Running a fast website is one of the key factors for webmasters to attract more visitors and conduct successful online business. However, many of them do not know how to accelerate their websites, especially for newbie. To help people settle this problem, today we will introduce CDN to them.
The full name of CDN is content delivery network that packages rich features and top of the line facilities to reduce page loading times and enhance the performance of users’ websites. After reviewing many CDN providers, we list out top three for users to choose and that are CloudFlare CDN, MaxCDN, and Amazon CDN.
CloudFlare CDN – World Largest CDN Provider
CloudFlare is a reliable CDN provider in the industry that offers both free and paid CDN plans to its users. Since its initiation, the company has committed to keeping pace with the industry-leading service to help users get access to the excellent online environment.
In addition, CloudFlare also protects against traffic surges. According to the report, even with a free CloudFlare CDN plan, over 60% off the requests could be absorbed by CloudFlare if a site get a surge.
By the way, CloudFlare can work together with other CDNs. In this way, CloudFlare can be a complement if they already have a CDN.
CloudFlare CDN Review on Features
CloudFlare utilizes first-class hardware, web server technology and network routing to reduce hops and lower latency. At the same time, it can also offers many optimized features for customers to get the best performance online environment and we will list out the main features in the following:
- Fast Speed– the company operates 24 data centers around the world. Its CDN can automatically cache static files of customers, so these files will be collected closer to the visitors while delivering dynamic content directly from customers’ web servers. It is tested that a website on CloudFlare loads twice as fast for their visitors averagely. By the way, CloudFlare never charges for bandwidth.
- Rock Solid Reliability– customers will not be affected by any issues of data centers with CloudFlare’s distributed network.
- Works with Other CDNs– CloudFlare will work as a complement if customers have used a CDN.
- Always Online– CloudFlare serves a limited copy of cached websites if customers’ server goes wrong to keep it online for visitors.
In addition to we mentioned above, it also offers some other features, including SSL, Mobile optimization, no configuration necessary, protecting against traffic surges, automatic IPv6 and more.
CloudFlare CDN Review on Pricing
There are four different plans are available for customers to select at CloudFlare, namely CloudFlare Free, Pro, Business and Enterprise. And their price is set at $0/mo, $20/mo for the first website, or $5/mo for each subsequent website, $200/mo and $5000 respectively.
CloudFlare CDN Review on Customer Support
In addition, CloudFlare also takes customers’ satisfaction as a top priority. The company promises that customers can deal with about almost all problems via checking the search bar. Moreover, customers can also solve their problems via ticket.
CloudFlare Review Summary
In conclusion, CloudFlare is a reliable company who can offer free CDN to its customers, aiming to help customers manage their websites smoothly and successfully. If customers can find more information about CloudFlare, they can freely visit https://www.cloudflare.com/.
Located in Studio city, Los Angeles, CA, MaxCDN is a fast growing company that has helped more than 12 000 businesses to unlock the power of CDN. The MaxCDN hires a group of people who are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and responsible to specialize in the requirements of its CDN users.
MaxCDN sets its goal to help users deliver content to some of the busiest websites and services. As a reputable CDN provider, it can provide its users with rich features, such as EdgeCaching, EdgeRules, EdgeSSL, EdgeSecurity, RESTful API. Furthermore, the company also offers easy to use control panel to its users. With this powerful control panel, users can find everything that they need to access, manage and upgrade their MaxCDN account services.
MaxCDN Review on Features
Like many popular CDN providers, MaxCDN can also offer rich features for customers to backup their websites. We will introduce the main features in the following:
- Edge Caching or HTTP Caching makes it possible for customers to handle any amount of traffic directly from the edge.
- EdgeRules is powerful enough to help customers create rules to control TTL and request headers, get real-time actions and more.
- MaxCDN customers can get API which let any third-party interact with its CDN from other application.
- MaxCDN customers can get access to super simple control panel. By taking advantage of it, customers can easily manage their websites, data, files and more, even for a web hosting beginner.
- In addition, it also offers Edge SSL to guarantee the solid security.
- It is safe to say that customers can get access to high speed with MaxCDN. The company also promises that customers can use as much bandwidth as they need.
MaxCDN Review on Price
MaxCDN provides customers with three different pricing levels to choose from, which are Standard, High Volume and Enterprise. And today we will focus on the Standard plan.
The Standard solutions contains 100GB, 500GB, 1TB and 5TB Monthly Plans and whose price is set at $9/mo, $39/mo, $79/mo and $299/mo respectively. Customers can freely choose the preferred one according to their own requirements.
By the way, MaxCDN customers can get two months for free.
MaxCDN Review on Support
MaxCDN is a reliable company that promises to offer industry-leading customer support to its customers.
If customers encounter some problems that they cannot solve by themselves, they can contact the supporting staffs via phone and live chat. The experts will help them find solutions as soon as possible. Moreover, FAQs (frequently asked questions) are also available for customers to settle their problems easily.
Furthermore, the company guarantees 30 day money back. Therefore, it will refund customers’ money if they are not satisfied with their service.
According to what we reviewed above, it is easy to see that MaxCDN customers can get rich features to help them run a successful website that has high speed. At the same time, the company also pays high attention to customer support. In this way, MaxCDN can be recommended for webmasters who pursue best performance.
For more details about MaxCDN, customers can visit http://www.maxcdn.com/.
Amazon CloudFront is designed for working with other Amazon Web Services, including Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2 and more to store the definitive versions of users’ static files and run application servers for dynamically generated content.
Recognized as a well-known CDN provider, Amazon CDN contains a lot of features, including low TTLs, support CloudFlare Zone Apex, management console, access logs, Geo restriction, custom error response, Amazon CloudFront Usage Charts, on-demand Microsoft Smooth Streaming, support Wildcard CNAME and many others.
