The Basic Idea of a Content Delivering Network (CDN)
CDN is a service where it keeps a copy of your website content in servers around the world. If your site is hosted on a server which is located in New York and if a person access it from New Jersey he will do it without any hiccup because the servers are located nearby and the person’s browser downloads files almost immediately, but if a person living in India accesses your website; he will do it but with a bit of delay as your server takes more time to send data to India, because of this your website loads slower as the person’s browser has to download files which are located in the US.
If your site is accelerated by a CDN, whether there is a visitor from India or China your site will load faster without any delay as the user’s browser downloads files from the nearest server on which your website is stored.
Finally by using a CDN your website can achieve faster loading speeds than usually anywhere in the world. Here are some CDN Services Which Offer Free Plans.
Cloudflare has 23 data centers across the globe, they stepped further and even developed a plugin for WordPress users to integrate it with their website, it has some useful features like providing insights about your visitors, protecting your website, some security settings to protect your website from hackers. Setting up is easy, free plans offer basic services while advanced features are available at a price.
Incapsula has 10+ data centers, out of them 6 are located in the US.It offers high performance content acceleration and security to your website. Adding your website to Incapsula is easy and requires a simple DNS (Domain Name Server) change.
Compared to Cloudflare, Incapsula might have less data centers but its users have claimed that their website loading speed increased by 50%.
Photon works only with WordPress and it’s a CDN for images, photon comes integrated in the Jetpack plugin (by WordPress team). When a webpage loads, images take up most time to load than many other files hence accelerating your website’s images gives you better results and higher loading speeds, photon accelerates your websites images worldwide by WordPress.com grid.
Photon is impressive considering that it delivers your images, it is included in the jetpack plugin and you additionally don’t have to install any other plugins.
CoralCDN consists of 260 servers worldwide, it is a free and open content distribution network. Coral CDN works on peer-to-peer content delivery network, composed of world-wide network of name servers and web proxies. They work by simply adding ‘.nyud.net’ at the end of the element’s URL. For WordPress users there is a plugin for integrating Coral CDN.
Swarmify was their actual name until recently they changed it to Swarmify. Swarmify or SwarmCDN is a peer-to-peer based CDN, they have released a plugin for WordPress for easy integration. Swarmify features include geographical loading, hive cache, lazy loading they also have predictive loading which preloads most popular images on your site faster.
Cloudinary is a free CDN for images, the official plugin for WordPress users is out and can be used for free, the company has included a free plan where the user can be able to store up to 50,000 images, 500 MB storage and 1GB monthly bandwidth. Using the plugin is easy and to start the CDN process you have to register with the site and you will be generating a URL which will help you to upload all your files to Cloudinary.
All CDN’s are made to make your site load blazing fast, all the above services do this job very well yet we personally like to go with Cloudflare because it offers maximum speeding and security. Our next choice after Cloudflare will be Incapsula which has almost the same performance as Cloudflare.
If you want a CDN specifically for images we recommend you to go with Cloudinary as it offers a decent amount of space for free. Be careful while dealing with your DNS and name servers any wrong move will break your site down.