Are you looking for ways to speed up your WordPress website, enhancing its performance for both users and search engines? If so, a Content Delivery Network (CDN) could be the perfect solution for you.
WordPress websites are known for their almost endless customisability. With thousands of theme and plugin options to build your site with, almost every WordPress website is different. But, each and every theme and plugin has its own coding and resources to load when a user visits your website, and depending on the volume of plugins and how well they are coded, can cause an adverse affect on loading times.
Depending on each individual plugin and the function it provides, there could be significant code addition, adding further to the amount of server and browser resources needed to display the site to the user. Website hosting is a performance factor; many ‘shared’ hosting services simply can’t cope with the demands of a WordPress website. Cloud hosting is a superior solution for hosting your WordPress website, but there are further benefits to be had from a CDN.
In this blog post, we’ll explain what a CDN is, the benefits of using a CDN, and our recommended CDN provider. We’ll also provide some troubleshooting tips and tricks, and answer some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about Content Delivery Networks.
Let’s get started!
What is a CDN?
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is a globally distributed network of servers that store static website files such as images, videos, and other content. CDNs store a version of a website on servers around the world, enabling a version of the site to be served from the nearest location to the user accessing the website, rather than sending requests to the hosting server, which may be in another country or continent.
This provides a much faster experience for the user, especially if they are located in a different country to the server.
Benefits of using a WordPress CDN
There are several benefits to using a CDN to deliver your website content to users. Here are some of the most common benefits:
- Increased page loading speed: A WordPress helps to speed up your website by delivering static content quickly and efficiently. This can help improve user experience and reduce bounce rates.
- Improved scalability: A CDN can help you scale your website easily and quickly. This is especially useful if you’re expecting a large influx of traffic.
- Enhanced security: A CDN can provide an extra layer of security by protecting your website from malicious attacks. It also helps to protect your website from DDoS attacks.
- Reduced bandwidth costs: A CDN can help reduce your bandwidth costs by reducing the amount of data your website needs to send and receive. This can result in significant savings.
How to choose the right CDN for your WordPress Website
Choosing the right CDN for your WordPress website is essential for ensuring your website is running smoothly and quickly, while enhancing security. It can be a minefield trawling through the different providers and features, and can quickly get confusing. Here are the main points to consider when researching CDN providers.
- Features: It’s important to look for a CDN that offers the basic features, such as content delivery, caching, and security. This is pretty much standard across CDNs, so comparing additional features can help to find the right CDN for your WordPress website. Server locations is an important factor, and will help you to decide which provider is right for your website, depending on the main source of traffic by country.
- Performance: Make sure to check the tested performance of each CDN you are considering to ensure it can handle the number of visitors you’re expecting. It’s worth taking a look at an independent speed test to get an overview of average performance compared to other CDNs.
- Cost: While cost is important, it should be secondary to performance. There are many high performing CDNs to compare pricing. It’s important to consider introductory pricing and how much it will cost long term. Some CDN providers offer fixed prices, while others charge only for the bandwidth used over a set period of time.
- Support: Check to see if the CDN provider offers a proficient technical support system to help you with any issues you may encounter. If a problem does occur, you need to be confident that the CDN provider has a team available to assist. Many providers offer 24/7 customer support for that extra peace of mind. It’s also worth looking at the CDN help centre or documentation to make sure there is a comprehensive coverage of the service.
Setting up a WordPress CDN
Setting up a WordPress CDN is relatively simple and straightforward in most cases. The majority of WordPress CDNs will use a WordPress plugin to integrate your website with the content delivery network.
- Sign up for a WordPress CDN: The first step is to sign up for your chosen CDN provider. You can do this by visiting the provider’s website and creating an account. Many providers offer a free period, or a money back guarantee, which is helpful in the beginning while you are testing the features and performance.
- Configure the settings: Once you’ve signed up for your chosen CDN provider, you’ll need to configure the settings to integrate your WordPress site and start serving your website files through the CDN. This usually includes setting the caching rules, the URL of the CDN including your site name, and various other customisable settings.
