There are many factors that can influence the speed at which your website is served to visitors in their web browsers when they pay a visit.
Server speed, type of hosting service or plan, bandwidth, Internet congestion and even conditions on the visitors computer.
Now some of these you can control such as what hosting plan you pay for but some are completely out of our reach such as congestion on the Internet and end users computer. Even the backend, aka the platform, your site is powered by can have an impact on how good the browsing experience is.
These days a very popular platform for managing a website is WordPress. As of this posting the latest version of WordPress, version 3.5, has been downloaded nearly 27.5 million times since its release in December 2012.
WordPress is a very modular website backend and is supported by a huge developer community through plugins that can be installed and used to add features to the core installation of WordPress.
One of these added features that I have found, which can help address the overall challenge of website performance and delivery of your content to visitors, is the use of a CDN.
For this website that means specifically MaxCDN which I have now been using on WindowsObserver.com for over two years now.
A Content Delivery Network like MaxCDN is a global network of servers that serve up files from your website such as graphic images, static files, scripts, etc. as people browse your site. These files, which are stored on the regionally located networked servers, have a much shorter trip over the Internet depending on where your visitor is located than they would if they were only being served from your primary servers location.
So how hard is it to implement MaxCDN on a WordPress website?
Well thanks to the great plugin community around WordPress and MaxCDN’s own popularity as a CDN two popular caching plugins, W3 Total Cache and WP Super Cache, have built in support for MaxCDN right in the plugin. This means one plugin handles the overall local caching of your site and incorporating the files on your site that are served up by MaxCDN. All you have to do is provide your MaxCDN connection information to allow them to take advantage of it.
With MaxCDN tied into the caching plugin it really helps your website perform much better and especially on a shared hosting plan which many people use – including me – because it helps reduce your reliance on the CPU and memory on the host which is often limited or capped on shared hosting.
On a daily basis MaxCDN delivers about 90% of my site’s files to visitors.
That means a corresponding reduction in server load on my host because those files are being served to visitors from MaxCDN’s servers instead of my host.
I will take that kind of performance any day.
Think you might be interested in trying out a CDN for your growing website? Here is a 25% off discount code, courtesy of MaxCDN, that you can use immediately when you sign up for the service.