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Why Do You Need a CDN for Your WordPress Blog? [Infographic]

Are you wondering what’s a CDN or ‘content delivery network’, and why is it important for your website?

If you’re looking to speed up your WordPress site, then a CDN is an extremely valuable tool to have. It quickly delivers content to the end user in different locations and improves the user experience.

In this article, we will show you why you need a CDN for your WordPress blog.

Why You Need a CDN for Your WordPress Blog

Infographic

What is a CDN and Why you need a CDN

To find out what is a CDN, simply click to view the infographic. You can also continue reading our article for written details.

Note: Just to clarify, CDN is something you use on top of having a web hosting account because it helps speed up things.

CDN does not replace a web hosting account, as you still need to have a hosting provider like SiteGround or Bluehost.

What is a CDN?

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network, which is a network of servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users based on the user’s geographic location.

If this sounds overwhelming, then let’s break it down in simpler words.

How Does a CDN Work?

Normally, when a user comes to your WordPress blog, their browser downloads the website from your web host’s server (i.e. HostGator). Your web host’s server is located at a physical location, for example, Houston, Texas.

What this means is that every user is accessing this one server in Texas to view your WordPress website. Now, if you have a high volume of traffic, then you can overload your server, which leads to a slow loading site or even server crash.

This is where a CDN comes in handy. A CDN is a network of servers that are spread throughout the world. When you use a CDN, your static content is cached and stored on all of these servers.

How does a CDN work

Static content includes images, stylesheets (CSS files), javascript, and more. When a user visits your website, the CDN technology redirects them to the closest server to their location.

For example, if your main server is hosted in Houston, TX, and someone from Durham, England tries to access it, then they will be redirected to the closest server, which may be in London.

This limits the number of internet hops needed to transmit the static files to your end-user. Because the user’s computer is closer in location to the CDN server, the files will load faster.

By having your content available on multiple servers around the world, you can make your pages load faster from the user’s perspective. In simple words, the closer the CDN server is to where your user is, the faster the user gets the content.

Now, you may be wondering if a CDN is worth it on your website? Let’s look at why you need it for your WordPress blog.

Why Do You Need a CDN for Your WordPress Blog?

Having a CDN can impact your website’s performance and boost the user experience. Below are some of the advantages of using a CDN:

  • Speed – A CDN helps improve the page load time of your site and makes it faster.
  • Crash Resistance – Using a CDN allows you to distribute the load to multiple servers instead of having 100% traffic to our main server, thus making it less likely to crash.
  • Improved User Experience – With a CDN making your website faster, you’ll noticed a decline in bounce rate on your site. It also increases the numbers of pages viewed by each user. Clearly, a fast site means improved user experience.
  • Improvement in SEO – Google has stated that faster sites tend to rank higher in search engines. A CDN can boost your WordPress SEO and help you achieve higher keyword rankings.

Which is the Best CDN for WordPress?

There are many WordPress CDN services in the market. We recommend Buddy.net as the best CDN provider that you use for your WordPress website. It has servers spread across the world and offers affordable pricing plans.

If you’re looking for a CDN service that also provides security features, then we suggest using Sucuri. It offers a powerful WordPress firewall and CDN to protect your site from different threats while ensuring fast load times. We use Sucuri on WPBeginner as a CDN and website security plugin.

An alternate solution to Sucuri us StackPath. MaxCDN is also now part of StackPath. The CDN offes a large network of servers and secures your site from DDoS attacks.

We hope that this article helped you learn why you need a CDN for your WordPress blog. You may also want to look at our guide on the best WordPress plugins for business sites and how to get a free SSL certificate for your WordPress website.

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Reader Interactions

98 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. If you expect to get 2/3 k user maximum per day you never need CDN. It do not improve any performance . just choose a good hosting and fast theme.

  2. Thank’s for this article .it was easy to understand. I just wanna know how much does it cost .the basic price. I am from India.

  3. I have a MacBook Air and I do not want to overload it with files and downloads because the MacBook Air is not designed for that. Is there any way I can begin a website without overloading my computer?

  4. hey..i wanna use cloudflare..
    but they require to changes nameservers..will it cause any problems to d original hosting if i point domain nameserver details to cloudflare, n not to hostgator? or it will just work out automatically..? i m using wordpress 4.4.2 btw..plz reply..i need ur help! :-)

  5. Can I increase Default Cache Time to 12 month in MaxCDN? As the images, css, js that I have will never change. Yes I may add more images as I add more posts. But existing ones will be same as usual forever.

