How CDNs Are Helping Improve Mobile User Experience
Mobile technology made one of the most transformative inroads into business models in the last couple of decades. Coming in multiple sizes and carrying computational power of varying degrees, mobile devices promise to deliver seamless connectivity and access to the users. The users have also wholeheartedly welcomed this digital transformation into their lives, and they are increasingly using their smartphones to access the internet. Traffic for mobile-based applications has been soaring, and hence for business owners today, it has become critically important to optimize your app to perform well and to be neatly designed within a mobile interface.
Mobile Apps and User Experience
According to Forrester Research, the mobile industry solidified its position in 2014 to become one of the most disruptive technologies for businesses in decades, and in 2016, mobile app usage crossed the combined usage of desktop and mobile web traffic combined.
Enterprises have traditionally approached mobile as an extension for their websites. They have strived to ensure that the responsive design will ensure that the content can be displayed and consumed on any screen size. However, the requirements today need to evolve far beyond that.
Mobile application users have also started demanding higher performance from mobile applications. According to research from Google, nearly one in five consumers expect mobile pages to load instantly; 30 percent expect a page-load in one second or less, also 49 percent expect loading to occur in two seconds or less.
The customer desire for faster page-loads becomes even more important and challenging if you serve video-on-demand or live streaming content, where users have come to expect TV-like experience on their mobile phones.
Good ratings translate into increased traffic, better positioning on search engine results, higher user engagement, and increased conversions.
Delivering highly engaging and enriching user experience with apps is essential; otherwise, you can lower your user engagement while tanking app rankings, sales and revenue. Thus, mobile application performance can be directly tied to your business success.
While there are plenty of activities that can be done on the app front-end, back-end optimization is crucial as well.
Your mobile app back-end is a complex web of API calls, database connections, third-party integrations, and this interweb ultimately results in user experience with the mobile application.
Hence, you need to primarily focus on your back-end optimization to deliver on the promise of high user satisfaction. This is key to ensure a healthy relationship with your customer base, to translate into loyal and a higher CLV.
How Can a CDN Help Improve Your App Performance?
A CDN caches your application content and API requests on a series of strategically located servers spread across the globe. This way, when users request for a piece of information, their requests do not have to travel to the original server, instead, they travel to the nearest cache server and back.
Without a CDN, the responsibility for resolving this request and serving back the content would fall on the origin server, which could be located a world away. For example, suppose your content server is located in India, but you are targeting visitors from Argentina, then for this request-response time, known as the Round Trip Time, it would have to travel all the way.
Because of physical distances between your user and the physical servers, the user will experience a lag in mobile responsiveness unless you are utilizing a CDN.
CDN consists of different servers, where each server has a hierarchical placing within the CDN infrastructure. Edge servers deliver content to the end-users where they pull requests from the Origin servers. Hence the content request is fulfilled from the nearest edge server, instead of the remote origin server. This significantly reduces the total round trip time, it helps to deliver the content fast to the user on their mobile application.
A practical, mobile CDN solution will be able to address the unique challenges that plague mobile content delivery by focusing on the last mobile mile. These solutions can take advantage of the unique characteristics that mobile apps carry, such as app sessions, individual session ID and choosing different transport protocols. The last mile is used to refer to the connection between the mobile ISP and the end-user. Nowadays, CDNs also provide support for the last mile connectivity, through SDK.
While they are primarily designed to solve the issue of latency within the web and mobile applications, a CDN offers several other benefits, such as improved uptime and security benefits.
Security is critical; a modern and enterprise-grade CDN solution provider will use and deploy reliable security solutions and features to ensure that your app security and information is guaranteed. A CDN will also help protect you against DDoS attacks, which are increasing in severity every day. Data mishaps and security breaches can quickly turn into PR nightmares for your business and result in rankings loss and user attrition. By utilizing superior hardware technologies for storing information and by using advanced compression techniques, such as by using GZIP, Brotli, a CDN can provide excellent security performance.
Streaming applications that run on mobile especially need a backbone of CDNs to deliver a top-notch, TV-like experience for the users.
We can see that delivering a high performing and seamless mobile experience is directly linked to attaining a high conversion rate. For providing a modern, enterprise-grade, and superior mobile performance, you need to optimize the end-to-end application architecture. Front end optimizations are very crucial to designing a great app experience, but ultimately it is the quality on your back-end that will power the engine.
Investing in a modern, robust CDN solution can be the difference between rescued connection drops and faster content download times that will ultimately boost your bottom-line growth. Rescue connection drops, and it provides speedier content download times.
At Medianova, we provide modern stable CDN services and have successfully powered the network and back-end architecture of major enterprises such as Vodafone Turkey, Turk Telecom, etc..
Get in touch with us to find out more about how our solutions can be the right fit for your business.