CDN77 - Content Delivery Network That Accelerates Website Loading Speed
Recent years have brought few new players into the content delivery field of business. We decided to have a look at one of the most promising - CDN77. A London based company of 30 people seems to be an interesting disruption amongst the IT giants on the market.
What it promises
The Techcrunch effect
Being covered and linked by just one 'big' website can generate so much traffic to your own web that it is enough to eventually overload it and take it down. CDNs can usually handle millions of requests per second and therefore make your site effectively immune to this spike-traffic problem.
How it works
When setting up a CDN for your website, you usually create a subdomain and dedicate it to caching all its content via CDN. For ilustration, if you had a domain of example.com, then you create a new subdomain cdn.example.com and let the CDN service cache everything on it. Then whenever someone comes to cdn.example.com, despite having example.com in the address, he will be served cached data from the content delivery network service and your sever can calmly sleep in the background.
Without a CDN, your sites is bothered with every request that comes to it - and loading one page by one visitor can produce dozens of these. With caching implemented, though, the page is saved with CDN and your server does not even have to know someone has loaded it - the cache does all the work (except for the very first request where the page is not in the cache yet).
What is the improvement
Some webmasters implement content delivery networks to save money on webhosting services as they only need to use much cheaper plans then. For others, however, the main purpose is to make the site load faster all around the world. Hosting companies will usually grant you a part of a server in one location. If you physically host your site in New York datacenter, for example, requests from your customers in India will have to 'hop' many times before being routed to their destination. Each hop adds a little lag and you might end up with a page that is being loaded several long seconds.
CDN edge servers, on the other way, are spread all around the world. In CDN77's case, there are 27 datacentres across 5 continents. Even if your own hosting is in New York, requests from users in India will not have to travel that far. They will be routed to the closest location (in this case that would be New Delhi) and local cache will take care of it. Together with a very promising specifications about the cache hardware, this gives a chance to speed up the page loading time rapidly. We decided to test it for ourselves.
We loaded the page 50 times in the 'normal' configuration and 50 times with the CDN implemented. It can be safely expected that with longer distance from the origin server, the measured difference would be even more significant.
We were quite surprised how easy it was to set up an account. You don't have to be an engineer to get started and even though we had a little bump on the way, the chat support was helpful and we were up and running in few minutes.
If you can change your DNS entries yourself, setting up a CDN is a matter of minutes.
CDN77 proved to be worth the hype it causes on the market. With a very easy setup and evidently powerful hardware, we can recommend it as a provider of choice for speeding up the website and relieving your potentially stressed hosting server.
Revolutionary and Affordable Content Delivery Network - KeyCDN
I can't bear the thoughts of a slow loading website. Being in the WordPress sphere for some solid years, I'm always looking for better solutions to speed up my website. Down my blogging path, I have written about MaxCDN and content delivery networks which I used so dearly in my daily content marketing life.
Recently, I came across Jonas Krummenacher, Co-Founder of KeyCDN and it was long for me to take a look at KeyCDN. After all, I consider myself a huge WordPress geek and there is absolutely no risk when it comes to checking out a new toy.
In this article, you'll find informations you need to know about KeyCDN and how it could literally speed up your website loading speed.
What is KeyCDN?
Taken directly from its official website, KeyCDN is a service of Proinity LLC.
We are a Swiss registered company headquartered in Winterthur, Switzerland. The company is privately funded. We're a passionate team operating a high-performance content delivery network (CDN). We make content delivery smarter and less expensive.
KeyCDN practices 4 core values which are professional, passionate, skilled and proactive. Being in the customer service industry for some years, these are definitely 4 important core features any companies would need to get more loyal customers and as well as sales.
Features offered by KeyCDN
Make no mistake; KeyCDN provides several top features of any other content delivery network providers do such as:
Pull and push functionality
Video hosting features
RTMP streaming features
Super affordable prices and plans
The descriptions of the features are as follow below.
1. Pull and push functionality
With KeyCDN, you can create as many zones that you require and it would only take a few minutes for the configurations to be activated globally. You can then upload your files directly using FTP, SSH or even integrating with cache plugins like W3 Total Cache and Super Cache.
2. Video hosting capabilities
Do you think tools like Wistia is just too pricey and YouTube being too risky? You easily host all your videos using KeyCDN.
Bloggers, you can even monetize your videos using the KeyCDN ads enabled video player which is really cool!
3. Easy RTMP streaming
KeyCDN offers Video on Demand (VOD) and Live Streaming based on RTMP, RTMPT and RTSP. Well, this simply means that you can easily accelerate your streaming across the globe real, real fast.
KeyCDN supports several file formats for VoD such as:
4. Security features
In today's world, security is a huge concern for many (including me). With KeyCDN, you can rest assured security is taken into serious consideration.
KeyCDN has several features which takes security to the next level such as:
SSL certificate can be integrated and configured with just a few clicks, plus for those who require additional support and assistance, access tokens can be created for more advance usages (e.g. management access etc).
