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CDN - Worth it? (3 posts)

  1. Moritz83
    Member
    Posted 9 months ago #

    Good morning,

    I've got a small private blog with a lot of pictures (around 400 and increasing). Some visitors from the US complained about a long loading time and I guess it's because of the pictures. Would it be helpful to use a CDN like maxcdn (got a local one working right now) or is it waste of money?

    The url is http://www.moritzjuergensen.info

    Cheers
    Moritz

  2. Jason Jensen
    Member
    Posted 9 months ago #

    It could definitely be the number of images, if they're all being loaded onto the page at once (i.e. a page of say, 100 images), especially if they are large file sizes. Fetching images is a huge resource hog for the browser for any website. But, slow site speed could be a caching issue, plugin conflict, etc.

    Before going to (expensive CDN), you should try the following things:

    - W3 Total Cache plugin

    - WP Smush.it plugin - optimizes images at import

    - The #1 thing you can and should be doing: uploading compressed versions of the images you're sharing - you should be compressing images on your computer before loading them to WordPress. Even though WordPress may display a smaller version of the photo, if you're not performing this step, WP is probably loading a huge file size for each image.

    CDN is more about maximizing site uptime, and assuring that if one server goes down, your site is still being served elsewhere on a regionally based server. Employing a CDN is expensive. You should try the free optimization techniques I listed above first before considering such dramatic action.

  3. s.r.
    Member
    Posted 9 months ago #

    Actually CDN is not for balancing your website it stands for Content Delivery Network..
    From my understanding CDN distributes your content across CDN provider's network that geologically resided in different countries. That means that if your site often accessed from USA, but the actual website server resides somewhere in Europe.. Then CDN will help deliver your content to USA visitors faster and in short way..
    If that's the case, then it is indeed worth to employ some kind of geo distributed cache..
    When you set up you CDN.. CDN provider will cache your static files on its servers.. and next time visitor will visit your website, those cached files (e.g. images) will be delivered from closest cache-server to visitor (instead form your one). By such approach cached content will be delivered to visitors faster that from you local server. and that how you achieve speed improvements.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Content_delivery_network

    From my experience even for local distribution CDN helps to avoid http blocking.
    Main advantage of it is that browsers support 2-4 multiple downloads, but only from separate hosts.. If all images and content, scripts are loading from one host.. then each file blocks next one until it would be fully downloaded..

    But as Jason pointed out.. you should check your website first, what's actually takes up the load.. to make sure you are not cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.. :)
    I suggest you to try Chrome or Safari Inspector or FireFox firebug.. they will show you graphically all captured network requests and process..

    My choice of CDN was Amazon CloudFront http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/
    They used to provide Free tiers for one year.. And they have wide range of geo zones Register with them and give it a try..

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