The beauty of a great CDN is that you never see it, hear it, or worry about it. But what exactly is it? CDN stands for content delivery network. It’s a group of servers geographically distributed and linked together via the Internet. The servers’ purpose is to improve content delivery performance by using a server closest to the the end user. In short, a CDN helps your website load more quickly, which may keep visitors around longer.

For example, say your site is hosted in Arizona. A user in the UK visits your site and now the full site must load all the way from Arizona, which could take several seconds. But when using a CDN, the end user loads your site from a proxy server closer to them, allowing the full site to load faster.

Why Is That Important?

Fast loading time for your website is crucial because, well, people are impatient. If your site takes too long to load, there’s a good chance that visitors will bounce rather than stick around to see what finally appears on their screen. This is especially important for businesses that use a lot of graphics, videos, or software downloads that can slow down load times. Not to mention that site speed became part of Google Ranking Factors in 2010. Good speed = good SEO.

CDN’s also reduce bandwidth costs, increase content availability and improve redundancy. They provide security for your site through authentication, encryption and data integrity. In particular, they protect against attacks that attempt to overwhelm the network, in addition to those that aim to steal information.

Where Do You Get a CDN?

Many companies offer a CDN service à la carte, but many will bundle a CDN with everything else you need to run your website. Hammersmith Support exclusively works with WP Engine, as it provides not only a fast CDN but also reliable hosting. While you can host a website without a CDN, you cannot have a CDN without a host. The combination of the two creates an efficient hosting environment for even the busiest website.

Want to read more about website hosting? Click on over to the Hammersmith Support blog “Website Hosting 101.”

There has been a lot published lately about micro and macro content. The meaning behind the names isn’t a new concept, but the way it’s categorized is, and that’s for good reason. By defining the type of content you’re working with, it’s easier to know where that content should go. And the right placement for your content can make all the difference.

What Is Macro Content?

Macro is just that, big. It’s the long / detailed version of your content. This includes videos longer than 30 seconds, blog posts, mobile apps, emails, newsletters, podcasts, long form sales pitches, etc. If you can’t digest it in 15 seconds, then it’s macro content. That is important because macro content belongs in a much different place than posts that can be consumed quickly. Have you ever seen a post on social media that went on for several paragraphs? Did you read all the way to the end? Maybe, but most likely you moved on after a few sentences. That’s because the post is too long for social media and belongs with its macro content buddies in a blog post or video.

Having too much information in the wrong place means your potential clients are likely to miss what you’re trying to tell them. Putting it in the right space means a potential customer is likely to digest all of the information because they are prepared to do so. They know when they come to a blog that it’s going to be several paragraphs long. Or if they click on a video that they’re in for a few minutes of time. That mental state is key and tailoring your content to fit that is crucial.

What About Micro Content?

If macro makes sense to you, then micro content will come naturally. Micro content includes quick and easy bites of information: social media posts, memes, graphics, videos shorter than 15 seconds, infographics, etc. As with macro content, putting your micro content in the wrong place is a mistake. Blogs that are too short or images with no caption can leave a reader frustrated and feeling cheated.

Social media is the perfect home for the majority of your micro content. The platforms are designed to digest small bites of information from multiple sources, which is both good and challenging. Keeping information short and sweet but attention-grabbing can be difficult. Before you post, be sure that the majority of your content is “above the break,” meaning a reader will see it without having to expand to read the full piece. Use color and relevant images to grab attention, but be sure to be genuine to the piece.

Working Micro and Macro Together

The beauty of content in either form is that it should all feed each other. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel to create small and large chunks of information. Start with what comes easiest to you; if social media posts are quick and easy, write out as many topics as you can think of. Then expand on each topic to feed your macro content, i.e. blog posts and podcast topics. If large pieces are more natural, start with a blog post and then break it down into small bits. This post is a perfect example; 1 blog post about both micro and macro content can be broken into 2-3 social media posts. One for micro content, one for macro, and one for how to work both together.

Want to read more about content and how it can boost your SEO? Click on over to the Hammersmith Support blog “What is SEO?“.

At Hammersmith Support, we work with many different client needs when it comes to their websites. Some need a refresh of their current site, some need a full rebuild. We also do ground up builds for clients who don’t currently have a website. Each type of client and their needs are unique and making the right recommendation for what exactly a client’s website needs is crucial. So how do you know what your site needs?

What is a Website Refresh?

A website refresh is similar to refreshing a home; it’s mostly cosmetic. In your home you might paint the walls, buy a new rug, bring in new furniture. Refreshing your site is similar in that colors, layout, content, and logos are reworked to create an updated look. Refreshing a site is perfect for businesses that are rebranding and/or updating product offerings – or just need a fresh look for their site. The new look alerts visitors that something has changed with the company and will get attention.

Who Qualifies for a Site Rebuild?

Companies that have an established website that has outdated infrastructure and/or can no longer support the business’ demands would qualify for a full site rebuild. This may include some refreshing visually, but typically will keep the same color scheme and logos to stay on brand. The majority of changes are behind the scenes, updating the site framework to support new business channels such as e-commerce, site security, speed and optimization capabilities.

How Do You Know Which You Need?

Take a look at your business goals and what is limiting those goals when it comes to your website. Are you ready to start selling your products online? Do you need to be able to retain visitor contact information and aren’t able to do so on your current site? Is your site speed fast enough? Does your site look outdated but serve your business well? Knowing the answers to these questions can help point you in which direction to go. And Hammesmith Support is always here to help you work through the best options for you and your business.