Dynamic content is a problem.
It is a problem for content delivery networks (CDNs) and increasing web performance.
Why is Dynamic Content a Problem?
Dynamic content is a problem because it is unique to individual users and is constantly changing. When content is continuously changing, it needs to be requested from the origin server. This means that network latency becomes an issue. Due to geography, the caching solution of a CDN is not as useful.
This is not news, and CDNs use content acceleration in order to compensate for the dynamic content problem. The reality is that you do not need dynamic content acceleration. What is needed is network optimization, which is dynamic content optimization.
Yes, this is getting into semantics, but the semantics are important. Content acceleration is only accessible to those with enough traffic and money to pay. Therefore, smaller businesses cannot compete with the performance of larger businesses.
The good news is you do not need acceleration, you need optimization.
What is Dynamic Content Acceleration?
First, let’s discuss dynamic content acceleration.
Think of this as a toll road. A toll road offers you the opportunity to pay for the option of using a faster route. The same goes for content acceleration.
A company will own a set of private networks, and if you pay, they will provide the paid traffic priority on its private networks.
This option works for larger companies who own a great deal of networks. This does not work for the public Internet.
For this reason, I will discuss why you do not need content acceleration.
You Need to Own Network Routes
Content acceleration require the owning of a network. What typically occurs is a CDN, or web performance company, has purchased their own network routes they can offer to clients. These network routes provide a network with no congestion, as well as high performance connections.
This is an offer most common with CDNs. The company wishing to use content acceleration will need to pay for the CDN use, as well as the accelerated content when utilized. This can become very costly, and is prohibitive to all but the largest enterprises.
You Can Only Accelerate Within Your Network
Content acceleration is only good while the content is within a network, and where a network has reach. Therefore, if the acceleration provider has limited access to networks, then content can only be accelerated to specific locations.
Therefore, the ability to accelerate content is only as good as the reach of the content acceleration companies network. The result might mean needing to use more than one acceleration company.
Dynamic Content Acceleration is Expensive
If using a content acceleration platform, it is going to be costly.
First, there is the cost of getting traffic out of your cloud provider. This is a cost whether using a CDN, or any other performance optimization platform.
Second, there is the cost of a CDN. If looking at dynamic content, then chances are good you are using a CDN. Costs of both of these can be upwards of $.18 per GB of traffic.
In addition to both of these, you would have content acceleration. Therefore, to use all of this, there needs to be a revenue to page load speed correlation.
You Can’t Accelerate the Internet
Once dynamic content reaches the Internet you lose control. This means the accelerated network can only affect a portion of dynamic content delivery.
For this reason, optimization is what is needed.
No User Experience Control
Controlling the user experience can be the difference in whether a user converts or not. When spending significant time developing a website or web application, you want it to run as desired for the end user.
This means that if you don’t control the speed at which everything loads, then you can lose your ability to control the user experience. Controlling your network means controlling as much of the user experience as possible.
Content acceleration might be effective in some situations. Dynamic content optimization can provide the best opportunity for conversion and user experience control. This is why you do not need dynamic content acceleration, you need dynamic content optimization.
To learn more about dynamic content optimization, download the CDN Optimization Whitepaper.