Looking for a CDN (Content Delivery Network) for your WordPress website? Or have you tried some already and are still looking for better options? If either is the case, you just landed at the perfect article. In this post, I will explain why you’d need a CDN for your WordPress blog or website — followed by the best WordPress CDN services that are available now, both free and paid.
Before everything, let’s first understand what a CDN is and why is it important?
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What is a Content Delivery Network or CDN?
By having a copy of your website cached on the CDN server, it will allow for a faster download by your visitors. Plus, because there are multiple copies on multiple server locations around the world, CDNs also have the advantage of being able to serve up your website content from a server within a closer proximate to your end-user.
Normally, if you use a general WordPress hosting, your website is only stored in one location; but with a CDN you now have multiple locations. There are, however, some hosting services that offer CDN inbuilt, so that you don’t have to pay extra for WordPress CDN services.
Most of these hosting services that I was telling you about actually integrate Cloudflare to their hosting — the best WordPress CDN available on the Internet.
Other popular CDN services include WordPress.com CDN (also known as Jetpack CDN), MaxCDN/Stackpath, KeyCDN, Bunny.Net and more. I have listed these and more in the next to the next section.
Let’s answer whether or not CDNs are worth investing.
Do I need a CDN?
CDNs cost from $0 per month to hundreds of dollars per month. But are those worth the cost and setup? Do you need a CDN?
Well, the short answer is Yes.
But requiring a CDN depends totally on your needs, especially these 4 needs:
- Visitor count
- Visitor locations
- Hosting Configurations
#1. Visitor Count
If your site doesn’t receive too much traffic, there is no need to go all the way up to set up CDN at all. However, make sure that your website doesn’t load slow for the end-user (visitor). For that you can use a cache plugin and you are all done. If the other 3 cases (visitor locations, hosting configuration and earnings) apply, you can go for a free CDN like Cloudflare or Jetpack CDN. I will explain how these two work together and why I recommended only these two.
#2. Visitor Locations
The most important feature of a CDN is to load static assets from a server closest to the visitor. If your visitors are mostly from one country (like India) or even one region (like South Asia) — you can host your website on an Indian WordPress Hosting service that has a data center/hosting server in India.
#3. Hosting Configurations
Some web hosts are very slow. I mean, I have seen hosting services that are living in Stone Age with PHP5.4, 128MB RAM and single-core shared servers. If your website is hosted on such a web host, you can either switch to a better host or use a CDN (in case you paid in advance to your hosting). Even if you have a faster host and conditions #1 and #2 diversify; and #4 applies — you should get a CDN ASAP.
If you are earning with your website by using e-commerce or Google Adsense or Ezoic or any other sales network — you must consider switching to a CDN. Having a CDN will drastically improve your site performance and increase your aggregate revenue on a longer timescale.
So, as you can see. It depends on your needs that a CDN is required for you or not. In addition to these, if you run a website that is image-heavy (like a social network), CDN is a must ignore all 4 criteria listed above.
Best WordPress CDN Services
Here are the best WordPress CDN services as suggested and written by my editorial team.
Cloudflare is a free CDN that will help speed up your WordPress site’s loading time. For WordPress, it has launched APO (Automatic Platform Optimization), a premium addon that helps you load your WordPress sites even faster.
Cloudflare automatically caches your website and purges it when you update images or text on the site. It also allows you to see performance metrics and stats such as the total number of visitors on your site, the number of attacks it had prevented, the bandwidth you saved, and many others.
Price: Free to Start
Jetpack / WordPress.com CDN
Jetpack is a fantastic WordPress plugin that offers several speed functionalities, security and backup and Jetpack Site Accelerator is one of these. Jetpack Site Accelerator is now popular known as Jetpack CDN and optimizes images and serves common JS and CSS files from its network of global server locations.
If you are on WordPress.com Business hosting even the premium features of Jetpack CDN is available for free.
Amazon CloudFront is the world’s most used CDN service that may require a little setup but is really cheap. It securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.
Amazon CloudFront network has over 200 servers worldwide and will make your experience seamless and super fast. It ensures that your static content is delivered quickly to end-user, even if they are sitting in the other part of the world.
You must sign up for an AWS account for using this plugin, and then you can use this and manage CloudFront activation. There is an AWS free tier, to begin with, which includes 50GB free bandwidth.
Price: Free to start
Bunny.net is one of the best premium WordPress CDNs, with its centers spread all over the world. It is a beginner-friendly plugin that allows you to purge cache, set up locations, view metrics and many more. This service is very affordable and has 54 PoP locations across the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Price: Starts at $1/month
KeyCDN is an outstanding CDN with powerful servers across Europe, North America, and the Asia Pacific. Its plans include DDOS mitigation, Restful API support, SSD servers and many more. This CDN offers go plans instead of fixed payments. This means you pay only for what you use. This could also increase costs in case of sudden traffic growth.
Price: Starts from $0.04 per GB.
Rackspace is an old and well-known brand in cloud computing and providing enterprise-level cloud solutions. It is a bit complicated CDN as compared to other CDNs available. It gives you a CDN solution built on top of robust cloud infrastructure. It offers many cloud solutions, which make it complicated but works well with popular WordPress plugins. However, it doesn’t provide any DDoS migration, which is a drawback for this CDN.
Price: Starts at $0.16 per month
Stackpath or MaxCDN
Stackpath (formerly MaxCDN) is a popular name and a performance-based platform that offers a rock-solid CDN. Stackpath/MaxCDN is a very user-friendly CDN that offers lightning-fast servers that assure to deliver content in 20ms. It has many PoPs around the globe and provides the best security options along with performance. Its plans include DDoS protection, 1TB per month bandwidth, real-time analytics and much more.
Imperva Secure CDN
Imperva offer a popular WordPress CDN solution that has its servers placed across the globe very strategically. This is an easy-to-use CDN that offers a firewall, SSL and DDoS protection in its paid program. It works well with other WordPress plugins and also has a free CDN that doesn’t include these features.
Sucuri is one of the most potent security companies in the world. They offer a powerful WordPress firewall that scans all the users before they reach your site, which helps in preventing many DDoS attacks. Its network is spread all across the globe, so your users are never far away from the server, thus speeding your site. Hence the firewall gives you double benefits – protection and as well as speed.
Price: Starts from $9.99 per month
That’s all for now. I will keep updating this page with more and updated information.