We were lucky enough to be able to interview Mike Cunsolo from Manchester based startup Igniso, the team behind CDNify.
Topics of discussion include: CDNs, SEO, what it is like to run a startup in Manchester, and advice for other web based companies in Manchester and the rest of the UK.
Have you experienced any challenges running a tech start-up in Manchester?
Whilst there are countless challenges you face in a startup I wouldn't say any of them are localised to being in the North West. I guess if you are looking for funding it might not be that easy to do in the North but I think that seems to be changing. There are definitely more starts up springing up in Manchester, as well as tech companies like Uber and YPlan expanding to Manchester, so things are definitely looking healthy.
What has been the best thing about Manchester?
Cheap cost of living, good restaurants, actual record shops. I think Manchester has an authenticity that you don't see in a lot of places anymore. If things such as Devo Manc, HS3 and Tech North get well executed then it could be amazing for Manchester and the North West in general.
How would you explain to a not particularly technologically able senior manager why a CDN would be a good idea for their website?
The main issue we see is people not being prepared for surges in traffic. If you are an ecommerce company or you want visitors to sign up for your free trial then this is critical, if your site is down when people hit it then all of your marketing efforts to drive people to your site has been a waste of time.
A CDN caches copies of your website on a global network of servers so your site is always available, no matter how many people are on it. A CDN delivers your content from the closest available location which reduces latency and provides a much faster experience for your users, regardless of whether they are in the same city or halfway across the world,
Or just ask your developers : )
Can using a Content Delivery Network provide a ROI?
There are lots of statistics out there that highlight how much of a conversion killer a slow loading website can be.
Using a distributed network of servers to deliver your content has numerous benefits. If your site is constantly crashing or your servers are grinding to a halt due to traffic spikes, you will most likely be getting pretty hefty bills from your hosting providers. A CDN is an incredibly quick and easy way of mitigating this issue.
If using a CDN speeds up a site in California, it should load faster for Googlebot. Are CDN's good for SEO?
Yes, especially as Google now recognises HTTPS and site speed as ranking signals. Another big thing that is often overlooked in terms of SEO are images, which if optimised and served through a CDN needn’t be a problem.
We know that SEO is a big concern for people so we try and make configuring your setup as easy as possible, whether that’s adding canonical headers to avoid issues with content duplication or adding your robots.txt file as a resource so Google (or any search engine) knows which pages on your site it should index.
Do you have any implementation recommendations for website owners in the UK?
Ultimately implementing a CDN should be simple but it obviously depends on what you are trying to do and on your tech stack or what CMS you use. Ultimately it’s about using the right solution for the problem you are facing.
One of our clients, CANDDI, who are an analytics tracking company have saved themselves hundreds of dollars each month due to the way they have integrated CDNify with their system. They are doing some very clever and technically complicated things but other customers will have much simpler set ups.
In most cases, if for example you are just looking to CDN your entire website you can be up and running in a few minutes.
We are seeing more and more digital agencies sign up to use CDNify for their client’s websites and with that comes a whole set of problems specific to each client, in some cases their sites are bloated and slow, which is totally understandable if it’s legacy architecture.
Are those recommendations different for website owners in Manchester?
What services do CDNify Provide and how can people get in touch?
CDNify is a content delivery network designed to make the process of accelerating and scaling your website or applications simple & intuitive.
Using CDNify means your website or application has 100% availability, gives your users a faster, more reliable experience and can help to increase your conversion rate.
We work with a wide range of brands and companies from ecommerce platforms, SAAS companies and Game Developers. Our clients include Frank & Oak, Graham & Brown, CANDDI and Sago Sago.
Recently we’ve been doing more custom solutions for people based on their needs. For example, we’ve recently been working with a broadcaster whose user base is localised to the UK. This throws up some quite complex problems in that they can go from having a manageable amount of traffic to dealing with huge demand in a very short space of time, so helping them work out the best way of distributing and managing their traffic has been interesting.
I think moving forward we’ll probably be doing more and more of these types of custom solutions to try and solve some of these specific problems.
You can find out more about CDNify at: https://cdnify.com/
Do you have a questions about CDNs or anything else? Leave a comment below.