You may find yourself asking: What's the difference between CDN and CMS? Read on to find out why they are almost completely different, and which one digital signage software (in particular Doohly) falls under.


Quick Guide:

Doohly digital signage at night in park
  • CDN is a series of data caches located all over the world used to reduce loading times of website content.

  • As a CDN acts as a cache for content, nothing is physically uploaded, edited or posted from it.

  • CDN is necessary to reduce user load times and have a more reliable service.

  • CMS is a piece of software that allows users to upload and manage content.

  • Doohly acts as a CMS as users are able to upload content to then schedule and play via the player.

Content Distribution Network (CDN):

Illustration of a CDN

A content distribution network (CDN) is a network of servers that cache content from the main server. These days most websites also have at least one CDN they rely on. Companies use CDN’s for a variety of reasons, but primarily for faster delivery, better reliability and higher levels of security.


The CDN’s role is to take the content that is uploaded to the main server and cache it at other locations. This creates copies at other physical locations so that users from around the globe can access the content quickly. By having the content at physically closer locations to the user the speed they can access content is drastically reduced.


By having multiple locations with the same data, redundancies are created in case of outages. This means that users have backup locations that users will access. Utilising a CDN in this manner means that the users' service is more reliable and less likely to go offline. This also leads to improved website security.


By having a CDN, users lower the impact of malicious attacks such as DDoS attacks. The impact of these attacks is lessened as there are multiple locations. Multiple locations mean that the perpetrator of these attacks will have a much harder time pulling users offline. They will have to pull down the entire network which is no easy feat.


There are many benefits to operating via a CDN, but CDNs don’t remove the need for a quality CMS solution. Whilst a CDN provides multiple locations for content to be stored, to manage it users will still need a CMS.


Content Management System (CMS):

Illustration of a CMS

A content management system (CMS) is a piece of software, such as Doohly, that allows users to upload and manage content online. CMS’s aren’t exclusively used for digital advertising, sites such as WordPress and Wix are also examples of CMS's.


There are many reasons why users prefer CMS solutions over other options in the market: Primarily due to no coding knowledge required, easy collaboration, simple updates, and scalability. Doohly is able to provide all of these features for digital signage and advertising. Most CMS solutions operate in the same manner, for the purpose of this article we will be focusing on Doohly.


What CMS’s do is allow the users to upload their content, and depending on the CMS being used, changes can be made. In the case of Doohly, users upload their content to then schedule, organise, and play on digital screens. Our CMS is accessible through multiple different platforms and requires zero coding experience to operate. Users simply sign in and follow the prompts to complete their required digital signage tasks.


CMS solutions allow for easy collaboration, mainly through having multiple accounts with different permissions accessing the same content. One way this is done is by creating individual user accounts for each team member under each organisation’s primary account. These collaboration methods allow employees to work together from anywhere instantaneously.


By relying on CMS software, users don't need to worry about updates as it is the responsibility of the service provider. Updates and quality of life improvements will happen over time and be automatically implemented, relieving potential pain points.


Main Differences:

Whilst CDN and CMS may seem similar, they both fulfil different purposes, and in fact, CMS solutions rely on CDNs. To simplify it; a CDN is a network of servers that cache data/content, improving load speeds and security. On the other hand, CMS’s are pieces of software that allow users to manage and use their content as needed. A CMS may rely on a CDN to allow its users to access content and data quickly but not vice versa.


A prime example of a CMS is Doohly which allows users to upload content to be used on digital screens. As CMS software, our product allows users to manage and schedule their content in creative ways, including digital advertising.


If you wish to get started in digital signage, please contact our sales team today!





What's The Difference Between CDN And CMS?

21 Oct 2021

What's The Difference Between CDN And CMS?
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