What is CDN and which One is free?

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Many beginners still don’t know what CDN is, and why they still need a hosting if they get a CDN. This is partially the lack of guide and proper tutorials to make things clearer.

To make things simple, CDN stands for Content Delivery Network and it is something you use on top of having a web hosting account because it helps speed up things.

Take note of the fact that a CDN does not replace a web hosting account. You still need to have a hosting provider like Bluehost, HostGator or SiteGround.

In this article, I will make an attempt to explain what is CDN and which one is free? But before that, watch this video to tuck your sleeves up!

 

That being said, let’s take a look at some of top service providers given below:

In this article, I am pulling up only the top 3 CDNs to make it more convenient for the beginners. The good news is, they come with a FREE or TRIAL versions.

What is a CDN?

As shown earlier, CDN is the short abbreviated form for Content Delivery Network which is a network of servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users, based on the geographical location of the user. Sounds good? Let’s boil it down in simpler words.

Usually, when a user comes to your website, they are redirected to your web host’s server (i.e Cloudfare). For instance, your web host’s server is located at a central location i.e. Budapest, Hungary. So every user on your website is accessing this one server to view your website.

Now, in a situation where you have high volume of traffic, you can overload your server which leads to a slow loading site or even server crash. Holy Cow!

This is where a CDN comes in so useful because it is a network of servers; but most importantly, these servers are spread throughout the length and breadth of the world. When you use a CDN, your static content is cached and stored on all of these servers.

Static content includes images, javascripts, stylesheets, Flash, etc. Now when a user visits your site (original server), the CDN technology redirects them to the closest server to their location.

 

CDN images

 

If your main server is hosted in Budapest, Hungary, and someone from Sidney, Australia tries to access it, then they will be redirected to the closest server which may be in Sidney. This controls the number of internet hops(packet-switching network) needed to transmit the static files to your end user.

User’s proximity to your web server has an impact on load time. By positioning your content across multiple geographically dispersed servers, you make your pages load much faster from the user’s perspective.

This is when CDN comes in handy. In a layman’s language, the closer the CDN server is to where your user is, the faster the user gets the content.

Why do need a CDN for your website?

You have vividly seen from the above section that having a CDN can make a huge impact on your website. Below are some of the advantages that come handy on our sites by using a CDN:

  • Crash Resistance – Without the use of a CDN, your site is vulnerable to much insecurity and can crash any time. CDN allows us to distribute the load to multiple servers arrayed in various locations of the world.

And instead of having HUGE traffic to our main server, it enables worldwide distribution and thus making any site less likely to crash. Refer here for a proper CDN and Caching set up.

  • Speed – You will come to know that your site loads much faster after having installed a CDN. How cool is this! Normally, visitors leave a site that takes more than 3 seconds as loading speed.
  • Improvement in SEO – Google loves sites that are properly optimized. You will notice that optimized sites always rank higher in the search engines. So improving your Search Engine Optimization can be a refreshing experience.
  • Improved user experience – You will also notice that the use of a CDN results in a decline in bounce rate on your site. Additionally, you will also see increased page views. This clearly shows that a lightning fast site means improved user experience.

Keep trucking in. What about the cost of a CDN or is there any free one? You may ask. Here’s to that query.

Cloudflare comes with FREE plan

Cloudflare is the world’s fastest Global CDN that comes with a Killing advantage as FREE for WordPress users. You will notice how your website load speed changes.

It is irresistibly appealing once you come to know how much the system can deliver for your site. Apart from offering you 24/7 support, you get solid protection of your personal data.

This gives you extra relief and never worry again from DDO’s attack and cyber crimes. You can choose any of the plan below:

 

If your site suddenly gets popular or suffers an attack, no worries. You shouldn’t have to dread your bandwidth bill. Cloudflare never charges your bill for bandwidth spikes. The charge rate is based on your plan though, so you can rest easy.

MAX CDN image

Max CDN

Max CDN is the best WordPress CDN in the market. This server is equipped with extra fast SSD drives and spread across data centers around the world.

