Improving the loading speed of your site is one of the most important SEO factors. Caching and optimizing content delivery can dramatically improve the speed of your website . WordPress offers free caching plugins like W3 Total Cache and Wp fastest cache.In this article we will offer you the top 6 of the best CDNs for your WordPress site in order to improve the performance of your site under WordPress.
What is a CDN?
Before going further with the list of CDN providers, you must first understand what is a Content Delivery Network (CDN)? Most WordPress sites use static files such as images, videos, CSS and JS files. Every time a user opens your website, all those static files have to be served from your hosting server. This can be an easy task when the user and the server are in the same geographical location. However, this is not generally the case.
Most web hosting companies are based in the United States or offer servers from one of the US states. When an Australian user opens the site hosted on the US server, it will take a few seconds on the network for the static files to reach the user. It may even delay more depending on the internet connection speed of the user. Along with the lag in page loading speed, your web server will face heavy load to serve the files for every request all over the world.
CDN caches your site’s static files and serves them from the location closest to your user. It will help you in the following ways:
- Reduce page load speed by serving static files from the closest server.
- Save your hosting server bandwidth as CDN servers will serve cached content instead of communicating with your hosting server.
- Some CDNs also offer a firewall and filter out bad bots to protect your site from hackers.
CDN integration with WordPress
Unlike caching plugins that you can install on your site, there are different ways to integrate CDN into WordPress.
- Change your nameservers to CDN servers in your domain’s DNS zone editor. This will route all your traffic through the CDN server.
- Create zones for static files and assign CNAME for these zones in your DNS settings.
- Integrate CDN using caching or a dedicated plugin.
Top CDN pour WordPress
Here are the best CDN providers available for WordPress. Consult the CDN provider’s documentation and understand how to integrate into your site. For example, some users don’t like changing name servers. In this case, you should choose the service provider carefully to meet your need.
Cloudflare is one of the most popular CDN providers for WordPress users. The reason for this is that many popular hosting companies such as SiteGround offer the basic Cloudflare CDN for free . Therefore, it is an ideal choice for new bloggers and small website owners. The free plan comes with a global CDN and DDoS attack protection. You can purchase the Pro plan for $20 per month to get additional features such as firewall, image compression, mobile optimization, and cache analysis.
It is a popular premium CDN for WordPress. If you’ve heard of MaxCDN and Highwinds, StackPath acquired them to become the mighty CDN service. You don’t have a free plan with StackPath and the starter plan requires $20 per month. With this plan, you can get 1TB of CDN bandwidth and 5 million requests per month for WAF (Web Application Firewall). Below, StackPath’s network servers show less distribution compared to Cloudflare.
If you are confused with technical terms such as edge server, WAF, DDoS, etc. used with CDN services, this option is for you. Jetpack is the free and popular plugin from the Automattic team. These are the people behind WordPress.com and the WooCommerce plugin. You can simply install the plugin and enable Site Accelerator in the “Jetpack > Settings > Performance” section. You can enable the option for images and static files to host them on the Automattic server and speed up delivery.
Remember that Site Accelerator was previously known as Photon. After activation, you will see that the files are loaded from one of the i0.wp.com, i1.wp.com, i2.wp.com or 13.wp.com servers. Unfortunately, you cannot purge individual files and you must contact the support team for this.
KeyCDN is another option if you have a very low budget. It offers $0.04 per GB for up to 1TB of bandwidth for North America and Europe.
You can use CDN Enabler plugin and embed hostname mentioning file extensions to include/exclude in CDN.
CloudFront is a limited free CDN service from Amazon. You can avail 12 months free content delivery service with up to 50GB of data transfer. The premium plan starts with $0.085 per GB for the first 10TB. CloudFront offers over 200 edge servers using Amazon’s strong infrastructure. You can use plugins like WP Offload Media Lite to integrate Amazon CloudFront with WordPress.
CDN.net is another global service provider for safe and secure CDN for WordPress. However, the pricing plan is different from others on this list. You can get 3TB bandwidth for $100 per month for unlimited websites. They also offer services optimized for e-commerce and gaming websites. You can use plugins like W3 Total Cache to integrate CDN.net with WordPress (although W3 Total Cache recommends StackPath).
As you can see, there are many options available to integrate CDN into your WordPress site. The best and easiest option is to start for free with Cloudflare which most hosts offer. You can also start with premium services like StackPath MaxCDN from scratch. If you hate configuration, go with WP Rocket or Jetpack plugins which offer super easy integration.