5. Powerful management dashboard
KeyCDN dashboard provides a detailed overlook on the credit amount, zones available and used storage (to name a few).
Navigations are pretty easy and no-brainer even for an absolute newbie. The below are some features you can find on the management dashboard:
Close to real-time reporting
Account usage and statistics
Beautiful user interface
Accessible via mobile and tablets (huge plus point)
Available invoices for viewing
Reginald, what makes KeyCDN really powerful?
For me, it must be the integration with WordPress. Regardless if you are using W3 Total Cache (W3TC) or Super Cache, integration can be done under one minute.
KeyCDN users are able to access the knowledge library which has a full list of questions and answers which is really useful. And, trust me -- the knowledge library is really well-equipped with information.
To show the ease of using KeyCDN, this is the only CDN service provider that I had used (and did not require any support assistance). So yes, a huge kudos to the team for that.
Need another plus point for using KeyCDN? The pricing structure of Pay Per Use if really good for those who have very limited budget.
The traffic pricing (as seen below) is really affordable even for the lowest budget and personally, I don't believe there is any other services that can match the features and benefits provided by KeyCDN.
Want Blazing Fast Website Speed? Hello CloudFlare Page Rules
CloudFlare is the most popular Content Delivery Network (CDN) used by thousands of bloggers. CloudFlare makes it easy for you to integrate with nearly any CMS especially with WordPress and in most hosting environment resulted from CloudFlare partner's program.
While CloudFlare is easy to setup and could supercharge your site in less than 5 minutes (as advertised), you could produce even faster website load speed by using CloudFlare Page Rules ... which I will explain in a moment time.
Content Delivery Network is a service which cache most of your static contents and store them on specific servers around the world. For your visitors, they will be noticed a much faster loading speed as these static files will be served to them from the closest location and for webmasters like you, you would be able to reduce your server loads.
The CDN servers are highly optimized to provide only one purpose; which is serving your visitors with statis contents and fast ... regardless which location they are from.
For those who are wondering, static files are images (.jpg, .png, .gif), stylesheets (.css), scripts (.js) and many more.
Why do you need CloudFlare page rules?
CloudFlare page rules is for those speed junkies like me who wants to get more out of the free CloudFlare service. Basically, page rules allow you to specify which files you want CloudFlare to cache it on their servers. Of course, the more files they cache, the faster your website speed is and you would be able to save more server bandwidth.
Page Rules is a powerful new set of tools that allows you to control how CloudFlare works on your site on a page-by-page basis. CloudFlare.
CloudFlare page rules is so powerful that it can:
Cache your whole site
Allows you to setup different cache levels for specific pages
Setup custom cache expiration
While CloudFlare page rules can be godly, it can easily (literally) destroy your site with tons of 404 errors and slow updates. This wouldn't really happen in this tutorial unless you are really pushing your luck.
Most of us are using CloudFlare free account and you are entitle for 3 page rules plans free of charge. Anything more and you would need to sign up for CloudFlare pro or business plans.
Configuring CloudFlare Page Rules is easy as long as you know which URL pattern to use. This means that very specific page rules settings are applied only to that specific URL's only.
So, what happens if you want to set a custom patterns for several strings of URL without using up all your page rule allotments?
1. Understanding CloudFlare pattern matching URLs
This is where Pattern Matching comes into play. It is a feature that allows you to create powerful dynamic custom patterns that can match a series of URLs instead of just one. The symbol used is the asterisk (*) character.
But does not match:
But does not match:
2. Setting up CloudFlare Page Rules
The first part is adding the relevant URL pattern which you can use from the chart above. Personally, I would advise setting up two specific URL patterns which are:
In the first string of URL, this is where all the extreme caching takes place. The below are the settings for this specific page rule:
Custom caching - Cache everything
Edge cache expire TTL - Respect all existing headers
Browser cache expire TTL - 4 hours
Always online - Default
Apps - Optional
Smart errors - On
Performance - On
Rocket Loader - Default
Security - On
Now, for the second string of URL, you would need to make a cache exception for your back-end (wp-admin area). Just follow the settings below:
Custom caching - Bypass cache
Browser cache expire TTL - 4 hours
Always online - Default
Apps - Optional
Smart errors - On
Performance - Off
Security - On
These are some of the very basic and safe page rule settings that will speed up your blog loading speed and ensuring that you wouldn't face any issue on your admin area. You may change any of these settings to fit your liking or requirements.