  6. I registered cloudflare cdn to my . but all static files are not hosting by cloudflare. why any cloudflare settings is require.

    • Fatt Kay, CloudFlare is free.

      To WPBeginner: “Why You Need a CDN for your WordPress Blog” is not a question and should not have a question mark. “What the heck is a CDN” is a question and should have a question mark. Nit-picky? Maybe, but mistakes like this are jarring to some of us, and detract from the value of your content. :-)

  7. so i think i going to singup with justhost.com and i saw that them had a global cdn my question is if anyone know if that service its automatically activated or not?

  8. How much total bandwidth would you recommend to purchase? Where could I find out how much bandwidth we go through on a regular basis. I mean traffic wise I’m sure it depends on location of users. So as a company that may see 100,000 page views/50k visitors or more a month is 100GB of bandwidth enough?

  9. I have been using Cloudflare for CDN. But unfortunately, I don’t see decline in the consumption of CPU resources.

  10. Just updated the article.

    To answer your question: No CDN does not replace a hosting account. It works with your hosting provider to balance the load and speed things up. You still need a web hosting provider.

  11. What do you think about this cdn speed test tool at spooster.com? Should I follow their recommendation if I choose to go for a free solution?

  12. I would recommend going with high quality hosting with your own static IP address and reliable hosting/page refresh rates before using CDN.

    It’s my understanding that Google ranks sites based on their geographic targeting. Google seems to be focused on providing the best rankings for the smaller businesses in their local markets. This also improves Google’s advertising revenue by having many more sites competing for the same category advertising keywords.

    Larger companies are able to have multiple websites in multiple geographical locations and can more easily globally dominate ranking categories.

    It’s not clear to me that CDN provides a valuable multiple geographical location presence?

    Please comment on how CDN would improve say… your UK search engine ranking (UK visitor traffic) for example if your geographic target was the US?

    Thanks.

  13. Great overview on what a CDN is and how it works.

    I just wanted to add one note… CDNs don’t only accelerate the delivery of static content, but also dynamic content (any content generated in real time by the origin server— e.g. applications) as well. Dynamic content is not cachable, but CDNs can speed up the request and returns from the server through a series of proxy servers/nodes strategically placed around the world… basically creating a more direct route for the data packets to travel through. Traditional internet protocols require that data packets travel through more connecting points, which delays the arrival of data packets… making it slower to load on the client.

    Cheers,

    • Not sure this is right. I’ve conducted tests with every major CDN out there, and in all cases it’s significantly slower accessing uncacheable dynamic pages rather than just going to the origin server directly.

      However, it is true that dynamic pages can too benefit from a CDN. The key is to use a CDN that allows almost instant purging, so you have it cache everything and then your application can send a ‘purge’ request to the CDN when it knows an update has occurred (e.g. new post or comment). Of course, this requires specific integration.

      • Actually, if the majority of the page is loaded via CDN content, and the dynamic part of the page is loaded via AJAX, a CDN could considerably increase the speed of a true dynamic page. Obviously, after the page is loaded, a CDN would not help increase the speed of the next AJAX load. But to an uninformed user, the feel of the website would be generally quicker with a CDN than without a CDN.

  14. Now wordpress offers free CDN with Jetpack plugin.. how efficient is that compared to paid CDN like maxcdn ?

    • We will probably do a comparison in some article. However, we would still recommend MaxCDN. Installing jetpack in self-hosted WordPress requires you to connect your WordPress site to WordPress.com and many users don’t want to do that. Also Photon just serves images it calls itself image acceleration and editing service, not a CDN.

      Admin

  15. Your website was down because of HostGator’s server issue. Does any CDN provides caching of web pages too?

  16. Hi, can you tell me if the servers all over the globe have static pages and you update a static page, how long does it take for the servers to update that page? Can you force and update of static pages, and how do you do that? Thanks

  17. Hello,

    I can see this blog entry is a few months old now, however I have just completed building a site on Wix and its sole purpose is e-commerce hopefully on a global scale. Problem is however we have noticed for a while that the website was sluggish during building and still is after going premium and adding more bandwidth. Can MaxCDN solve our problems? Wix only ever gives out canned responses such as “you must compress images” and “please disable the auto rotate function from your slideshow” this is aggravating to say the least. this is the website in question

    would be really grateful for your thoughts and assistance i’ve spoke to MaxCDN and they said they can help, however you never know whether its a sales pitch?

