Four Signs You Need To Upgrade Your CDN
Four Signs You Need To Upgrade Your CDN

By Sam Farraj (LinkedIn)

We all hate to change established and trusted vendors, but as the digital economy continues to advance, the performance of your apps and website is a critical competitive factor. When was the last time you took a look at some of the new services infiltrating the market, that are disrupting the established players, and giving early adopters a competitive advantage? Dan Rayburn, a leading industry analyst, recently conducted industry research and a significant finding when asking the question what has disrupted the market for web performance services in the past 12-18 months the most?”, many customers responded by saying Startups that are more flexible and nimble“. Let’s review four signs that indicate that it’s time for you to re-evaluate the services that should be enhancing your site’s performance.

1) The thought of adding rich content sends you into a cold sweat

Adding rich content – videos, quizzes, high quality photos and beyond – are proven ways to engage your site visitors. Rich content can make the world of difference to retaining and longer visits and encouraging return visits. Here are a couple of compelling data points:

  • Mobile video is forecast to grow at 30%+ compound annual growth rate over the next few years according to research from consulting firm PwC’s Entertainment & Media Outlook report. If you do not offer mobile video, you are likely to lose engagement over time.
  • According to Forrester Research it is 50x easier to achieve a page 1 ranking on Google with a video on the page.
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)

2) Your competitors are providing a more responsive personalized experience

Here is an uncomfortable truth: your competitors are one browser tab away. That’s why it’s critical to periodically checking on your competitor’s latest developments and the performance of their site. Are your competitors offering a personalized experience based on search behavior or the persona of the visitor? That’s rapidly becoming an important way to increase relevance to customers. When you visit your competitor’s websites, look for the following signs for personalization:

  • Personalize based on time of day. Research has found that our energy – especially mental energy – ebbs and flows through the day. That’s why companies are personalizing the timing of the content and messaging they provide to customers. BustedTees, an online retailer focused on t-shirts, increased revenue from email marketing by 8% by personalizing the time zone. Personalization for retail is here – is your business catching up? (BustedTees’ personalized send times, increase email revenue 8%).
  • Personalization based on product usage. Each week, I receive reports from Grammarly, a software service that inspects your writing to find improvements. I almost always open those emails because the data is about me. If your website has user accounts, you may be able to achieve similar personalization based on user activity
  • Personalization based on insight. If you live in a hot real estate market, you’re probably wondering how much your home is worth. Real estate website Trulia delivers personalization through the “How much is your home worth?” prompt. This insight is then passed through to other parts of the website to continue the personalization process.
  • Personalization based on past browsing or purchases. If a visitor spent more than x amount of time viewing content on a certain category of product, it might be time to interrupt them with positive customer reviews on the next visit. If you have determined they use a certain product, then highlight a deal on a complementary product.

You might be in the fortunate position where your competitions have not invested in personalization yet. That doesn’t mean you should ignore the opportunity. In ecommerce, Barilliance research found that “worldwide average of website revenues generated from product recommendations was 12%” in 2014. With improved data sets and analytics, recommendation engines are likely to add even more revenue today.

3) You are falling behind CDN practices at market leaders

Standing still in the online world is a sure-fire way to be overtaken by others. Small nimble and flexible firms can make fast decisions regarding their products and customer service while a larger firm might take weeks or months to unveil a significant new release.

Is your CDN provider keeping up with your growth and the needs of your end users? For example, do you have the ability to track and serve the most in-demand content? Is your CDN giving your developers access to their network so that you can deploy your own code? Whether you are focused on user experience, speed or another objective, ask yourself whether your CDN provider is proactively deploying new features to help you.

4) Security issues are absorbing all your time

The need for speed is important but it is not the only issue to consider. Your users also need the peace of mind that comes from using a secure website. From a management standpoint, you need to understand and ensure end to end security for each part of your system. That includes thoroughly questioning CDN provider to understand their approach. What exactly should you worry about when it comes to CDN security? Take note of the following warning signs:

  • Avoid solving the same security problems over and over again. Variety is the spice of life and that extends to cybersecurity work. By using nuu:bit’s WAF (Web Application Firewall), you can generate custom WAF rules with our self-learning feature. That frees up security staff time to solve other problems rather than codifying every single scenario in WAF rules, one by one.
  • DDoS attacks are becoming a regular occurrence. Watching your website go down due to a denial of service attack is a frustrating, public failure. If it happens multiple times, you can expect plenty of management attention to focus on the issue. Your CDN should be playing a major role in mitigating and preventing these attacks..

At nuu:bit we encourage you to experiment and put new services to the test. At nuu:bit we make it easy for you with our 30 day free trial.  Thanks for reading our blog and please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions. Find out if nuu:bit is right for you by signing up for a free demo.