Adjusting the duration of Edge cache expire TTL and Browser cache expire TTL are risky as you may face issues logging in or your visitors will not be able to see the latest post even though it is published
Edge cache expire TTL
Sometimes cache headers are set on the server-side or by a CMS solution like WordPress. If you choose to Cache Everything, CloudFlare will respect these headers unless you choose to overwrite them. By overwriting the headers, CloudFlare will cache more content at the CloudFlare edge network, meaning a decrease in load to your server. To overwrite any default headers, choose a time from the drop-down menu. This is the refetch time for when CloudFlare checks the origin server for a new resource. Common situations where you may choose to overwrite any existing headers:
You are experiencing large surge in traffic
You are under DDOS attack
You are not sure what the headers on WordPress or your server are set to
You are using WordPress and want to easily overwrite the default settings
Browser cache expire TTL
This setting is how CloudFlare communicates with the visitor's browser. CloudFlare will respect the headers that you give us from your web server, and then we will communicate with the browser based on the time selected in this drop down menu. For example, your origin server headers may be set to cache for 1 year. You could configure CloudFlare to respect those headers (this is done by default, unless specifically changed), and then choose a different time limit here like 24 hours. What this means is that if you ever had to change the resource over the course of the year, you could know with full confidence that all your visitors would have the new asset within 24 hours, without any additional load to your origin server.
3. Clearing old caches on CloudFlare and WordPress
By now, you should have two page rules setup for your blog. The last part would always be clearing your cache on both CloudFlare and on your blog. This is to ensure that the site is running on the latest cache version and updates.
Once this is done, allow CloudFlare and your WordPress blog to build cache over time. If you are using W3 Total Cache, it could takes up to 48 hours while Super Cache could take around 6 hours or less.
Help! CloudFlare Page Rules are not working!
Here are two of the most common symptoms that the page rules are not working properly:
Unable to login to wp-admin
Newly published post is not visible even after clearing cache
Through my experience, the biggest culprit for this could be the Edge cache expire settings. If you have set a very strict and long duration such as 24 hours, this means that CloudFlare will only check for new contents once every 24 hours. CloudFlare recommends a duration of 4 hours as the duration is more than enough for a normal (and average) blog site.
At the same time, it is not recommended to have a shorter duration than what recommended as it could create a lot of resources strain on the hosting servers.
Help! I am not seeing much improvement after enabling CloudFlare page rules
The cheaper and more affordable alternative is using MaxCDN and it only cost you $67.50 per year (with MaxCDN coupon checkout25). For your information, you can integrate MaxCDN with CloudFlare to boost your website speed. MaxCDN is a great tool for bloggers when it comes to serving static contents while CloudFlare ensures that your site is packed with bulletproof security.
Does your website takes more than 2 seconds to load?
If the answer is yes, you certainly got to try the free CDN solution which is CloudFlare. If you are having around 1,000 traffic and below, CloudFlare would be more than sufficient when it comes to make your website blazing fast. With so many hosting companies already partnering up with it, I see absolutely no reasons why you shouldn't!
Tell me what you think using the comment form below and if you like the article, I would appreciate a social share!
Cloudflare vs Incapsula: Which Is The Best CDN Provider?
Content Delivery Network is one of the most important tools when it comes to maintaining a website. CloudFlare and Incapsula are both very renown for their CDN services. Let's discuss deeper on both CloudFlare vs Incapsula for the best CDN provider.
As for the record, this review is done with some testings and cross referencing the results with other sources to ensure that you are getting the right information.
What makes both Cloudflare and Incapsula different?
Introduction to Cloudflare and Incapsula in video form
Here are what both can offer:
Free Content Delivery Network (CDN) with servers across the globe
Optimizer which helps increase website loading speed
Security features for websites which includes firewall
Analytics that give you an insight of how many attacks, bandwidth used etc
Other free and paid productivity apps you can mix and match
So what makes them so different? How to choose the best free CDN for my website?
If you would like to compare, both basically offers pretty good security features. If you would need to compare them neck to neck, Incapsula offers a better protection against all types of DDoS threats. Cloudflare does a pretty decent job when it comes to protections but it comes short if you are looking for a CDN which offers great defense against unwanted threats.
Analytics and monitoring
Both Cloudflare and Incapsula offer their users reports to show the progress of the CDN. The reports range cover much of the basic information such as bandwidth used, threat experienced by the site, the number of bots and even the number of unique visitors visiting the website. When compared, I would personally prefer Cloudflare's report as it is more detailed and offers slightly more information that I required in just one glance. Basically, I give the winning score to Cloudflare as the layout is easier to see and users do not need to navigate any further to get additional information.
When it comes to optimizing, Cloudflare seem to be able to optimize my sites better than Incapsula. Various tests were done after installing for 48 hours to give a fair detail of time. After running those tests, it is pretty clear that (if I would give a score of 10), I would give Cloudflare a score of 9 and Incapsula a score of 7.
Which offers a better page loading speed?
I am pretty sure most of you guys are interested on this part generally. Cloudflare is definitely the winner here with a faster load of an average 0.5 seconds. As little as this seems, it is everything for many search engines and even high traffic sites. Cloudflare could have won this battle at this time of the writing because it has more servers around the world compared to Incapsula. At the moment, Cloudflare has 28 servers around the world and Incapsula has only 14 servers. This could be the main reason why sites using Cloudflare could load slightly faster than Incapsula.
My take in CloudFlare vs Incapsula For The Best CDN Provider
Why not you try them today and give me your feedback?
For those using either one of them, which is your favorite one among both?
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