    • I have created a few sites using Wix, including my own portfolio site. I offer it to clients who want a very simple site with few updates that is cheap. I plan on moving my own site to WordPress. After learning to create in WP, although with each theme it’s like having to relearn how that specific theme operates, I highly recommend WordPress and find it to be my preferred platform to develop websites from.

  18. Just wondering, can your use two CDNs at once, like MAXCDN and Cloudflare?, what are the consequences? is it feasible?

  19. Hi. I am using CloudFlare & WP Total Cache. Now, can we still get maxCDN working for the same site? Will it make a significant difference?

    What would you differentiate & suggest for people using CloudFlare for their WP sites.

    Eager to explore more. Thanks :)

    • @TechZoomOrg If you are using CloudFlare then you don’t really need MaxCDN. From our understanding it is an either / or solution.

      •  @wpbeginner  Actually,Cloudflare doesnt affect the website as much as MaxCDN, I would recommend that you use both MaxCDN as well as cloudflare and it will be very fast!!

  20. @kath.gamboa First of all the idea is that CDN service will not go down because they have so many datacenters across the globe. But lets imagine the worst and say that if it does go down, then all you have to do is go into your W3 Total Cache plugin, and turn off CDN for that time. All of your content will then be served directly from your server.

    Remember, you never upload any content directly to the CDN servers. You always upload it to your web hosting server, and CDN simply mirrors it.

  21. What happens when the CDN service goes down? Does that mean that the website’s static content will be inaccessible as well? If yes, are there ways to revive the website when the CDN service goes down?

  22. Okay how does it work. I am with hostgaor. I want faster page loads etc. I personally live in Australia. So there is is delay because of that huge big distance the information has to travel. Okay for someone who lives next to the server in the USA, but not ideal for here in OZ.

    1. Does MaxCDN have a server here in Australia?

    2. What about Amazon S3, do they have a server in Australia?

    3. Does anyone?

    4. Does the CDN have copies off everything that is on my website. So like the HTML files as well? If so, maybe a work around for me would be to get a web host based here in Australia. This will allow fast loading here, then use the CDN for the rest of the world.

    5. So I guess, if I am browsing from the England, will it pull everything from the England server, and nothing from the hostgator server back in the US??

    Peter

    •  @PeterApalais I think yes,its der In sydney or its being planned.. See here, http://www.maxcdn.com/features/network/  .. I would recommend MaxCDN because they charge on pay-as-you go basis i.e as $ 40 per 1TB of data… Amazon is costly. It mirrors the whole website and creates cache or the websites so in the event that the server is down,the website doesnt go offline.. I personally use it for my http://www.allcancook.com

  23. @AstroGremlin Doesn’t matter how big the site is, CDNs will help regardless. But if the small site is your personal site, then it is probably not worth you having the CDN.

    •  @wpbeginner Actually,the best part of MaxCDN is that it doent matter how big or small your website is, It has a wonderful pay-as-you go plan where you have to renew only when you are done using the 1 TB you bought.. So if the 1 Tb doesnt get used up even after 2 years, its fine,the plan will go on… 

  24. I notice that the rate one pays depends on volume (which seems very fair). But how can I tell how many gigs my blog is serving up? Also, does CDN makes sense for a really low traffic site?

    On caching: I tried W3 but it was causing conflicts. I switched to Supercache and haven’t looked back.

  25. Hi,

    I have a question, is there any alternative plugin to use with WordPress and MaxCDN other than w3totalcache ?

    w3totalcache is causing some memory problems on my VPS server ?

    • WP-Super Cache is a bit simpler to use that W3 Total Cache and has a tab to configure Origin-Pull CDNs. Otherwise, you can use another plugin in conjunction for Push CDNs but I would recommend Origin-Pull be a requirement of the CDN you go with.

  26. I on a bluehost shared server and was thinking about paying extra for a static ip address – would a static ip address increase my website speed?

    But now reading this I wonder if I should bypass the static ip address and just go for a CDN solution instead?

    I have done all the minifying, caching, etc, so did assume the next step was a static ip address. But perhaps it is really a cdn solution that I need?

  27. Hi,

    Could please provide some more info about those two cases:

    Improved User Experience – Since we started using a CDN, we have noticed a decline in bounce rate on our site. Furthermore, we have also seen increased in pageviews and numbers of pages viewed by each user. So clearly a fast site means improved user experience.

    Improvement in SEO – Google has clearly stated that faster sites tend to rank higher in Search Engines. We have noticed our site ranking higher once we did the optimization on our site.

