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WordPress CDN solution: a tip to speed up your site

The site speed will always have a huge impact on users’ experience and finally on the success of your website. It really doesn’t matter how cool your website is or how many neat features it has, because your visitors will always care more about speed. If your website is slow, your readers won’t engage with your personal blog or if you’re running an e-commerce site you’ll experience low conversion rates and revenue loses. Additionally, page load times and site speeds in general are becoming a more important ranking factor when it comes to search engines.

There are lots of techniques to improve the page load time. You can use a cache plugin, minify JavaScript and CSS, defer scripts, combine files, use lazy loading or prefetching, and optimize images. But at the end all these static files need to be served from somewhere. Luckily, there is a solution for that too. You can use a content delivery network (CDN) to overcome the slow delivery of static files.

A CDN keeps your website fast by bringing all static files closer to your audience and dramatically decreasing your server load. If you’re thinking that a CDN solution must be expensive, have a look at MaxCDN pricing, it’s not! That includes a 25% OFF coupon for the first month.

What is a CDN, and how does it work?

When using a content delivery network, your visitor’s browser will connect to the CDN when it needs to retrieve your images, CSS files, and JavaScript files, instead of requesting them directly from your site. At this point, if the CDN has that file will return it back to the browser, if it doesn’t, will pull it from your server and store it for later use. Once you have a file stored in the CDN and distributed to all its edge nodes, all subsequent requests to that file will be routed to the closest location available. After the closest location is determined, the file gets delivered directly from that location (edge node) without making other additional requests to your site.

For example, if your website is hosted in Miami and a visitor is accessing your website from Seattle, all your static content will be delivered from a CDN edge located in Seattle (or from the closest location) instead of being pulled from your origin server. Having a good peering with all major ISPs and delivering the static content from a few miles distance (instead of over 3000 miles) it’s what makes a CDN service fast, enabling it to considerably reduce your page load times.

Same thing is happening for international websites with visitors from all over the world. For example, if someone from New York is trying to reach my website, which is located in Europe, the edge node from New York will deliver all my static content. As a result, my front page gets loaded in a record time of around one second, have a look:

and here is a sample of my front page load time in Europe:

That’s pretty cool, right?

A CDN solution for WordPress

On deconf.com I’m using MaxCDN because it’s fast, reliable, and doesn’t interfere with my dynamic content. The integration of this service with WordPress, as with any other CMS out there (Joomla, Drupal, Magento and so on), it’s simple and straightforward.

To start using MaxCDN with WordPress:

In less than five minutes you’ll have a fully functional CDN solution integrated with your WordPress install.

Depending on the plugin you’re using and your website’s particularities you can make some extra tune-ups to your Pull Zone, your cache plugin, and your website to improve your page load times.