Best CDN for Images: Your Ultimate Solution to Deliver Optimised Images


By Ann Oliver

The booming e-commerce marketplace has empowered entrepreneurs to thrive on the internet and reach global users through their websites. But, with the intensifying competition in the digital economy, owning an e-store is not sufficient. To convert the visitors into leads and bring more traffic to your site, you must increase the website loading speed for a better user experience and improve your SEO ranking with top-notch pictures. Here comes the necessity to employ the Best CDN for images

Whether you operate an e-store or have a site with lots of image content, image CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) can ensure your images are optimised irrespective of the devices the end-users use. 

To help you get in-depth knowledge and choose the best CDN for images, I offer some essential information. 

What is CDN and Image CDN

A conventional Content Delivery Network (CDN) is an arrangement of servers and the associated data centers that decreases latency (time a web server takes to process a request and deliver requested data) by lessening the distance between end-users and servers and improves web page loading speed. 

An Image CDN is also a cloud system coming with some software specialisations to boost the basic CDN’s functions. It thus ensures detecting user devices and optimising and enhancing the image quality for a better customer experience. 

Besides ensuring faster loading, it offers more reliable content delivery by:

  • Reducing image payload
  • Transforming image size and shape
  • Changing the format
  • Improving image quality
Image waterfall chart from GTmetrix performance report

Image Cache

CDNs store cached data at multiple data centers (PoPs) to enable visitors to access data from the nearest server. 

Image CDN stores cached images in the edge servers. After the first request for accessing an image from a specific device, it caches and saves them for future requests. 

Difference Between Image CDN and Traditional CDN

  • The purpose of a traditional CDN service is to ensure faster content delivery by optimising a site’s performance. It shows the requested web page to the visitors from the nearest proxy server.
  • If you serve static assets like pictures via a traditional CDN, it will deliver big original content without considering the visitors’ device capacities. 
  • Though it requires less time to deliver the image than the origin server, it’s still long, specially when the end-user uses a mobile device
  • Again, both servers and users have to pay more for more bandwidth usage. 
  • An image CDN excels here by turning a static image into a dynamic one with image optimisation and shortened response time and payload.
  • Image CDNs store cached images in cloud-based edge servers placed throughout the globe. Thus they ensure speedy delivery irrespective of devices used and minimise cost. 

Operating Process of an Image CDN

Though various image CDNs have varying functioning methods, the principle is identical for each:

  • Once an image CDN receives a request, it conveys it to the CDN’s delivery section.
  • If the received request is for the first time for a picture, it gets handed over to the processing server.
  • If the processing server fails to deliver the image’s existing copy, the storage sends the original file to it.
  • The processing server transforms and optimises the picture and sends it back to the image CDN.
  • Finally, the CDN caches the optimised copy and forwards it to the requesting device.
  • When the image CDN receives the same request again, it can convey the cached content without following the same process again.

Why Do you Need an Image CDN?

Are you wondering whether your website needs the best CDN for images or not? Go through the following factors and evaluate yourself:

Speed up Your Website

If you want to broaden your site reach and decrease bounce rate, implement the best CDN for images. You can go with different speed testing tools to analyse your site’s speed and decide. 

If Image is your Payload

If your site is an e-store or runs on images, you better use an image CDN. In today’s world, 50% of the payload going to smartphones is formed by pictures, and an image CDN compresses and reshapes pictures to be suitable for each requesting device.

A website with Thousands of Pictures

While you can manually optimise images for each device, it is tiresome and unrealistic for a site with innumerous pictures. For image optimisation, an image CDN is the most viable option. 

If You Have International Customers

Image CDN services cache images and delivers them to the end-users through the edge servers located worldwide. Thus the content gets sent at a faster speed, irrespective of customers’ location.

If you Require a Mobile-friendly Site

As I have already mentioned, image CDNs compress pictures and make them mobile-friendly, irrespective of the users’ internet speed. To make your site reach more people with a quicker loading speed, implement an image CDN. 

GTmetrix results reporting on next-gen image formats

How to Choose an Image CDN

If you want your website saturated with pictures to accelerate and rank higher in SERPs, utilise the best CDN for images and see the acceleration!

To pick the most suitable one, take the following things into account:

  • Before selecting one, make sure to evaluate its performance by analysing its performance. Examine if it can make your images load faster on users’ devices, lessen packet loss and enhance image quality. 
  • Count on an image CDN that is reliable enough to maintain optimal loading speed and availability for your website when the traffic is at its peak. It must offer increased uptime to ensure your website performs consistently, even during high traffic spikes. 
  • Check if the CDN you choose has the required system and infrastructure to keep your content protected from abusive bots, malicious IP addresses, etc.? Count on a provider that offers TLS/SSL encryption to fight off cyber-threats like DRDoS attacks, DDoS attacks, packet sniffing, etc. 
  • No matter what issue you face with your website while using the CDN, the provider should offer 24/7 expert customer service to resolve any problem. Consider going with a service with a good reputation of providing its customers with prompt and expert assistance.
  • Cost is another essential factor you cannot overlook while purchasing a CDN. Though you will find free plan CDNs, their key features and performance will differ from a paid one. If possible, try a free trial offered by a CDN provider, and analyse the performance. Know your requirements, compare the plans of multiple CDN providers, and choose the best one.