Since launching CDNify, a CDN for Tech Startups and Developers, I have lost track of the amount of times we’ve been asked, “When should my startup/app use a CDN?”
My answer is always, from day one, especially if your revenue stream or growth strategy is in anyway dependent on the speed (plus reliability) of your website or app (and honestly, nowadays I can’t really think of an example where this wouldn’t be the case).
Ultimately a CDN is the best way to ensure scalability and uptime without high levels of upfront investment. But when your startup does go stratospheric (fingers crossed) a CDN can be a real lifesaver. This is something we learnt the hard way when a previous startup we launched went viral and we were, basically, caught off guard.
If you’ve ever sat watching signups or traffic surging through your site post-launch you’ll know what an exhilarating experience that can be. On the flip side to this, if you have ever suddenly seen your app grind to a halt and sign ups drop off after you have launched then you’ll know how truly disheartening that is. All that time spent in the build up to launching gone to waste and like they say, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.
If you are running a startup you should be concerned with making an amazing product and getting it in front of as many eyeballs as possible, not worrying about paying ridiculous amounts of money for a solution that’s aimed at enterprises. You also want to make sure your site or app doesn’t go offline or slow down when faced with spikes in usage.
In fact if your startup is thinking about implementing a CDN, don’t pay the price for an enterprise level solution when you aren’t an enterprise. I mean, you might be one day and we’ll help you get there but a large portion of that money can probably be spent more wisely. Luckily CDN is becoming more and more accessible to people everyday in terms of price and usability and there is a lot more choice out there today, so you can easily get set up and still have money to play with. A pay as you go CDN, or pay as you grow and we prefer to call it will, give you a lot of flexibility by giving you access to a global network, but best of all, you’ll be covered when you get that huge traffic spike after becoming a featured app!
A CDN also buys you time, something that is incredibly precious when you are starting up. Having a robust CDN strategy in place allows you and your team to focus on user problems instead of platform problems and if you are running a startup you will mostly likely (read: YOU ABSOLUTELY SHOULD) be obsessed with user experience and your conversion rate.
Ultimately it’s not about how big you currently are, its about how fast your website or app runs because if your users have a slow, sluggish experience they won’t be users for long. Sometimes growth can happen overnight and other times it takes a little longer, make sure you have a CDN in place and you’ll be set no matter what happens.
Product Strategy and Marketing Manager at CDNify