Website operators usually think of a Content Delivery Network (CDN) in terms of what its name implies – rapid “content delivery” of files, websites, games and streaming video.

However, CDNs perform a number of functions that make them increasingly valuable and integral to any successful website and Internet presence. We’ve highlighted the top 5 reasons why every website should use a CDN.

Never get “slashdotted” again!

It’s always great when your efforts get recognized. However, when someone slashdots your website, you are being asked to deal with more traffic than you ever imagined.

Slashdotting can have the very undesirable effect of sending thousands of visitors to your site at once, overloading and crashing your servers, and turning off a whole new set of potential customers along with your existing ones. By caching your site on a CDN you are able to handle the “Slashdot Effect” and enjoy the benefits of so many end users visiting your site.

Protect your site from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks

DDoS attacks happen thousands of times a day worldwide, and will put a website out of business. CDNs help absorb the load and prevent servers from becoming overwhelmed by abnormally high traffic volume. Without a CDN to act as a buffer, cloud servers would be vulnerable to attack, which is important for ecommerce websites with servers that store personal information.

Support new markets for your products, services and information

The Internet gives people the freedom to sell anywhere. In fact, you never know where new customers will come from. Whether your potential new customers are in Hollywood, Hoboken or Hong Kong, if your website performance and content delivery is judged to be slow, you can bet you won’t be closing sales to far-off markets any time soon.

CDNs ensure good performance everywhere. As a result, your content and application traffic are delivered quickly and reliably, no matter where your new customers may be.

Reduce your infrastructure costs (servers, storage, racks, footprint)

Building a worldwide network of data centers is one way to solve the problem of slow content delivery to your potential customers and end users. Of course, for most businesses, this is completely unrealistic. Leveraging someone else’s worldwide infrastructure through a CDN is a much more cost-effective and realistic solution to achieve the same end without the huge capital expenditure.

Make page turns much faster for a consistent user experience

Users won’t be satisfied with website performance if your content doesn’t render instantaneously upon a mouseclick. Surveys bear out what happens when users aren’t satisfied:

A one-second delay in website performance will result in a 7% loss in conversions, 11% fewer page downloads and a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.*

You must decrease page load times or face losses. CDNs ensure that content is delivered more quickly and consistently to your end users.

Why isn’t your business using a CDN?

For the reasons cited above alone, the question is no longer about why you should be using a CDN, but how fast can you enable your websites and Internet presence to reach new customers across the world, leverage new assets and protect your existing ones.

Learn more about the benefits of CDNs in the white paper, CDN: A Cloud Accelerant.

*Forrester Research/Strangeloop