Today the main problem we all face in the world of the internet is that sometimes the response time of a website is high and sometime it do not respond at all may be due to the fact that it is getting chocked with the number of requests and not able to handle new requests. As we know, Internet is network of networks and they communicate to each other based upon the business deal they have, not upon the performance. So the end user’s request might take longer path to reach out origin server or the server’s response might take longer path to reach end user. The other problem is that its really difficult to predict the incoming traffic always. There might be a sudden increase in traffic because of some campaigns or change in search engine result’s traffic and its practically not possible to scale up the server’s infrastructure for this short span of time and server may get crashed because of this sudden spike of traffic. So this article will explain you how to handle web traffic and how to handle spike of web traffic using free cdn. After reading this article you will also know how to reduce load on server.
One of the best solution for such problems is that to use CDN [content deliver network]. Lets discuss what a CDN is.
What is CDN?
As per the wikipedia article the definition is
A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a system of computers containing copies of data placed at various nodes of a network.When properly designed and implemented, a CDN can improve access to the data it caches by increasing access bandwidth and redundancy and reducing access latency. Data content types often cached in CDNs include web objects (text, graphics, URLs and scripts), downloadable objects (media files, software, documents), applications, live streaming media, and database queries.
So it means if you have some static content on your websites, like images, text files or some media files then you can “cache” them on CDN’s servers which are located near to the end user and deliver to them in faster and efficient manner. This way you can also minimize the hits to your server. All of the major sites today use some kind of CDN services. eg facebook uses the world’s largest CDN Akamai.
Which CDN to go for?
Well, if you are making good amount of money and you want the best performance then you can always go for big players like Akamai which will improve your website’s performance drastically [for dynamic contents as well]. But if your budget is small or you want the free service then you can use Cloudflare. They offer free plan to cache your static content and drastically reduce the load on your webserver. As i know Cloudflare is the only free CDN in the market. They will help you to reduce load on server and also they will help you to increase the website performance.
How they work?
Once you sign up for their service all you need to do is to change your nameservers to the one provided by them so that when the request comes, it gets mapped to their network first and if the requested object is found in their cache then it will be delivered from their itself. The request will only hit your server when requested object is not available in their server’s cache. In this way you can reduce the traffic hits to your server. And if the server’s load is reduced and there is a sudden increase in traffic, what we call spike, then also all hits will not come to your server directly. Instead they will go to their server. And hence there are greater chances of handling such traffic with existing infrastructure.
I hope this atricle will help the people, specially the one who wants to reduce the load on their server at low price or for free using free CDN. If you have any doubts then feel free to comment. Thank you.