3 Must Have (Free and Premium) Content Delivery Network Providers For Bloggers

Content Delivery Network helps to boost website loading speed. If you want to rank well on search engines, getting your website speed up to par level is important. Even Google advise that sites should be loading at the speed not more than 1.4 seconds.

Brands such as CloudFlare, Incapsula and MaxCDN are no longer uncommon names when it comes to branding themselves as the best CDN providers. Before we go any deeper, let’s take a quick dive on what CDN totally means to a website.

What is a CDN and how it helps increase website loading speed?

Content Delivery Network is a large distributed system of servers deployed in multiple data centers across the Internet. Simply by using a CDN, webmasters are able to serve static content to their readers or visitors from various data centers which are closest to the readers.

And this means that websites will load blazing fast. Yes, I mean like sonic. Okay I am just aggregating but you get the point.

Sites loading over 3 seconds should seriously consider using Content Delivery Network to ensure that they are not losing visitors. Still not convinced?

The web should be fast – Google Inc.

1% increase in revenue for every 100ms of improvement – Amazon

One of the biggest misconception done by bloggers are paid Content Delivery Networks are equivalent with the free CDN services. The truth is, they are miles apart.

The most important part to remember is that free CDN providers usually offer limited cache resources compared to premium ones. Nonetheless for those bloggers who are on tight budget, starting off with free Content Delivery Network services could be the best choice among all.

In the market right now, there are only two Content Delivery Network providers which you should really consider when it comes to caching and performance which are:

  • CloudFlare
  • Incapsula

Recommended read: The fastest web hosting provider – Synthesis vs WP Engine

Best CDN for Overall Performance: CloudFlare

CloudFlare is one of the most popular CDN provider for many bloggers. It has also partnered up with hundreds of hosting providers to ensure that web hosting clients are able to sign up for CloudFlare and enable it with just a few clicks of the button.

It is one of the most recommended CDN by many hosting companies as it is easy to integrate and it could easily speed up a blog within minutes. As a matter of fact, CloudFlare guarantees that they will supercharge your site in just 5 minutes.

All you need to do is to set it up (even by default is fine) and that’s it. No special settings needed … ever!

For bloggers who are looking for faster website loading speed but at the same time on tight on budget, they can easily use CloudFlare Page Rules to ensure that CloudFlare is caching more static resources on its servers. If you have no idea what it is or how it works, you can refer to this article for more information, How to setup CloudFlare Page Rules.

While CloudFlare offers unlimited free accounts for everyone, you may still opt for premium plans which starts from $20 per month. Here are the current plans CloudFlare are offering:

CloudFlare is one of the best CDN providers that bloggers can use for free

While CloudFlare is a great CDN choice for many bloggers, it could also be a huge problem for some as CloudFlare has the tendency to block visitors of several IP’s and country specific. Even though the odds of this to happen is relatively low, it is definitely something to consider before deciding to use CloudFlare.

Best CDN for Security Protection: Incapsula

Incapsula uses a global content delivery network to provide website security, DDoS protection, load balancing and failover services to clients. For most bloggers, Incapsula is a great alternative for CloudFlare when bloggers are trying to install CloudFlare for their sites.

So, what is Incapsula offering compared to the rest of the CDN services?

When it comes to security, Incapsula could probably be the #1 on the chart. Among all the free CDN providers available, Incapsula is one of those who offer top notch security features and lots of addon features other CDN providers might not be offering … for free.

For blogs who are always hit by spam bots, Incapsula could be a better choice for CDN service as it comes with Bots Protection feature which is said to counter attack automated spammers.

Incapsula offers both free and premium CDN services which started from $19 per month and here are the plans it is offering:

Incapsula is a great CDN provider when it comes to security features

Can’t decide which free CDN provider to use? This article could help, CloudFlare vs Incapsula.

Most Popular Premium CDN for performance and price: MaxCDN

When it comes to premium Content Delivery Network at a good price, nothing beats MaxCDN. It is trusted by many top sites such as Yoast, ZippyKid, The Next Web and WPBeginner.

So, what makes MaxCDN so popular?

