What Is A CDN?

You may have heard talk about CDNs they are all the rage for websites.  In this post I’m going to explain what a CDN is and what it can do for your site.

Content Delivery Network

CDN stands for Content Delivery network and it is a way to speed up the load time of your WordPress site.

The CDN is used to host static content like images, videos or unchanging script files like theme files.  The CDN is highly optimised for these types of files and they are served up to your site visitor very quickly.

Parallelise Content Delivery

WTF does that mean?  It means you off -oad part of your WordPress site to the CDN so that your site is loaded from your normal hosting account and the rest is sent from the CDN.

The two parts of your site are sent in parallel so your site loads much faster, content is sent from two URLs and a browser can stream multiple downloads in parallel meaning rapid delivery of your sites content.

How I Use CDNs

I like to use the plugin W3 Total Cache, this has inbuilt CDN support for a number of common solutions like Amazon S3, MaxCDN, Rack Space cloudfront, the list goes on.

Using this plugin you tell it which CDN you want to use, and your content is exported to that system, then w3 total cache changes the URLs of the appropriate files to serve them up from the CDN instead of yoru local hosting

This is all done automatically but you will see a huge performance boost by adding A CDN

On ibraininc.com I export attached files (post images) my theme files and wp-includes directory up to Amazon S3 so this static content can be served very quickly and my host at bluehost only has to serve up dynamic content such as post and pages.

The Point Of It All

Slow sites turn off site visitors, and they are less likely to buy your products or services.

Google are making overtures about site load time and how it affects your rankings for SEO so speedy sites (most probably using CDNs) will get the Google Juice.

Is Your Site Running Slowly?

If you need help speeding up your site give me a shout, I have a fixed price performance tuning service, for a no obligation quote go to my WordPress technical support page.

Image by autohistorian

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