As per one of the recent study, if your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you might lose more than 50% of your audience. Visitors don’t like waiting. There are many websites available similar to your website and probably faster than you. So visitor tends to go to your competitor website rather than waiting for your website to load. Due to globalization your visitor base also probably spread across the globe. Providing same speed for your website across the globe is a painful task and next to impossible. That’s where CDN comes into the picture. So in this article, we will learn about CDN ( Content Delivery Network) and Top 5 Best CDN providers to Boost Your Site (2019)
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CDN ( Content Delivery Network)
A CDN is a bunch of servers located at various locations across the globe to serve your website contents. Let’s take a simple example to explain the CDN system. For example, let’s consider that Your website is hosted in a server located in the United States. If someone is visiting your website from the United States, he or she may experience a good speed considering the host is closely located to server. Now if someone from India tries to access your website, he or she may not get the same speed as someone getting in the United States. The distance between your visitor and web host location plays a big role in your website speed.
What a CDN does is that they deploy a bunch of servers in many different locations so that users get uniform speed from any parts of the world. For the first time when you connect to a CDN, it copies your website contents to all its servers. So when a visitor accesses your website, it gets served from the CDN server and not from your main server. Whenever you do an update to your website contents, the same gets updated automatically in all CDN servers as well. So users get all updated content directly from your CDN.
So if I summaries what a CDN is, it would be
• A bunch of servers located across the world
• Provides uniform speed for your website
• Serve contents directly without waiting for your main server to respond.
A CDN has many services to offer apart from just delivering your content. CDN best suited for entry-level hosting where you can’t expect much from your web host. In the case of dedicated hosting, CDN does not make a huge difference. Below list shows a couple of main points which attracts website owners to use CDN
• CDN saves your bandwidth. Since contents are delivered directly from CDN server so your bandwidth utilization will be less.
• Seamless speed from any parts of the world due to CDN servers located across the globe.
• Protects your IP from hackers. CDN uses a mask on your main IP and protects it.
• Provides security to your website content by using various technologies like HSTS, SSL etc.
• Minify your website contents and serve those faster.
• Supports new protocols like HTTP/2.
• An ultra-fast loading website without putting much load to your web server.
These are only the main task that a CDN does. Apart from that, a CDN does thousands of other jobs which is probably out of the scope of this article. For now, let’s discuss the Top 5 free CDN services for your website.
Cloudflare is the most popular and widely used free CDN. Launched in 2009 and as of 2019, they have about 28 data centre around the world. It serves your website static contents like HTML pages, Images, Java-script etc directly from those data centres. Cloudflare has free as well as paid plans. But frankly speaking, the free plan is more than enough and unless you own a big website, there is no reason to opt for paid plans. The free plan also offers unlimited bandwidth, unlike others who cap the usage.
Free Cloudflare plan also offers DDoS attack protection and a shared SSL certificate. They also have some exciting free web optimization feature which helps your website to load faster. Cloudflare claims that a website with Cloudflare CDN is two times faster than a website without Cloudflare. Some features like Railgun, Rocket Loader is well known to accelerate your website speed.
Why should you choose Cloudflare?
• Provided SSL certificate. Saves you from buying a dedicated SSL certificate.
• Complete DNS management. DNS propagations are also very fast.
• Details analytics for your website
• Support HSTS, TLS, HTTP/2
• Excellent minifying capability along with browser caching and image optimization
• Supports IPv6
Incapsula has almost the same set of features like Cloudflare but the free version does not offer much. One of the major reason people go for Cloudflare is for free SSL which Incapsula does not provide. Apart from this, it provides all necessary features like DNS management, DDoS attack protection, IP protection, Serving content from global CDN server.
Why should you go for Incapsula
• Fastest content delivery from its globally distributed server.
• DDoS protection.
• Site acceleration using cache and minifying content.
QUIC.Cloud is the latest entry to this CDN services launched by Litespeed Technologies. Litespeed is a very popular name for fast web servers and cache plugins. Though QUIC is still in beta stage, it promised to offer some exciting features which others fail to offer in the free plan. The main reason why QUIC. Cloud can outperform others is because of the ability to offer dynamic caching. It is especially useful for blog and eCommerce websites where content changes on a daily basis. QUIC is the latest internet protocol which will soon out date HTTP/2. So by joining Quic. Cloud your website will be future ready.
Why should you join Quic. Cloud
• Dynamic caching ability. Best suited for WordPress blogs and e-Commerce websites.
• QUIC protocol support
• Separate cache for mobile and desktop.
• Back-end support by Litespeed web server and Litespeed cache. Trust me Litespeed Web server+ Litespeed cache+ Quic. Cloud is a deadly combination to superfast your website.
Unlike traditional CDN, Photon only offers image content delivery service. It is powered by Jetpack and jetpack needs no introduction for WordPress users. Once you Install and Activate Jetpack, simply you have to check the option “ Speed up image load time” in the performance section. That’s all.
After you check that option all your website images will be served by Photon from their server without putting any load to your actual web server. As you all might know that images contribute more than 60% of your bandwidth uses. Photon helps you to save the bandwidth and also speed up website loading time.
Why You should choose Photon as your image CDN?
• Powered by Jetpack. Photon along other features of Jetpack is an excellent combination for your WordPress site to fly off.
• Best in class image compression facility.
• Newest image format like WEP is supported by the photon.
The last CDN service provider that we have on our list is Cloudinary. Though Cloudinary is not a reputed name in CDN service directory their paid plans have some exciting features. In the free plan, you will only get basic features but that too with so many restrictions. For example, an image file cannot be more than 10 MB, maximum megapixels cannot be more than 25 etc. Unless and otherwise, it is really required I won’t suggest you to go for Cloudinary.
These are the Top 5 Best CDN providers to Boost Your Site (2019). Though almost all above CDN provider offer the same set of features Cloudflare offers the most. It has many features in the free plan which others does not provide. So my suggestion would be to use Cloudflare along with Photon for image CDN. Cloudflare recently doing beta testing for QUIC protocol. So make sure you enable that option under “ Network”.
If you are using lite speed web server then I would suggest opting for Quic. Cloud because this combination can speed up your website drastically considering you are also using Litespeed cache plugin.
That’s all we have in this article. Hope you liked the article and found some useful information. If you have any queries please do write in the comment section and I will be happy to answer. If you find this article helpful please rate us five stars.