  • Global flat rate pricing
  • Free HTTP & HTTPS requests
  • Instant purge
  • 24/7 customer support (including live chat)
  • Supercharge and make sites blazing fast
  • Easy integration with W3 Total Cache and thousands of hosting environment

I use MaxCDN because I am always a speed junkie. I want my site to load extremely fast and I always aim for the 1 sec mark. Without MaxCDN, I was loading around 1.8 seconds on average and with MaxCDN, I was rocking at below 1 sec (608 ms to be exact).

MaxCDN increase page loading speed

This is how fast my site loads after enabling several custom settings

MaxCDN offers very competitive rate which starts at $9 per month (for 2 websites) and an allocation of 100 GB per month. I am no big fan of monthly payment and if that is the case, take up the annual plan and get 2 months free.

Not only that, use coupon code Max20 and get another 20% discount off your total bill. Now tell me, how cool is that?

Here are the plans MaxCDN is offering:

MaxCDN discount code

For those who are interested to make your website even faster, I would highly recommend you to use W3 Total Cache Pro + CloudFlare Page Rules + MaxCDN. Of course, this is when you are serving lots of images and JavaScripts which could affect the loading speed severely.

Give MaxCDN a 30-days trial run for free and upon sign up, get 20% off instantly with coupon code Max20. Click here!

Is your website loading over 1.5 seconds or do you want a faster website?

We all know the importance of having a fast loading website. Analytic sites such as Moz and QuickSprout has always recommend a quicker loading site if you want to rank well on search engine. If you are not using any CDN service yet, I would recommend you to grab either one of the above immediately. Not only you will have a better chance to rank well, you are going to make your visitors happy too!

Are you using any of the Content Delivery Network providers above? Tell me what you think and share your CDN experience with me using the comment form below.

Reginald Chan

Reginald Chan

Professional Business Consultant at Traffic Diet
Reginald started blogging in 2005 and it soon went from just a hobby to a serious occupation. He specializes in content writing, marketing, social media and SEO. He also tweaks WordPress during his free time. Get more from him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Reginald is also offering paid services and if you need any help, feel free to contact him and check out the services he is offering or check out his SEO agency.
Reginald Chan

@Reginald_Chan

Business consultant, Search Engine Marketing and social media strategist. I help bloggers & businesses make money #seo #sem #socialmedia #blogging #marketing
James And Mary on the Hooghly River, below Calcutta #atozchallenge http://t.co/XmeDLDBXYT via @dieselelephants - 60 mins ago
Reginald Chan

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  1. says

    Hi Reginald,

    Thanks so much for this review! My blog is too slow and I’m having some difficulty lately because of my hosting from Hostgator. I have been building a membership site and that seems to be the problem …so I’m told.

    I am looking into the above to speed up my site once the kinks are worked out. Just book marked this so I can re-visit it when everything else is resolved.

    Many thanks!

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Partner, Pal and ProductMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Donna,

      Glad you made it here :D

      Now, my advise is getting CloudFlare + CloudFlare custom page rules first for starters. If the speed doesn’t improve, then go for a paid CDN like MaxCDN. They have pros and cons which you shouldn’t expect much from free CDN providers. However, both CloudFlare and Incapsula are two of the best I have seen and great support too.

      Good luck to you and of course, hit me up if you need some help!
      Reginald Chan recently posted…Comparing Synthesis And WP Engine With Zero BS ReviewMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Reginald,

    Great write up on these different services. I started using a CDN for my blog about three months ago because my blog was loading very slowly.

    I chose to go with MaxCDN and I am really happy with their service. You’ve got a great deal for someone who signs up via your link.

    I would definitely be signing up if I didn’t already use them.

    Thanks for sharing these other services with us, I hope you have a great day.

    Susan
    Susan Velez recently posted…Flipping Websites Challenge – My Auction ResultsMy Profile

  3. says

    Hi Reginald,

    I know that’s something I need to consider in the near future. I know that my site is not the fastest, but yet again it seems average compared to many others out there. Not faster, but not slower either.

    I know we live in a fast world and we need to catch up. Thanks for this info. Very detailed and very good.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…27 Bloggers I’m Thankful For!My Profile

    • says

      Hey Sylviane,

      You are most welcome and thank you for commenting!

      As long as you are doing below 1.4 seconds, you should be just fine. However, at times people like me (speed junkie), just couldn’t have enough. So that’s where premium CDN comes into play.