    Something more, like how your counce rate and pageviews changed ?

    SEO in Google, how fast can you see something changes, by traffic monitoring or how come ?

    Tnx , I am happy CDN user from yesterday with your coupon as well.

    • When we optimized our site for speed, the site went about 240% faster. We saw a huge decline in bounce rate as people were not just exiting on the first page. They were going to other pages as well which means increase in pageviews. Clearly the user experience must have been improved by the faster site. Because we did not change the placement of related links or anything. Those were there before and after.

      In terms of google, it has been stated that the faster your site is, the more pages will get indexed per day.

      Admin

      • Tnx for fast response to my comment.

        After implemnting CDN to my sites the onlu problem that i have is i cannot test how much faster it goes now.

        Pingdom is not working now, YSlow in Firefox also stops to work.

        How you test your site if i may know.

        Tnx

        • Hi,

          Ok, listen to my horror story.

          After implemnting some CDN to my couple of WordPress websites, what i mean implement, delete old cache systems on those sites and installed W3 Total Cache plugins.

          I setup evrything as it should be and go to sleep.

          Now from this morning i have big problems with my VPS server.

          Don’t know what is going on but my CPU is from time to time (short period of time) goes like 100% , memory is bigger & bigger, swap is starting to work… tasks are going from normal about 60 to 100 or even more.

          Anyway i am fighting with this one almost 10 hours without sucess. I reboot server, soft&hard and make many stuff but nothing seems to work.

          In past server was not doing nothing almost , now it is extreme busy.

          I think this is too much for me and i need to find WordPress+Linux pro who will help me with that problem.

          Cheers

        • Delete w3totalcache and try w-supercache, i have deleted w3 and with wpsupercache my site is loading more fast.

  28. Hmm. Still haven’t received an activation email. I did receive an email asking how I like the service – replied to that saying I’m still not setup, and haven’t heard anything back. I’m starting to think I made a mistake signing up with MaxCDN. I’ve sent 2 more emails, and tried to text chat, but that timed out and I got a ‘send an email’ message. :(

    • Just FYI – Got in touch on Monday and worked it out. I’m very happy with my sites performance now that I have it working. MaxCDN = good!

      I should note that I’m not using this on my site (under my signature) – at least not yet – so don’t let that be the judge of speed. I’m using the CDN on other sites that actually get high volume. :)

      They could use a bit of work on CS, but maybe just caught them at a bad time. The network itself appears to be good enough that it’s worth it either way.

  29. This is not something are new blogger would need to worry about for a while though right. Even if someone does load it in England, if there is not much content does it matter?

    Thanks,

    TJ

    • No matter how big your site is, CDN will almost always speed up the site. However, keeping server load down is not something that new sites have to worry about, so in that aspect (You don’t need it). But in other aspects, CDN will help you. We never launch any site without utilizing CDN from Day 1.

      Admin

  30. Hi,
    thanks for suggestion and for coupon, i have signed yesterday and i’m trying maxcdn+w3totalcache on my site. I have only a problem with w3totalcache, it doesn’t rewrite all url added in custom files list,so i get 87 for pagespeed and only 64(D) for Yslow.

    • Gigi, are you adding the urls in the custom-files the right way? We are doing a lot of images and files via that, and it works out great. Let us know exactly what the issue is, perhaps paste a screenshot, and we would be able to help.

      Admin

  31. Thanks for this, it really helps to explain.
    Please does anyone have views on whether moving to virtual hosting is the first stage in improving performance or if it should be CDN?
    Thx

    • You can use Shared Hosting and CDN and be fine with it. If it pushes too much upgrade to VPS. CDN will improve the load time no matter which hosting level you are at… Improving to a higher hosting level will not always do that.

      Admin

      • Thank you. So would you recommend CDN before upgrading hosting?
        I only want to do one or other at the moment because of the cost but I’m not sure which would have the biggest performance improvement.

    • It works on top of a current web host. CDN works like a Mirror. You would never be able to see the back of your head, but combining two mirrors, you can do it a lot faster.

      Admin

  32. I am using MAXCDN and quite happy with it. Hopefully they will add some server in Asian as planed.

    As some of my friends recommend, Cloudfront is better than Maxcdn, but I like the kind of prepaid service like Maxcdn. After some consideration, I choose it. :-).

  33. Am definitely considering using a CDN for my blog, Thing is, it’s just starting out and isn’t generating that much traffic as of yet. Any opinion on how much traffic quantifies the need for a CDN?

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