Website loading speed is the biggest factor that can drop your traffic. You can have the best website filled with relevant content, but if your website is taking time to load, then you have lost more than half of your traffic.
Internet surfers are very impatient and even more easily distracted. There are many factors that are responsible for slow website speed. These factors can be:
- Heavy images and videos
- Code that has not been optimized
Latency is the most common reason for slow website speed. It usually happens when users accessing your website are located far away from your servers. The rule is simple, the distance between the server and user is directly proportional to website loading time.
The best way to deal with this issue is to seek the services of a Content Delivery Network that is a CDN.
What types of websites don’t require a CDN?
Websites that are made for a local clientele do not require a CDN. Also, websites with a little over 100 visits per month should not invest in a CDN. However, it will be best for them to get the hosting services of a service provider whose data center is in their country.
What all factors do I need to consider when looking for a CDN service provider?
The four main factors that you need to consider when seeking the services of a CDN are:
- The location of datacenters of the company that you have chosen, if the location of the nodes are closer to your regular audience base, then the CDN should work perfectly for you. If they are not then, you need to look for some other CDN.
- Their monthly charges
- Users’ reviews
- Excellent customer support.
Here is a list of the top ten CDN providers to help you decide which CDN is ideal for you.
Cloudflare is without a doubt one of the most popular CDNs currently used. It is most known for its fremium package. With over 28 datacenters spread all over the world, Cloudflare ensures that users from all over the world can easily access your website without having to go through an endless loading process.
Another great thing about Cloudflare is the fact that they do not charge extra for your monthly bandwidth coverage. While their fremium plan has been very popular among websites all over the world, however their paid plans are slightly more expensive.
You can check out all their plans at https://www.cloudflare.com/plans
Akamai is another big player when it comes to world class CDNs. It is usually sought for by globally recognized websites. It is currently the CDN platform for some of the most used sites like Twitter, Yahoo and Github.
With such an elite client base, one hardly needs to vouch for their excellence. Akamai currently has around 45 network locations making it the smoothest and the best solution available to websites. However, with their current pricing Akamai’s CDN is a dream for big fishes in the sea. The small fishes can currently survive in other waters like Cloudflare or Incapsula
3. Google Page Speed
Unlike other CDNs in the field, Google Page Speed is still in Beta testing and is currently available to people only via invitation. It may be a free service till now but with time it will enter the market with competitively priced CDN solutions.
By introducing its CDN, Google plans to compete with the likes of Akamai and Cloudflare. Google Page Speed redirects your data through its servers and rewrites your web pages in order to optimize them.
It may not be out yet, but it is a service that deserves its name in the list. Google currently promises its users to improve their website speed by 60%. Let’s keep hoping that they are successful in meeting this challenge.
Rackspace’s Cloudfiles solution is an excellent solution for users looking for affordable CDN services.
You can check out their current pricing structure at http://www.rackspace.com/cloud/cdn-content-delivery-network/.
Rackspace works by distributing website data and files around 200+ edge locations; this makes it convenient for website owners and optimizes their website perfectly for a global audience.
Cloudfiles as a system is very easy to understand and integrate with your website. WordPress websites however would have to integrate their files with Cloudfiles using the CDN Tools plugin.
All in all, Cloudfiles is a very easy to use plugin with a fairly simple pricing structure that users can choose according to the traffic on their website.
If internet security is a priority for you, then you cannot go wrong with Incapsula. Their network locations might not be as spread out as Akamai, but in terms of high-end security they will not leave you disappointed.
In their short term in the content delivery network, Incapsula has come off as a worthy opponent against the likes of Cloudflare and Akamai.
Just like Cloudflare, Incapsula offers both free as well as premium services. In terms of high-end DDoS threats, Incapsula is your go to guy. While Cloudflare may beat Incapsula in terms of website-speed, optimization and analytics if security threats are a major concern for your website, then it will be in your best interests to seek the services of Incapsula.
Their pricing is pretty competitively priced and the face that they offer more features as compared to Akamai for less than half the prices definitely pushes budget conscious customers towards Incapsula.
You can check out their pricing plans at http://www.incapsula.com/pricing-and-plans.html
Currently, MaxCDN has 12 network locations present in the world that is not much compared to other big fishes in the business.
