Speed is one of the most important elements of a WordPress website. It contributes to both search engine optimization and retaining visitors. In reality, it’s probably one of the most important facets of a website aside from good content. Because of its importance, you need to find the best CDN services for WordPress.
A Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is a technology centering around optimal performance. It takes your original website from its server and distributes it around the world. When visitors access your content, they are viewing the webpages from a server that is closer to them.
In fact, having a CDN is beneficial for Google’s Mobile-First Indexing. It makes sites faster for hand-held units, which improves where your site appears in search engine results.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that your web hosting server is based in Los Angeles and you use a CDN. One of the servers the CDN uses is located in Virginia. A visitor from New York would access the Virginia resources instead of Los Angeles when accessing your site. This cuts out the distance from New York to LA.
Why is this important? Because there are a lot of variables that can hinder performance when it comes to distance. For instance, a slower pipeline based in Texas could cause speed issues for the visitor from Georgia if the server is based in California. Removing the distance means less routing hops and fewer technical issues.
In other words, CDNs makes sites faster.
A lot of quality WordPress hosting companies such as GreenGeeks offer CDN services, like CloudFlare. However, many of these services can easily be expanded on through premium upgrades.
Here is a CDN services comparison of the top systems I’ve found on the Internet. Any one of them will be greatly beneficial for website performance.
Cloudflare is a highly popular system trusted by some of the biggest brands in the world. Cisco, Nasdaq and even the Library of Congress trust the system with online data. This is because of the level of security and efficiency Cloudflare delivers.
Worried about attacks from bots and hackers? Cloudflare comes with an array of security tools such as comment spam protection, blocking IP addresses, DDoS prevention and application firewalls. You can even protect your site from those trying to steal your content through “scraping.”
Cloudflare has excellent data security measures throughout its network. In a world where cyber criminals are constantly looking for targets, this is surely a bonus. In 2017, it’s estimated that data breaches accrued a total average cost of more than $3.6 million in the United States.
CDN77 is a popular system for distributing content. In fact, it’s the one NASA uses to deliver the images from the Hubble Telescope as it orbits the planet.
This CDN utilizes more than 30 points-of-presence around the world, which gives the system incredible global coverage. If you plan on operating something like eCommerce with worldwide shipping, CDN77 may be a good choice.
Some of the other highlights of CDN77 include CMS integration, logs, SSL encryption as well as real-time reporting of your traffic. For those who are looking to expand their business with mobile apps, the system includes a powerful API for integrating your projects.
Video developers who integrate live streaming may also appreciate how CDN77 supports most protocols for desktop and mobile devices. This means you’ll have adaptive streaming throughout the network to provide the best service possible to viewers.
If you need an all-in-one CDN and security system for your site, Sucuri is among the best WordPress CDN plugins you can install. The system not only shares your content through its many servers, but it also protects you from a variety of hacker attacks.
While it costs a bit more per month than some of the other systems in this list, it offers excellent firewall protection. Sucuri also delivers malware attack prevention and an unlimited number of malware removal requests. This means you don’t need to pay extra if you’re a constant target of hackers.
One aspect that is attractive for many are the free SSL certificates that come with setting up an account. In essence, it’s a flexible security system including the most important safety features while acting as a CDN for site performance.
Additionally, Sucuri has an automatic backup system available as well for an extra fee. Although there are plenty of ways to backup WordPress for free, something like this may be worth it if you’re one of those people who like to keep things organized.
StackPath is an affordable solution, especially for those who have more than one website. It combined with MaxCDN in 2017 to expand its network and capability. The system has a set pricing for its CDN but combines a scalable per-gigabyte fee should you need more bandwidth.
This is another service that offers SSL and real-time analytics. For StackPath, it’s more than just sending your data across the globe. It’s also about making sure you have secure information readily available. As an added bonus, the system supports two-step authentication which makes it far more difficult to access from a hacker’s perspective.
The firewall is prepared for zero-day exploits, latency issues and mitigates DDoS attacks and SYN floods that can render a site useless. You can also block sites from hotlinking to your resources, such as images, and slowing your site.
Incapsula is a good alternative for those who need an assemblance of security as well as a CDN. The company provides a competent firewall to protect against DDoS attacks as well as preventing SQL injections and cross-site scripting.
Users have access to custom policies when it comes to bot protection. This gives you control to allow legitimate bots to access your content while shielding the site from others. Incapsula also provides two-factor authentication for admin areas and other online resources making them difficult to hack into.
