If you’re a web developer, odds are you have used jQuery and implemented a YouTube video on a website. You’ve also probably encountered website speed issues with a CMS such as Drupal. There are several private content delivery networks, such as CloudFlare and MaxCDN. We’ll talk about those in a minute. The number one benefit of using a CDN is page speed boost. At its basic core, a CDN will cache files for you across servers all over the world. The browser is able to stream files from multiple domains and extremely high quality infrastructures.
It’s quite likely that Google, CloudFlare, and MaxCDN have a superior scalability and capacity than your hosting provider. Not to mention lower packet loss, network latency, and they also offer higher availability. CloudFlare’s "Always Online" feature well keep the static parts of your website up even if the server goes down. What’s not to love about that?
CloudFlare - They offer a ton of awesome services that benefit not only the web developer, but the end user also. The best part is they’re free. They do have paid packages from $20 and $200. If you’re an enterprise, you’ll need to call for a quote. My favorite thing about CloudFlare is that not only does their caching offer a huge speed boost, but they offer free SSL, security protection and analytics. With the $20 plan, you get this and a lot more. A few things I find handy are the WAF (Web Application Firewall) and the Polish and Mirage features. Mirage automatically lazy-loads images, while Polish applies lossless or lossy image optimization.
MaxCDN – MaxCDN offers most of the features that CloudFlare does, but they don’t offer a free service. However, you can create a test account. One main advantage that MaxCDN offers over CloudFlare is they advertise an average response time under a minute. That’s pretty hard to beat. As far as pricing, their cheapest package is $9 a month for 100 GB of bandwidth, and goes up to $299 a month for 5TB. Since I haven’t tested them out yet, I can’t offer much more information. Look for an upcoming blog post with a review for them.
1. Page Caching - Your content is distributed across servers all over the world, so it’s closer to your visitors, which means reduced page load times.
2. Usage Analytics - Sure, Google analytics is great. However, unwanted visitors don’t get tracked. This is a great way to monitor threats. You can also view usage in real time.
3. Security – The ability to block SQL injections, email harvesters, and comment spam is just one of the perks. You can also blacklist or whitelist visitors by country or IP address. CloudFlare will perform a browser integrity check as well.
4. 100% Uptime - While this may only apply to static content, your page can be crawled at certain intervals and cached in case of a server outage. This leaves a much better user experience than a 500 internal server error.
5. Mobile Optimization - Mobile users are exponentially growing and web developers need to prepare for this. On average, a user will leave a website if it doesn’t load in two seconds or less.
Did I leave anything out? Leave a comment and let me know!
5 Reasons Every Web Developer Should Be Using a CDN | NexaCore IT | 918-544-2500