However, you should not disregard MaxCDN for this reason. It is the perfect option for amateurs who have just started out with their website and need a very easy to operate CDN for their website optimization and speed needs.
MaxCDN is the perfect option for websites whose major clientele is located anywhere in America as that is currently a place where most of their network locations are present. It is a favorable option for US-based e-commerce stores. However, website looking to entertain a global audience might prefer looking at some other CDNs.
MaxCDN has a very user-friendly control panel, and their setup process is a breeze.
Its pricing plans are very competitively priced, and you can check them out at http://www.maxcdn.com/pricing/. They even offer a 20% discount on all their annual plans.
7. Amazon CloudFront
Currently, Amazon CloudFront stands to be one of the most economical CDN service across the globe. It is specifically designed for small end businesses that aim to reach a global audience.
Their setup is fairly simple and the thing that makes Amazon CloudFront unique is the fact that they offer a pay as you go plan, via which you only have to pay for the amount of activity that your website has done and not a cent more.
This will be very appealing to small businesses that don’t have the dough to spend on their optimization needs.
To use Amazon CloudFront as a content delivery network, you need first to get registered in their Web Services Account and apply of their S3 service. The procedure is pretty simple as they will guide you through it, step by step.
Currently, Amazon CloudFront has over 32 points of presence located around the world out of which 12 located in the US.
A minor drawback amidst all this awesomeness is the fact that they charge you extra for customer support. But with all their easy setup and extremely fair prices this is a very small adjustment that you need to make.
Cachefly is another awesome option for small to medium businesses that are on the lookout for a reasonably priced CDN for their website.
Cachefly even does gzip compression so that minimum data limit is not hampered during data transfers. Instead of their yearly contract you can go for their pay as you go plans so that you have the freedom to cancel whenever you feel that their service is not meant for you.
Cachefly supports static as well as dynamic content for your website, the fact that many CDN companies fail to mention when making new clients. Their pricing structure is very transparent. It is surely pricier than Amazon CloudFront but in terms of the number of services that they provide it can be considered reasonable.
You can check out their pricing plans at http://www.cachefly.com/pricing.html
With around 30 points of presence located all over the world, it is a pretty good option for users. Cachefly and Amazon CloudFront come neck to neck with each other, therefore, if you have to pick between the two of them you might consider figuring out which of the two have a network presence nearer to your client base.
9. Edgecast CDN
If you are only interested in website acceleration then, Edgecast CDN will be a very bad idea for you. Edgecast is a CDN that provides a vast array of services which in a broader term refers to the streamlining of dynamic data.
It is an excellent solution designed for gaming websites, video streaming, software distributions and other such complex purposes.
Edgecast is not your run of the mill CDN. Its list of clients includes Lionsgate Entertainment, Yahoo, IMAX, WordPress and many big shot companies who have complex CDN requirements.
Each of Edgecast’s 21 points of presence and been strategically chosen in order to create a worldwide presence that will never have your website suffering with the issue of latency.
However, when it comes to pricing Edgecast is not your best CDN solution. And the reason is simple if you have a highly complex tumor in your brain, then you want the best surgeon in the world not your everyday physician, but you if you are suffering from a broken bone you simply visit the nearest orthopedist and get it fixed.
Similarly, if you have complex and dynamic data on your website, you need the best CDN to optimize your website. And this is where Edgecast CDN comes in.
Edgecast even offers white label plans for resellers interested in reselling CDN plans to other users. You can visit their website and request a quote.
10. CDN 77
Currently, CDN 77 only offers its services in US and Europe. It may be a small company, but its services are just about perfect. It is especially aimed for small to medium businesses.
Just like Amazon CloudFront, CDN 77 has a pay as you go policy and a very transparent pricing structure. You can check out their pricing plans at http://www.cdn77.com/pricing.
CDN 77 even provides token authentication, and a shared SSL certificate is available for those who have to work under a strict budget.
With a 24/7 customer support, CDN 77 is a choice that many small to medium business will proudly swear by.
When planning to select a CDN for your company website, you need to first look at your requirements and figure which CDN will be best-suited to fit them. Look at each of your requirements on the basis of priority and check out the features of each of the above mentioned CDNs. If you follow these simple steps, you will automatically land up with just the right CDN for your website.