeds and associated ranking benefits
  7. Avoid site crashes when there is an onslaught of visitors
  8. Provide supplemental visitor analytics information

Let’s look at how much speeding up is possible. Back in 2013 the ideal page load speed for an e-commerce site was under 3 seconds. Unfortunately, the median load time was over 7 seconds.  More recently, in 2016 FinancialTimes determined “Slow sites also have a detrimental effect on the number of articles people read.” Their findings in summary:

The data suggests, both in terms of user experience and financial impact, that there are clear and highly valued benefits in making the site even faster. From this research we’ve chosen to invest even more time in making every aspect of the new FT.com website even faster over the coming months.

Here at BlogWranglers we think building fast sites is the right thing to do. We worked hard to build this site so that it would load fast despite the use of large graphics on the home page. We use four tools for speed testing. They each measure differently, have different geographic locations and the time and day you use them will all impact your results. Focus on trends.

  1. http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/
  2. https://gtmetrix.com/
  3. http://www.webpagetest.org/
  4. https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

The screen shots below show that this site was loading anywhere from 1.3 to almost 4 seconds. The lower end of that range is certainly very respectable today.

Pingdom Page Load Speed test before CDN.
Pingdom Speed test before CDN.

 

GTMetrix page load speed test before adding the CDN
GTMetrix speed test before adding the CDN

 

WebPageSpeedTest Page Load Speed Test before the CDN
WebPageSpeedTest before the CDN

 

Google PageSpeed Insights Page Load Speed Test before the CDN.
Google Page Speed Insights before the CDN.

And then we configured the CDN and things got immediately faster.

Pingdom improved from 1.3 seconds to .538ms.

GTMetrix halved from 2 seconds to just under 1 second.

WebPageSpeedTest dropped from almost 4 seconds to 2.5 seconds.

Google PageSpeed Insight score improved from 74 to 88.

Pingdom page load speed test after the CDN
Pingdom speed test after the CDN

 

GTMetrix page load speed test after the CDN
GTMetrix speed test after the CDN

 

WebPageSpeedTest page load speed after the CDN
WebPageSpeedTest after the CDN

 

Google PageSpeed Insights page load speed score after CDN
Google PageSpeed Insights score after CDN

So, what is happening here? The way the CDN provides benefit is that the CDN has a network of datacenters located around the globe. Each data center retains a cache or copy of your website’s assets. This gives the CDN the ability to “serve” your website to the requesting visitor from whichever data center is closer to the requester. As a result, the CDN is closer and has the needed files to load your web pages from the closer location. There are many other advantages and benefits.

In addition to using a CDN there are many other changes that can be made to make pages load faster. That’s information for another blog post.

The evidence in favor of a CDN providing faster page load speeds is very compelling, don’t you agree? I look forward to seeing your comments.