Incapsula implements load balancing to keep your site in operation longer. For instance, a secondary data center activates should something happen to the primary site. This gives the sense of 100% uptime to the average user as the load balancer will continue to call up external resources to compensate for issues.
It’s like having a backup copy on hand should something happen to the website. It’s a seamless transition which doesn’t overly interfere with how people view your website.
6. Google Cloud CDN
Cloud CDN is just one of many services Google offers. What makes it convenient is having all over your website needs combined into one account. For those who use the Cloud Platform tools from Google, this just adds a greater level of convenience.
Like some of the other CDN systems, Google provides SSL or TLS integration for your domains for free with the CDN account. Because Google holds protected websites in higher esteem, the SSL as well as the speed boost from a CDN have potential to increase traffic over the short-term.
Cloud CDN is another platform that offers load balancing to keep sites active longer. Instead of relying on a web host to provide 98% uptime or better, load balancing makes it a virtual absolute. This is because resources are pulled from other sources should something happen to the files of one server.
Given Google’s global reach, it may be worth the investment for those who target a worldwide market.
7. Microsoft Azure
Although the company is more recognized for producing the Xbox game console, Windows operating system and business office software, Microsoft also provides cloud tools. With Microsoft Azure, you have access to a delivery network and a slew of other features you might appreciate.
An excellent competitor for Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure comes with a wide scope of online tools. The system comes with a CDN, virtual networks, SQL data warehouses, site recovery and much more. The list of features is quite extensive, and I suggest you take a look at what all is available.
While Azure may be a bit much for the small business, it’s definitely an all-in-one to consider for any company. If you’re looking to expand your site and include web and mobile apps, Azure is designed to accommodate your needs. This includes connecting and monitoring data to and from the Internet-of-Things. This is especially useful for those developing software for home Internet-enabled devices.
KeyCDN is perhaps one of the smallest networks in this list. However, the company does have more than 20 servers deployed around the globe to accommodate users. The system comes with a well-developed analytic tool bar that shows the status of your sites including real-time logs.
The network is controlled by SSD technology in all of its servers and supports RESTful API and HTTP/2, perfect for core developers. It also supports a nice assortment of security features such as DDoS protection, free SSL certificates, hotlink denial and blocking bots.
KeyCDN specifically supports WordPress and many other content management systems. This means users of all skill levels can benefit greatly from using the system whether they are beginner WordPress bloggers or advanced Drupal developers.
If you’re like me and use a smartphone for much of your day-to-day activities, KeyCDN provides a responsive user interface for accessing your CDN details. This means the interface will be easy to use whether you’re on an office PC or standing in the grocery store on your smartphone.
Jetpack is one of the most common plugins for WordPress. It’s a tool that offers more than a couple dozen modules ranging from a proofreading add-on to social media engagement. In this instance, I’m talking about the Photon module within Jetpack.
Photon is a free CDN system that delivers images and photos across its network to improve your website’s performance. Considering how graphics are often the most bandwidth consuming element on a website, a free offer to place them in a free CDN isn’t all that bad of an idea.
Jetpack’s tool will automatically resize images for mobile devices while storing them across the network. This takes the load off your website and helps keep it fast and flexible for varying devices. As Photon allows an unlimited number of graphics, you don’t have to worry about bandwidth costs in the future should the site become overly popular.
If you’re a developer, Photon will also work with themes and plugins using Jetpack’s API.
Cloudinary is another CDN image management system that includes video content as well. The system comes with face detection for creating automated thumbnails while acting as a Cloud storage platform. This includes the ability to crop and manipulate images quickly from various URLs on the Internet.
One aspect many people like is the ability to upload files from virtually any source. Computer browsers, Android phones and iOS devices can all easily send data to Cloudinary to be used for the website. One of its more endearing features is the ability to perfect video streaming through CDNs by optimizing the content. Codecs, bit-rates and other controls are implemented to deliver the best quality of your video possible.
If you’re looking to upload video content to your site, Cloudinary will make the necessary conversions to HTML5 to further improve functionality and speed. This makes the content mobile friendly while increasing performance on other devices such as desktop computers.
Cloudinary works by leveraging other CDNs and integrating content within those systems.
The Need for Speed!
Website performance matters. In fact, nearly 80% of customers who buy something from a site with poor performance are less likely to return for additional purchases. In addition, nearly two-thirds of mobile users expect pages to load in under four seconds. Speed matters, and you need to do what you can to keep the site quick. That’s when the best CDN services for WordPress increase your chances of success.