When your client asks you to design a new website for them, do you build in a CDN as standard? No? Then you’re missing a trick that will benefit them and, maybe even you.
CDN used to be complicated, inflexible and expensive. That couldn’t be further from the truth today. At CDN.net, you can subscribe as an agency with a single account (in effect, a “reseller” account) that you use for all your clients or, you can have an individual account for each client that remains their responsibility.
If you operate a single account then what, when and how you charge your clients is entirely up to you. The activity of each site is individually managed and monitored to give you complete flexibility in how you use it.
What is a CDN?
A CDN (or Content Delivery Network) is a global network of datacenters with “Edge Servers” that cache and deliver your web content. Any site using a CDN has content requests intercepted at the DNS level and the requests are automatically and transparently routed to the nearest node or PoP (Point of Presence) on the network. Your content is then cached in each PoP and the primary advantage is that you see a dramatic increase in available bandwidth to your site and a similarly dramatic reduction in response time to content requests (i.e. page load times), thanks to lower latency.
How do I set up a CDN?
If you are new to CDN then there is no substitute for testing the improvement in user experience and site accessibility.
Go to CDN.net and select the plan that you want to start with – don’t worry, CDN.net is contract free. You can change plans at any time so you’re able to just start with the lowest cost option (2TB on the CDN-X plan) that will require a deposit of $20.
Once you have signed up, your dashboard will show the service “CDN Low Latency Guaranteed.” Click on “Manage” and then add a new resource.
You will be asked for a CDN hostname, which would normally take the form of “cdn.yourdomain.com”, and an Origin, which would normally be the domain name of the site you want to use the CDN with – e.g. “yourdomain.com”
Finally, select the Edge group shown – in this case, CDN.NET Package 1 and the display will expand to show all the physical locations in your CDN. Clicking on the “Create CDN Resource” button will take you to this screen:
So a relative link in your header file like this:
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”/assets/css/styles.css”/>
needs to be changed to:
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://cdn.3daudiodesign.com/assets/css/styles.css”/>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”http://218614634.r.worldcdn.net/assets/css/styles.css”/>
Depending on what tools, CMS, frameworks etc you are using for building the website in the first place, there are many ways of making these changes.
As an example, if you are working on a WordPress site, you can just install the W3 TotalCache plugin and let it do all the work for you.
Simply enter your CNAME (cdn.yourdomain.com) or the full CDN resource URL (“123456789.r.worldcdn.net”) in the relevant box and you’re away… For full details on how to use W3 Total Cache to install a CDN in WordPress CLICK HERE
Your CDN is now set up and, the content of your website is being cached into each of the edge servers throughout the CDN as it is accessed for the first time.
Why use a CDN?
1. Speed matters
Once you have installed a CDN, try these speed tools with and without the CDN enabled – the results will be spectacular. CDN should be as integral to your site performance optimisation as file minification, consolidation and compression.
2. CDN as an insurance policy
You build a new site for a client and it turns out to be much more popular than you or your client anticipated – it goes viral. Unless you are lucky and the web server already had bandwidth capacity far in excess of what you expected, there is a very real possibility that the server will be overloaded and will become unreliable, slow or even crash completely. Over spec’ing the web server capacity in the first place is not a good idea financially but if you implement pay-as-you-go CDN, you get the capacity if you need it and only pay for what you use.
CDN.net provides you with low latency CDN, with over 170 PoPs across 113 cities in 43 countries across the globe. You can get started with CDN.net for as little as $20 and we provide a comprehensive range of plans to suit your needs.