Many of today’s websites and web apps include file upload and file delivery functionality, allowing end-users to upload different file types.
For instance, millions worldwide upload photos and video files daily on social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. Similarly, online photo editing apps enable users to upload image files using a file uploader. Once users upload files, they are transferred and stored in the web server or remote server and then delivered to the users on the web app. However, various factors can slow down your file upload and file delivery process, directly impacting the user experience. Fortunately, with Filestack integration tools, developers can ensure fast and secure file transfer and delivery. In this article, we’ll discuss the factors affecting the file-sending and delivery process and how Filestack can help you optimize your file-delivery workflow.
How does slow file delivery impact businesses?
In today’s fast-paced world, users want fast file transfer and delivery. Thus, file delivery speed has a significant impact on user experience. Users typically leave web apps or websites that take too long to upload and deliver files. It’s because slower file delivery usually leads to frustration and customer dissatisfaction. This, in turn, affects user engagement, conversion rate, and business revenue.
Which factors affect file delivery speed?
Users’ network or internet connection speed has a significant impact on file upload speed, which, in turn, affects file delivery. Network bandwidth and congestion are usually the leading causes of slow internet connection and data transfers. Network bandwidth is the total data transfer capacity of a network. It defines the amount of information or data that can be sent over a network in a specific amount of time. Low bandwidth slows down the internal connection, causing the files to take longer to upload. It is typically an issue with large file uploads because they require more bandwidth than smaller files.
Network congestion refers to the reduction of the quality of the internet connection that results in packet loss and queue delays. It also leads to the blocking of incoming connections, such as the time it takes for files to upload to a server. Network congestion usually occurs when there is too much traffic on the internet connection or the bandwidth is insufficient to handle the existing traffic. For instance, network congestion can occur when too many users upload multiple files simultaneously over a specific network.
Web servers have limited storage space, allowing you to store only a specific number of files. Many servers also have a maximum file size limit for file upload. Moreover, some servers only allow a fixed number of uploads that can take place simultaneously. Hence, too much load on the server can slow down the file transfer and delivery speed. Additionally, some servers don’t support compressed and zip files, so they allow you to upload specific file types.
Distance between the file storage server and the end-user
Server location is another crucial factor that affects the file delivery speed. The more the distance between users and the server where the uploaded or transferred files are stored, the more time it will take to deliver files. This is because your files must travel to various locations before they are finally delivered to the users, which causes network latency.
File size and file format
Large files take longer to upload and require more bandwidth than smaller ones. Moreover, since many servers can’t handle large files efficiently, they are difficult to upload and deliver. The file format also affects file delivery speed because high-quality files, such as images and videos, are large in size.
What are the different ways to improve file delivery speed?
Using CDN to deliver files
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is essentially a network of data centers and servers distributed globally. It allows us to cache content near the end user to reduce latency and improve file delivery time. A CDN essentially stores the cache copies of the files on various servers located worldwide. When a user requests a file, CDN delivers it quickly using the server nearest to the user. Hence, CDN allows us to send files quickly to users without losing quality. CDNs support various file times, including documents, images, HTML pages, and videos.
Chunk uploads allow us to upload and transfer large files efficiently. In chunked uploads, we split a large file into smaller chunks or pieces and then periodically upload them one by one. This makes it easier for the webserver to process each chuck separately instead of processing one large file.
File compression and conversion
File compression is another effective technique to quickly and smoothly upload and send large files, especially media files. Good file compression software even allows you to compress files without losing quality. Similarly, you can convert a file type to another file format to reduce the file size.
Hosting files in the cloud
Since web servers offer limited storage space, using a cloud storage solution is a better option. Cloud storage providers offer unlimited storage space and have servers located worldwide, allowing you to send files to the server closest to you.
Choosing the right file transfer protocol
File transfer protocol (FTP) is the process of transferring files between devices or from your computer/local device to a remote server over a network. It basically allows us to upload and share files or transfer files from one location to another. Some of the best file transfer protocols include FTP, FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS,) SFTP (FTP over SSH or Secure Shell,) and HTTPS.
What is Filestack?
Filestack is a complete set of tools and APIs for file uploads, transformation, and delivery. It offers a fast, secure, and reliable file uploader called File Picker. The File Picker is super easy to implement in your web app using just a few lines of code. It has a beautiful and user-friendly drag-and-drop that you can customize to match your website’s overall design. Moreover, the Filestack file Picker supports several file types, including several image formats, documents, videos, and audio files, and over 20 integrated sources, including Instagram, Facebook, AWS, Google Drive, and Dropbox. Developers can also access the underlying Filestack API via various open-source SDKs.
Here is how you can implement the Filestack File Picker:
const client = filestack.init(API_KEY);
Filestack also supports file transformation via its Processing Engine. For example, users can resize, rotate, compress, flip, and crop image files, apply enhancements and files to image files, convert file types, and more. Filestack also provides insights into the contents of the uploaded files through its Intelligence System.
How can Filestack help improve file delivery speed?
Filestack stores all the uploaded files to an internally managed S3 bucket in N. Virginia. You can also integrate your existing cloud storage solution with Filestack and store your files there. This reduces the load on your server, allowing you to deliver files quickly and improve your app’s overall performance. Howevapp’st’s essential to choose a secure cloud hosting service with reliable servers.
CDN and CIN
Filestack uses a CDN to help you deliver files quickly and seamlessly to end-users, no matter which part of the world they reside in. Filestack has, in fact, teamed up with Fastly to give your access to Fastly’s strategically placed servers around the globe. It basically returns a CDN URL for every file upload with the Filestack File Picker that you can use to deliver and transform files.
Below is the base CDN URL the Filestack returns for all assets; you can access a file by appending its handle:
Additionally, Filestack Intelligent Ingestion™ technology automatically responds to changing network conditions by dynamically adjusting packet sizes. This enables Filestack to successfully handle poor networks and guarantee upload success 99.999% of the time. With Filestack, uploads are 3x faster than normal file uploads.
Chunk and parallel uploads
Filestack supports chunk and parallel file uploads to ensure fast and smooth file uploading of large files.
Filestack offers helpful compression settings for PNG and JPG files and supports responsive and progressive images to help deliver images faster on any device, even on slow internet connections. To get the best results, performing compression as the last task in your transformation chain is recommended.
File conversion and transcoding
Filestack enables you to convert document and image files to various formats, including PDF, PNG, JPEG, WebP, and many more. Moreover, it supports video and audio transcoding, allowing you to convert video and audio files in different formats you want to use in your application.
File upload and delivery speed depend on various facts, such as network speed and bandwidth, server storage and limitations, cloud storage provider, remote server’s location, and file size and format. Fortunately, Filestack offers the easiest and simplest way to manage file uploads and improve and optimize your file delivery process. It uses a CDN to deliver files, store files in cloud storage, allows users to compress large files, and upload files in chunks. With Filestack, you can even convert file types to another format.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What does file transfer mean?
File transfer means sending files from one computer to another computer or a remote server. You can use a reliable file transfer service to transfer your files.
What are the different types of file transfer protocols?
Some of the most used file transfer protocols include FTP, FTPS (FTP over SSL/TLS,) SFTP (FTP over SSH or Secure Shell,) and HTTPS.
What are the different file types that you can transfer?
You can transfer documents, images, videos, and audio files depending on your file transfer service.
Sidra is an experienced technical writer with a solid understanding of web development, APIs, AI, IoT, and related technologies. She is always eager to learn new skills and technologies.
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