What I will cover today is comparing the best CDN services available in my view. I’m not going to mention free CDN services because we can’t expect much from them and they didn’t work really well in my case. For example, I see many bloggers using CloudFlare, basically this is an advanced cloud-based firewall and it just works like a CDN to deliver content to visitors. I tried it too but soon I realized that the speed wasn’t improved and it is not a genuine CDN service. Therefore, I am going to cover the best paid CDN services as I know, MaxCDN, Google Page Speed CDN and Amazon CloudFront.
MaxCDN is a very popular and friendly content delivery network. If you are hosting your blog with WordPress, you can use the plug-in W3 Total Cache and set up your site with MaxCDN in less than 10 minutes.
They are offering a special price for the service, you just need to pay as low as $9/month with monthly 100GB bandwidth. The overall fee is quite cheap compared to other services. The cheapest plan, Start, now costs $9/month or $108/year. However, you can reduce the cost by paying for the whole year and using the coupon code MaxCDNcoupon. You will get 25% off and 2 free months, therefore, the overall yearly cost is just $67.
Read also: MaxCDN Coupons offering 20% to 50% discount
MaxCDN also provides you with free shared SSL, custom domain for the path to the files, Pull Zone and Push Zone to distribute files. There were some complaints that the CDN network has no edge location in Asia, so it can’t optimize site performance for visitors from this area. It is true but it will be solved soon as MaxCDN has already planned on building more 4 edge servers in Asia/Pacific including Hong kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.
Update: MaxCDN now has an edge location in Singapore, so your site will be served pretty fast for visitors from Asia.
This is the best choice and I highly recommend the service if you really want to improve performance of your website. Their support staff also works really well. You can contact them via phone, email or live chat, the support team will help you solve any issue immediately. If you are worried about the process of setting it up, you can follow my simple tutorial on MaxCDN setup here.
Amazon CloudFront is probably the most reliable CDN service as it comes from a popular brand. Many people think it would be expensive but it is not in some cases. To get started using the service, you need to store your objects in another Amazon Web Service like Amazon Simple Storage Service or Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. For the storage service, you will need to pay about $0,093 for 1GB monthly. Besides, Amazon CloudFront charges actual usage of the service in the 3 areas: Data Transfer, Requests, and Invalidation Requests. Its pricing varies for each geographic region, you can check out the pricing here. Remember that the price hasn’t included storage, GET requests and data transfer out of your Amazon Web Service to CloudFront’s edge locations. So, normally it could charge you up to $300 for 1TB of bandwidth.
You can see that the bandwidth pricing is quite expensive, therefore, Amazon CloudFront is absolutely not suitable for busy websites. However, if you have a site with low monthly transfer which is less than 10GB per month, this will be a good choice for you. CloudFront delivers content in lower latency in many areas as it uses a network of over 19 edge locations worldwide including 3 in Asia.
Google Page Speed CDN
Google has joined the CDN competition with its Page Speed Service. This is currently offered for free to a limited number of publishers. I had a chance to setup Google Page Speed CDN on my site and this is a good service in my opinion. The loading time of my site has been improved by more than 50%.
However, there are also some downsides of the service:
- You can’t use it on bare domains that don’t include the prefix www, so you must use www.techwalls.com instead of techwalls.com.
- HTTPS pages are not supported.
- Websites hosted on Blogger, Google Sites or Google App Engine are not supported
- Flash, streaming audio and video content and files over 50MB are not supported.
- POST requests greater than 2MB are not supported.
I will also not recommend this service if you are using shared hosting, somehow my account was suspended after trying Google Page Speed.
The pricing details of Google CDN service hasn’t been available yet, however, they promised that it will be very competitive. So we can expect this will be another good choice for bloggers and webmasters.
Have you tried a CDN service on your website? What do you think about the performance of your website after using it? Which service will you recommend us?