- Install the WordPress CDN plugin: The next step is to install the WordPress CDN plugin used by your provider. This plugin will effectively link your website to the CDN and apply settings for serving your website.
- Test the setup: Once you’ve completed the setup, it’s important to test it to make sure everything is working properly. You can do this by viewing the website source code to ensure the URLs are those of the CDN, not your original source URLs. Beyond this it’s advisable to check your website loading speed using a speed testing tool such as Google Pagespeed Insights.
Best WordPress CDN Services
There are a number of WordPress CDN services available. Here are some of the best ones based on performance and service.
- Cloudflare: Cloudflare is one of the most popular and long established WordPress CDN providers. It offers a range of features, including content delivery, caching, and security. Cloudflare offers a free plan with feature limitations, plus Pro and Business plans at $20 and $200 per month respectively.
- Fastly CDN: Fastly CDN is one of the highest performing CDN providers when it comes to speed. Fastly includes a free trial and pricing is based on bandwidth usage (price per TB of data used, varies by global location)
- Bunny CDN (our choice): Bunny CDN is a lightening fast CDN, with a great global coverage. The CDN often comes out on top when it comes to independent speed tests. Bunny CDN’s pricing is based on usage, with a $1 monthly minimum fee. The CND Ofers some of the best value pricing.
Troubleshooting WordPress CDN Issues
If you’re having trouble setting up your WordPress CDN or if your website is running slow, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue. Here are some of the most common troubleshooting tips:
- Make sure the CDN is properly configured: The first step is to make sure the CDN is properly configured. This includes cache, location and security settings
- Check the log files: Most CDN providers allow access to log files. This will help you identify any errors or issues with specific pages that may be causing the problem.
- Clear the cache: If your website is still running slow, it’s a good idea to clear the cache, especially if there have been significant changes made to your website. This will force the CDN to fetch your site’s current content.
- Get help from the CDN provider: If all else fails, it’s a good idea to get in touch with the CDN provider. A reputable provider will be on hand to help with live chat, 24/7.
Additional WordPress Speed – Tips and Tricks
While a good quality CDN will deliver your site content at lightening speeds, there are other areas to consider to get the absolute best loading performance. Here are some additional tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your WordPress website.
- Optimise your images: Loading images can be one of the more resource intensive tasks in serving your website, especially large or high quality images. Optimising your images often is a great way to improve the loading speed of your website and shouldn’t be overlooked. Most browsers support WEBP image format, which is the latest generation of images for optimum performance. There are numerous WordPress plugins that offer the ability to compress and convert images into this format. We recommend EWWW Image Optimizer.
- Minify your code: Often WordPress themes and plugins generate significant code. which slows down your website. There are many plugins that offer code minification. Some are more effective than others, and some can do more harm than good, so use with caution and always check your website afterwards, to make sure everything is loading and displaying as it should. We recommend Asset CleanUP.
FAQs About CDNs for your WordPress Website
Here are some common questions about WordPress CDNs:
What is a CDN?
A CDN is a Content Delivery Network. It helps to speed up your website by delivering static content quickly and efficiently from a dedicated network of servers around the globe. A CDN will serve your site’s content to the user, from their nearest server location.
What are the benefits of using a CDN for your WordPress website?
The benefits of using a CDN include increased page loading speed, improved scalability, enhanced security, and reduced bandwidth costs.
How do I choose the right CDN?
When selecting a WordPress CDN, it’s important to consider features, performance, cost, and support.
Which are the best WordPress CDN Providers?
Based on pricing, reputation, performance and support, we suggest using Bunny CDN, Fastly CDN or Cloudflare.
A CDN can be a great way to improve the loading speed and overall performance of your WordPress website. Today website speed is an important part of running any website, both from a user’s perspective, and from an SEO perspective. Website loading performance is now a ranking factor, and while not a huge factor compared to high quality content and backlinks, it shouldn’t be overlooked.
Your website bounce rate will increase dramatically if your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, so it’s safe to say that choosing and implementing a quality CDN is a worthwhile investment.