In a fast-paced, tech-driven world, staying ahead of the competition often means turning to special tools and features. A Content Delivery Network, or CDN, is just one of the tools that web administrators are using to help improve their websites. MaxCDN is one of the latest CDNs to hit the market, and for many webmasters, it is among the best available.
What Is MaxCDN?
MaxCDN is a development tool designed to help improve how quickly a website loads. The CDN allows the storage of data on a network of servers that can be accessed from various locations. With the CDN installed, visitors to your site will have a more pleasant experience.
There are several factors that can influence how quickly a site loads. For instance, images, advertisements, and videos can all slow down a site. The slower the site loads, the more inconvenient it becomes for users. After a few seconds of waiting for the site to load, users are more likely to leave the site.
The CDN stores the data so it is quickly accessible, which means a faster load time. Visitors are likely to stay longer on the site, and you have an increased chance of getting their business.
How Does It Work?
MaxCDN works by storing a cached version of your site in various locations. The locations, or points of presence, each have servers that can store the data from your site. Regardless of where a visitor to the site is located, there should be a cached version of the site available nearby from which the data can be loaded.
For instance, without the CDN, if your site originates in the United States and a person in Australia attempts to access your site, his or her request will have to travel from Australia to the United States, be processed, and the data sent back to the visitor. This could take a considerable amount of time.
With the CDN, data would be stored on a server in Australia. When the Australian visitor accesses your site, his or her request will only have to travel to a server nearby that has a stored version of your site. Your site could load within seconds instead of minutes.
CDNs are used by most large-scale websites, but they are particularly popular for mobile, gaming, and education sites. However, the tool can be useful for any site.
What Are the Benefits of Using MaxCDN?
There are several benefits to using MaxCDN for your website. The most obvious reason for using the CDN is that it helps to load your webpages quicker, but there are many other features that make it worthwhile.
MaxCDN helps to reduce the amount of bandwidth being used by the host server. The CDN can also help to balance the load on the server when there are traffic spikes. Too much traffic on the server can cause it to crash, which can have a negative impact on your business.
The CDN also helps improve your search engine ranking. Search engines use several factors to determine the ranking of a site, and the speed at which your site loads is one of the most important ones. If your site has a high conversation rate, it is likely to rank higher, which gives you an edge over your competitors.
Better search engine results also mean your site could have more traffic. Most people tend to click on one of the first few links in search engine results. More visitors to your site could mean more customers.
MaxCDN also has some features that are unique to the tool. For instance, the control panel is one of the easiest available. You can keep track in real time your bandwidth usage, content zones, and the amount of data being accessed from each zone.
You also have access to numerous video tutorials and documentation that provide support for MaxCDN. Regardless of which content management system you use, you should be able to find support for any problems you experience.
If you are still having trouble, MaxCDN has year-round technical support available by chat, fax, and email. There is even a dedicated support manager for enterprise customers.
Security is always a concern for webmasters. With the MaxCDN, you can protect your account and prevent a hacker from accessing your site’s cached data with the help of two-factor authentication. You can even receive alerts for attempts at accessing your account and an activity log that details when your account was accessed and from what location.
Are There Drawbacks?
Even though MaxCDN has several benefits, there are a couple of drawbacks to consider. For instance, there is a bandwidth limit for websites. However, the limit of 100GB is usually enough for most websites.
Another issue to consider is that it can take awhile for a change on your website to update in the stored locations. It can take up to 10 minutes for a change to be applied to all the cached versions of your site’s data, and this can sometimes make debugging difficult. It can also leave customers with an outdated version of the site.
MaxCDN does have security features in place, but there are some areas in which it could be strengthened. For instance, it does not protect against some types of attacks and does not include an SSL certificate as part of the basic tool. However, the certificate is available to purchase for an additional fee.
Unlike some of its competitors, MaxCDN does not offer a free version of its tool. However, the pricing plans are reasonable for most webmasters. All the plans include 24/7 support.
The entrepreneur plan starts at $9 a month and includes 100GB of bandwidth. You can purchase additional bandwidth if necessary. The plan can cover two websites that fit within the bandwidth limit. If you are a starter company or a blogger, this is a good option.
If you need additional bandwidth, you can opt for the 500GB professional plan. It starts at $299 a month and is ideal if you have a high amount of traffic to your websites. With this plan, you can have 10 websites covered.
The custom plan starts at $1,149 a month and gives coverage for 25 websites. The plan also gives you access to a dedicated account manager and VIP support.
MaxCDN does have an affiliate program that can help offset some of the monthly costs of using the tool. A referral for an entrepreneur plan can earn you $20. A referral for a custom plan can lead to a $2,400 payout.
Users who are new to MaxCDN can sign up for a free one-month trial. If the tool does not function as expected, the account can be closed without any penalties.
What Do Others Say About MaxCDN?
MaxCDN has a 4.5 rating on TrustPilot from users and a 4-star rating on TechRadar. Most users believe the tool is easy to use and affordable. Users who recommended it cited the customer support and the features included with MaxCDN as reasons to invest in it.
Users liked MaxCDN because it only copied files that were necessary to help the website load quickly. They also cited the improvement in their search engine rankings after installing the tool.
What About Competitors?
There are several other reputable CDNs currently available. However, MaxCDN is often compared to CloudFlare, which is one of the first CDNs to hit the market.
CloudFlare and MaxCDN have some similarities. CloudFlare also has an easy-to-use control panel that can monitor the status of the data stored on various content zones. It even has features designed to decrease the chances of a cyberattack, including two-factor authentication.
However, there are some key differences between CloudFlare and MaxCDN. CloudFlare has 31 data centers, also known as content zones, on which data can be stored. Most of the zones are within North America and Europe. By contrast, MaxCDN has 57, which includes Asia and Australia.
Another key difference is that CloudFlare does not charge for its basic plan. However, the plan is limited and does not offer support to all browsers. Unlike MaxCDN’s real-time updates, CloudFlare only offers updates every 24 hours for the basic plan.
CloudFlare’s next plan is $20 a month for the first site and an additional $5 for additional sites. Whereas MaxCDN has a bandwidth limit for each tier of its pricing plan, CloudFlare focuses on the number of pages. For instance, the CloudFlare second tier plan allows for 20 pages of content.
Should You Get MaxCDN?
Although there are several CDNs available on the market, MaxCDN stands out. The CDN offers a reasonable price and is easy to use. It also offers 24/7 customer support, which is crucial for webmasters. For developers who have little experience, MaxCDN is a great option for learning more about how to use the tool.
Experienced developers will love the customizable features that make it easier to maintain content in various zones. The tool is easily integrated with various content management systems. With more search engines placing greater importance on loading times, MaxCDN can provide the edge needed to stay in the top of the results.