By taking advantage of a network of edge over the world, Amazon CloudFront has the strengths to lower latency by caching copies of users’ static content close to their visitors. What’s more, Amazon CloudFlare is built on highly reliable infrastructure to enable its users access a possible best performance website.
Amazon CDN Review on Features
As a best CDN provider, Amazon is powerful enough to provide customers with almost necessary features to get access to high performance website. In below, we will introduce some key features to customers:
- Amazon CloudFlare Usage Charts-With it, customers can track trends in data transfer and requests, (both HTTP and HTTPS) for each of their active CloudFront Web distribution.
- Support Custom SSL- It is awesome for ensuring a solid secure environment.
- Support for POST/PUT and Other HTTP Methods– It can accelerate data uploaded from end users.
- Geo Restriction– This is a new features that allow customers to restrict access to their content based on the geographic location of their viewers. In addition, customers can also select the countries where they intend Amazon CloudFlare to deliver their content.
- Custom Error Response– It allows customers to configure how CloudFlare manages error responses for their websites.
- Low TTLs– It will take 0 seconds to configure a minimum expiration period (also known as “time-to-live” or TTL) with CloudFlare.
- Invalidation– It makes it easy for customers to remove copies of a file from all Amazon CloudFlare edge locations.
In addition to the features that we list out, Amazon CDN customers can get access to many optimized features, such as logs access, support for CloudFlare Zone Apex, management console, support for Wildcard CNAME and more.
Amazon CDN Review on Support
Amazon understands that qualified, reliable and responsible customer support is very important to customers. The experts are committed to offering around the clock assistance to customers if they have problems related to their websites.
In conclusion, customers may have a clear picture about Amazon CDN. It is true that the company can offer many powerful features for customers to run a high performance website. If customers are eager to know more information about Amazon CDN and its price, they can visit https://aws.amazon.com/.
What Is CDN
CDN is the abbreviation of content delivery network or content distribution network, which is a largely distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet to accelerate the performance of websites. Up till now, it serves a great deal of Internet content, such as web objects, applications, downloadable objects, live streaming media, social networks and more.
Content delivery network consists of servers in the globe, so as long as users have integrated with CDN, the contents on their websites can be copied on all the servers. In this way, visitors can get access to the content from the nearest server geographically rather than users’ hosting server to improve the performance of users’ blogs or websites to the largest.
Benefits of CDN
In below, we will list out the main advantages of CDN to make readers get to know more information about CDN:
- It can be easily integrated with WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to make users manage their own popular websites without any problems.
- CDN is awesome for SEO (search engine optimization). With it, users can get their own websites rank well, even for a complete beginner.
- Improving the loading time
- Adding to the SEO score of users’ websites or blogs
Is CDN Necessary for You?
Traditionally, your web hosting provider hosts your content only on a server in a certain data center. Supposing this data center is in North America. Then ignoring network speed, server quality, data center levels, and other factors, we just consider content access and uploading speed from the geographic aspect. So, if your visitors are in North America, they will access or download your content fast since data transmitted distance is comparatively short. However, if they are in Europe, they have to access or download the content across the Atlantic Ocean. It is a good distance away from the server in that North America data center. Naturally, they cannot get as fast speed as visitors in North America.
CDN is just a good solution to the above problem. If your website is integrated with CDN, then your pointed content will be mirrored on multiple proxy servers all across the world. So, even if your visitors are from different places, they will automatically access or download the same content from the closest server rather than the original server that your web host offers.
To optimize your website performance, gain high visitor satisfaction and boosting your business, you need CDN. And there still is a prerequisite. You have visitors from all over the world. If not, CDN is not for you. For example, your main visitors come from the same region as your server location. CDN works little for you, but you have to pay for it.
Yes. The most of CDN services are charged. Before purchasing CDN, you have to evaluate whether you can afford it and whether CDN will bring you more profits, especially if you are an online business.
Surly, there are some web hosting companies offer hosting packages including free CDN, such as Bluehost and A2Hosting. The 2 web hosts have best cheap web hosting solutions as well. To get web hosting services and free CDN at the same provider, Bluehost and A2Hosting are great recommendations. You will save time and money!
To conclude, if you have visitors from multiple places in the world, and you can afford CDN to optimize website performance, then you need it. You can go on reading the following steps about how to fully use it.
How to Fully Use CDN?
It is a little hard to integrate your site with CDN, especially if you are a man with a little technical knowledge. So, be patient. It will cost your time and energy. But CDN will prove you that you do a right choice.
- Choose a CDN service
There are paid and free CDN service providers with different features. Some web hosting providers also design hosting solutions with CDN. You can select one according to what you need and how much you can afford. For the CDN service we recommend in above, most of them offer both paid cdn and free CDN service.
- Make sure which files you need to serve with CDN
- Mirror your files to the proxy servers
Actually, different CDN providers give different methods to mirror your files to their proxy servers all across the world. Some CDN service companies even enable your files to be mirrored automatically. But they are same to require you to load selected files once. Then they will copy the files to servers across their network.
If your site is based on popular CMSs, such as WordPress and Drupal, you can take advantage of some plugins to simplify this step.
- Name URLs
When your selected files have already on proxy servers, you will see different URLs from original ones. For example, your original URL is mywebsite.com. After on the CDN servers, it changes into hdfh778y8gdf.com, which seems a little frustrating. But you can make it friendly and easy to remember, like cdn.mywebsite.com. During this process, CNAME could be helpful to you.
For one, you should test whether your web pages are in right files. To test that, you can utilize caching systems if your site is built with CMSs, such as WordPress. As a matter of fact, caching systems are beneficial to speed up page loading as well.
For another, the most of CDN services companies provide dashboard for you to check usage of your files.