How to Make Your Website Lightning Fast With a Content Delivery Network

Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by Marcelo Beilin

This article explains what a content delivery network does and why they're essential for your website. Page loading speeds are one of the most important ranking signals for search engines.

Quite simply, they don’t like to rank slow websites high because they’re frustrating to their users, even if the content is perfect for them. 

Now, armed with this information, you set yourself up with a great WordPress caching plugin to make sure that your content is served from cached pages on your server that are optimized for speed. So far so good. 

But if you’re hosting your website from the U.S., it may load fast for visitors in North America, but it’ll be slow as molasses for visitors in Australia, and your caching plugin won't be able to help them.

What’s the solution? Signing up with a Content Delivery Network.

Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation at no additional cost to you to support this site that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my 10+ years of online business experience consulting for clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that offer the best return for your investment (for more details, read my Affiliate Disclosure). 

These are companies that have dozens if not hundreds of data centers around the world for the single purpose of caching websites pages in multiple countries so that your pages can load fast regardless of where your visitors are located.

Below, you’ll find best CDNs for online solopreneurs. All these services require minimal technical expertise and are beginner friendly.

What Are the Best Content Delivery Networks?

Best Overall: Sucuri

sucuri-logo

In addition to having one of the most complete security suites for WordPress users (see WordPress Plugins), Sucuri also offers CDN services.

The advantage of this solution is that you get the increased performance of a worldwide CDN plus the benefits of enhanced security features, like protection against DDoS attacks, protection against malware injections and protection against spammers.

Sucuri has one of the best developed firewalls in the WordPress security industry, shielding malicious traffic from your server.

In essence, they divert your traffic to their firewall first, getting rid of all of the bad actors, and only forward to your server those visitors that are legitimate.

This setup dramatically reduces the load on your server, which could lower your hosting costs.

Sucuri Features that Stand Out

  • Enhanced security features in addition to CDN services compared to the competition (e.g. DDoS protection, malware monitoring, blacklist monitoring, SSL and DNS monitoring, etc.)
  • 24/7 live phone and chat support
  • Unlimited bandwidth with every plan

Now the Cons...

Find Out More About Sucuri Here.

Best Budget Option: KeyCDN

keycdn-logo

KeyCDN offers some of the lowest costs in the industry with its pay-as-you-go business model. This is a great solution if you’re just starting up and your traffic is low to medium. However, KeyCDN can get pricey if your traffic begins to spike.

It has 34 data centers around the world (11 less than StackPath) and its performance is lower than theirs too, but so are their costs, so this is a reasonable trade off.

This CDN integrates nicely with WordPress as well and it’s easy to set up and use.

A downside of being a budget option is that they don’t offer live support and rely instead on email and an extensive knowledge base.

However, they do include DDoS protection and free SSL security. Another very useful feature for beginners is a set of tools to test your website speed and performance, DNS lookups and SSL certificate validation.

KeyCDN Features that Stand Out for Online Earners

  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to set up and use/great for beginners
  • Integrates with WordPress
  • DDoS protection and free SSL

Now the Cons...

  • No free trial
  • Lack of live support
  • Limited security features
  • Lower performance than StackPath

Find Out More About KeyCDN Here.

Best Runner-Up: Stackpath

stackpath-logo

StackPath is the most popular WordPress CDN on the market. With lightning fast speeds, 45 data centers around the world and an affordable monthly charge, this is the go-to service for a lot of online earners.

With an easy to use interface, full integration into WordPress and excellent 24/7 live support, you can’t go wrong with this content delivery network.

They feature a firewall that filters your traffic before it’s forwarded to your server, reducing your server load as well as a free shared SSL certificate so you have secure HTTPS access to your website from anywhere.

StackPath Features that Stand Out

  • Fast performance
  • Easy to set up/Beginner friendly
  • Integrates well with WordPress
  • Protects you from DDoS attacks through load balancing and other advanced techniques
  • Has advanced reporting capabilities so you can monitor your bandwidth, number of HTTP requests and see which data centers around the world delivers your content
  • 24/7 phone and live chat support
  • 30-day free trial

Now the Cons...

  • Offers basic security options compared to its competitors
  • Has low bandwidth caps compared to its competitors

Find Out More About StackPath Here.

Best Free or Freemium: Cloudflare

cloudflare

This service is very popular with bloggers and small businesses because they have a free tier that doesn't force you to upgrade to their paid plans.

Cloudflare's free tier gives you the same great performance as their paid plans, including unlimited bandwidth. But, the trade off is that you don’t get security features in the free plan (e.g. DDoS, malware and spam protection). Also you don’t get live phone and chat support either.

What you do get is great performance as their paid counterparts. In my opinion, Cloudflare offers the best free plan in the CDN industry and I would highly recommend them if you have no budget for performance improvements.

Cloudflare Features that Stand Out (Free Tier)

  • Excellent free tier
  • Unlimited bandwidth with the free plan
  • More than 180 data centers around the world
  • Easy to setup and run
  • Integrates well with WordPress

Now the Cons...

  • No security features with the free plan, so you’ll need to use a complementary security plug in, which may increase your cost
  • Lack of live support with the free plan

Find Out More About CloudFlare Here.

What to Look for in a Content Delivery Network?

There are a few things you should look for when choosing a CDN:

Reliability and uptime: You want to make sure that your CDN can be counted on to deliver your content quickly and reliably. Make sure to check reviews and user experiences before settling on a provider.

Global coverage: One of the main advantages of using a CDN is the global reach it provides. Make sure that the CDN you choose has servers located in the regions where your target audience is located. 

Security features: Many CDNs offer a firewall to protect your site against attacks from bad actors. All your traffic is routed through this firewall and only health traffic is rerouted back to your server.

Pricing: CDNs can vary widely in price depending on bandwidth and additional features like firewalls, so it's important to compare providers and find one that meets your needs and fits within your budget.

What to Do Next?

High page loading speeds worldwide are an essential part of a successful online revenue engine.

Low-performing websites simply alienate visitors (when was the last time you waited for more than 5-6 seconds for a page to load without hitting the back button?).

Yet, this is the speed you website will have for your visitors who live on the other side of the world compared to where your server is located.

So, make sure you set up StackPath, KeyCDN, Sucuri or Cloudflare for your website before you go live. This is a decision you'll never regret!

Marcelo Headshot

About the author

Marcelo Beilin is a Digital Marketing Consultant and blogger who helps clients take their traffic and online revenue to the next level.

He also helps readers find the perfect tools to earn online income at BestTech2EarnOnline.com.

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