Not only that, the supra easy installation makes Max CDN a great choice for most WordPress bloggers. You will come to know that it works so well with cashing plugins like WordPress Super Cache and W3 Total cache.

You, as a webmaster, can manage your CDN with a beginner friendly control panel. It grants you to purge cache, view reports, setup locations, and much more like adding SSL Certificate to make sure that your cached content is served through SSL/HTTPS.

The only thing you may to think over is the fact that it comes with a $9 fee per month.

CatchFly Custom CDN image

CacheFly CDN

Launched in 2002 in Chicago, Illinois, United States CacheFly comes handy as the world’s first TCP Anycast(a network addressing any routing method) based content delivery network.

CacheFly CDN gives you a 14-day free trial that lets you decide if the company’s services are a good fit for your site before making your commitments.

The cheapest CDN plan is $99 per month. You can decide whether it is a good fit for your budget and take the advantage of this dynamic resource.

The rest of the skipped CDN services will be updated and reviewed in the upcoming blogs.

I hope this article helped you to have a bird’s eye view on what a CDN is, and why you should be using one to keep your website with maximum security. More than 2000 daily DDoS(Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are observed world-wide by Arbor Networks.

So, go ahead and find the best WordPress CDN solution for your website. You may want to see W3 total Cache for beginners and also, WP Super cache.

And finally, you will also need a deep-rooted foundation on the working modality of the Search Engine Optimization to see your site rank on the 1st page of Google.

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10 thoughts on “What is CDN and which One is free?

  1. Hello,

    I think that using a content delivery network is really useful. For me, for instance, the loading speed increased significantly and my website users reported fast load times.
    I am using Cloudflare and I love it!

  2. I have never heard of this service before but now understand the value of having a CDN.
    Many thanks for an informative article, and I will be looking into it and setting up a CDN when my website is fully operational.
    Kind regards

    • So good to learn that you’re hearing CDN for the first time. Just try to follow what has been shown and you are well on your way to a maximum security of your website.

      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your valuable comment.

      Wishing you all the success and happiness in your online journey.

      Have a fabulous day.

  3. Thank you for a very educational article on CDN. I have learnt so much from your article today.

    I can see now for sites getting high traffic how important this is.

    We are all impatient when we load a website and many times I have exited a site that does not load quickly so having a CDN and serving the content from the nearest server to the person entering the site makes total sense to me.

    You mentioned W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache do these do the same job as a CDN?

    • That’s right Moni. The poor loading result of my website led me to pluck pulled the right hair out and spent many sleepless nights doing it.

      I do have some more stuffs to reveal. So, kindly keep watching my articles.

      Regarding your query on W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache, they are plugins to even make your website come at par with a LIGHTNING!
      But using it should be with proper research and scrutiny.

      Hope this helps.

      Thank you so much for leaving your comment.
      Good day buddy.

  4. I think CDN is best for big, high traffic affiliate marketing sites. Unfortunately, my site is not quite there yet, but I will use CDN down the road when my site reaches that size. It is good to know there are options online to prevent crashes.

    I do have a question though. Are there any disadvantages to CDN other than the price? It looks like a good option for anyone who wants to make a large, authoritative site.

    Thank you so much and I hope you make it a great day!

    • CDN is meant for larger website as you pointed out. And though your site is still in a small state, there’s no harm in knowing what makes websites to crash.

      The only disadvantage may be a broken link your site receives when your customer blocks a page.

      Doing a little bit of research before using it fully may put you in the best shape.
      All the best.

  5. Thanks, Phomrong when it comes to blogging I’m experienced with the act of writing and the promotion side of things but the technical aspects of websites I have very limited knowledge. It’s a case of I don’t know what I don’t know. This topic, CDN is one of them. At least now I have an understanding and can go check out what my web host provides – thank you!

  6. That’s it Fleur.
    Go ahead and check that out. I would not recommend using it straight as CDN is meant for large websites plus comes with monthly fees.

    You may not want if your site loads well! This article is educational and so, using CDN must be done with research and findings.

    Thanks for leaving your comment.

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