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WordPress CDN – The Most Effective Way to Speed Up Your Site

January 8th, 2021

When was the last time you checked how fast your WordPress site is performing? Was it fast enough or needing some remarkable speed improvements? No matter how lightweight, smooth, and speedy your WordPress site is at your location, chances are many users are still experiencing significantly slower loading times in different geographic regions.

Since your WordPress site speed depends mostly on your hosting server’s quality and geographical location, it can never be fast enough for all users around the world. Although WordPress offers you many options to decrease page load time, ranging from browser caching and code minification to image optimization and caching plug-ins, none of these techniques are as efficient and powerful as using a Content Delivery Network (CDN).

What is a WordPress CDN?

Also called Content Distribution Network, a Content Delivery Network is a globally distributed network of powerful proxy servers that work together to ensure the fastest loading of web pages anywhere across the globe. These interconnected servers store your WordPress site’s static content and deliver a duplicate (cached) copy of the static data to users based on their geographic locations.

The static content that a WordPress CDN serves include images, videos, PDFs, and static libraries such as CSS and JavaScript, and other heavy resources that build up your site. Ultimately, a WordPress CDN’s primary purpose is to load web page content faster by reducing data packets’ traveling time.

To better understand the functioning of a WordPress CDN, take a look at this handy graphic by GTmetrix:

CDN

The way WordPress CDN works is very straightforward. Unlike a traditional web host that serves your website’s content from a single location, a WordPress CDN keeps separate copies of your website on high-speed servers. Whenever a user tries to access the website, the CDN serves the cached content from the server nearest to the user’s geographical location. Consequently, your WordPress site loads much faster, delivering users a better experience.

The content delivery network can be divided into three main categories:

  • Content Service Protocols: These are fully managed hosted networks that we’re going to discuss in this blog post.
  • P2P Networks: Peer-to-peer (P2P) CDNs work between personal computers and are not suitable to host a website’s content. For instance, BitTorrent.
  • Private CDNs: If you’re not satisfied with the above options, you can create your own global network of servers. This is called a private CDN.

Depending on your requirements and budget, you can go with any of the above options. Now let’s take a look at the benefits of a WordPress CDN.

Key Benefits of Using a WordPress CDN

A CDN benefits your WordPress site in many ways. Here are just a few of them:

  • Speed: Improving the website speed to the maximum extent is why people prefer a WordPress CDN. Cutting down your website data’s overall traveling time, a CDN ensures the lowest possible latency and loads your WordPress site load in a snap.
  • High Global Availability and Scalability: What if a sudden spike in traffic crashes or shuts your website’s central server down? A WordPress CDN keeps your website always up and running with multiple servers to handle the increased traffic load. For example, CloudFlare’s Always Online technology keeps a limited version of your site online even if the original server goes offline.
  • Security: WordPress CDNs leverage the power of leading-edge technologies, like Origin Shield and WAF (Web Application Firewalls), to keep your website’s data secure, execute transactions, and prevent DDoS and Layer 7 attacks.
  • SEO Advantages: Everyone knows Google loves a blazing fast website! A WordPress CDN not only helps your website rank higher in search engine result pages, but it also increases your website images crawl rate for Google Image Search.
  • Lower Bandwidth Costs: A WordPress CDN cuts bandwidth requests by offloading CPU, traffic, and other resources from the original server. Ideally, The lower bandwidth requests are, the more bandwidth costs you save.

Types of WordPress Sites That Must Use a CDN

Now that you’re familiar with all the aspects of a WordPress CDN, the next question is how you will determine if a website really needs to implement a CDN. Although a CDN is beneficial in every way and every scenario, there are certain cases wherein a WordPress site must implement it:

  • Your WordPress site is growing at a fast pace.
  • You run a complex, media-rich WordPress site that contains a lot of videos, images, and audio clips.
  • Your site is receiving a significant amount of traffic from various geographic locations around the globe.
  • You have a WordPress-powered eCommerce site that often experiences sudden traffic spikes, particularly during holidays and special occasions.
  • You run an online community website where a lot of users interact simultaneously.
  • Your site utilizes resources of third party websites, software, and services.
  • Your budget permits implementing a CDN on your WordPress site.

If your WordPress site falls into the criteria mentioned above, you should implement a CDN as soon as possible.

Some Popular CDN Services for a Blazingly Fast WordPress Site

There are countless free and paid options out there to choose from when it comes to implementing a CDN on your WordPress site. However, your best bet would be to select a web host offering bundled free CDN integration, such as WPEngine, Kinsta, and Pagely. In case you have already purchased a hosting package, here are some of the top third-party WordPress CDN service providers you can go with:

  • Jetpack Site Accelerator: Not a pure CDN, but indeed a great way to speed up your WordPress site by optimizing images and serving static resources from a globally distributed network of servers. It’s free to use!
  • Cloudflare: One of the most popular CDNs available on the market today, Cloudflare offers a compelling free plan for small personal websites and blogs. Perfect for enterprise-level users too!
  • StackPath CDN: A well-known premium CDN powering numerous reputable websites, such as The Washington Times and The Next Web.
  • KeyCDN: A simple and easy to setup CDN with a robust network of servers spread across Europe, Asia, and America. No fixed monthly fee, simply pay-as-you-go. It also offers a 14-day free trial!
  • CDN77: Another fast, secure, and reliable CDN with global flat-rate pricing. It comes with a 14-day free trial. The premium plan starts at $199 per month.
  • Amazon CloudFront: A highly secure, fast, and programmable CDN that securely delivers data to users globally with low latency! All AWS accounts include 12 months of free tier access.
  • Fastly: Fastly is a real-time content delivery network that helps websites and apps perform faster globally. No fixed monthly fee, simply pay-as-you-go. You can try Fasty for up to $50 of traffic for free.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Perfect WordPress CDN

Whether you’re looking for a free WordPress CDN or a paid one, consider the following vital factors to make the right decision:

  • Easy Integration with WordPress
  • User-friendly Dashboard
  • Analytics Reporting
  • Real-time Content Purging
  • Free SSL Integration
  • HTTP/2 Support
  • Server Availability in the locations, wherefrom you’re getting most of your website traffic.
  • Customer Support
  • Reasonable pricing – make sure it’s easy on your budget.

#Final Words

To sum it up, going with a WordPress CDN would surely be a great and wise decision towards making your website load faster in every corner of the world. However, a general rule says that you shouldn’t solely depend on a WordPress CDN for speed. You must still consider the other options to speed up your WordPress site, such as image optimization, using a reliable caching plug-in, minifying CSS and JavaScript, choosing a lightning-fast web host, and so on. Finally, if you’re facing difficulties implementing a WordPress CDN or improving your site’s speed, you can always hire expert WordPress developers.

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