      Don’t forget that you can also use CloudFlare page rules for more speed at zero cost :)

      Talk to you soon!
      Reginald Chan recently posted…Making Money As A Web Designer Without Coding KnowledgeMy Profile

  4. says

    I tried cloudfare but i had bad experiences with it. My site was down due to this one. So immediately removed it from my blog.

    Now i dont use any CDN. As of now the site works pretty fast.

  5. Arbaz K says

    Hi Reginald,
    It’s a nice list of the best CDN networks. I am using Cloudflare on some of my blogs and it works great. I use it because it is free ;)
    Also thinking of trying out MaxCDN at least once.
    However thanks for sharing the post with us :)

  6. says

    Hi Reginald,
    I have seen your “around” at Adrienne’s site and on Twitter. Wow, this article is informative. This is one thing I have struggled with. I installed CloudFlare at one time and it didn’t play well with WordPress and Genesis at the time. I don’t know??? But in a blink of an eye it changed my website address from no www to www on BlueHost. I didn’t want that so I called in, talked to a couple Blue Host reps, and reversed the entire process.

    So, back to the drawing board. I really need to do something. So I will reread this article tonight and move it up my to do list. Thanks for the information! Barb

    • says

      Hi Barb,

      Welcome to my humble blog :)

      Now, I got to be very honest. CloudFlare could be a pain in the a$$ and in fact, all CDN’s have the tendency for such. As for your case of non www to www, it should be the redirection turned on. Haha!

      By default CloudFlare should work well (I know the team behind it is trying hard to get it even easier and less tech error) now. Of course, hit me up if you need any help on that. Would try my best to help :D

      Thanks for dropping by and see you around! Have a great week ahead Barb.
      Reginald Chan recently posted…Long Tail Pro Review, Features And $30 Discount CodeMy Profile

  7. says

    Hi Reggie,

    I am learning much more about CDN and speed and all that good stuff. Helpful post man! People want their content yesterday. If you serve it up fast you will become popular, gain more readers and boost your sales. Living in the Microwave Culture it is the only way to go.

    Thanks!
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted…When Do You Work Best?My Profile

    • says

      Hey Ryan,

      Living in the microwave culture? Haha! You can repeat that anytime mate.

      Oh yes, whenever I purge my cache etc, I would have some readers hitting me up on social media saying the site is slow etc! So, tell me about that :)

      It was last week where the site was loading below 1 sec. One of my friend told me that the site was slow and I was like “are you kidding mate?” Haha!

      Thanks for commenting mate and see you around. Hope you enjoyed this post.
      Reginald Chan recently posted…Making Money As A Web Designer Without Coding KnowledgeMy Profile

  8. Akaahan Terungwa says

    Hello Reginald,

    No one wants a slow site! I personally hate anything over a second.

    I’m currently experimenting with Cloudflare and W3 Total cache. I think its the best time to introduce MAX CDN now.

    Thanks for this thorough analysis…it was quite helpful!

    Do have a great day!

    - Terungwa

    • says

      Hi Cole,

      I don’t run a platform on that but I certainly has recommended those services for my clients. Well, when it comes to business, I try not to recommend free services as you get sub-par service especially when you have problems.

      To be very honest, I don’t see any quick solution for speeding up other ecommerce platforms without CDN (unless you have good dev or tech team working with you).

      That’s what I think and hope this helps!
      Reginald Chan recently posted…Comparing Synthesis And WP Engine With Zero BS ReviewMy Profile

  9. Itender Rawat says

    I am using CDN from a week. Confused with this. I hope this post will really help me out. Going to change my CND program to Pro. Working on Basic now. Heard a lot about Cloud fare. Seems like its the Best. Thanks for this useful post on CDN.

  10. Ahsan Ali says

    Great write on these different services. I began having a CDN inside my blog three a few days ago because my blog was loading very progressively.

    I made the decision to choose MaxCDN and i’m really pleased with their service. There is a good deal for a person who subscribes via your link.

    I’d be easily registering basically didn’t already depend inside it.

    Appreciate speaking about other services around, You’ll possess a great day.

  11. says

    Thank you Reginald! i now use maxcdn to improve my website speed. since i just spend 6$ per month. i see my traffic increase 20% for the first month.