Using a content delivery network

A content delivery network (CDN) stores your Web site data within different
points on a network and can deliver that data to Web site visitors with
a decreased amount of bandwidth. A CDN can choose to deliver this data
from the nearest geographical location, making the transfer faster. Because
of this, visitors don’t access the data from the same place at the same time,
which lightens the load on your server significantly.
To use a CDN, you need to sign up for a service that provides a network
and a series of computers to store and serve your data on your Web site.
The CDN can include items like images and CSS, JavaScript, and media files.
Using a CDN reduces the load on your server because the files are delivered
through the CDN, not through your Web server. This is especially helpful if
you use a significant amount of bandwidth on your current hosting account.
CDN services are relatively inexpensive, particularly if you don’t have a lot
of media files, images, and data to store on their servers. A few popular CDN
providers include
✦ Amazon Web Services: http://aws.amazon.com
✦ Akamai: http://www.akamai.com
✦ CacheFly: http://www.cachefly.com
✦ PEER 1: http://www.peer1.com/managed/content_delivery_network.php
✦ MaxCDN: http://www.maxcdn.com
The benefits of running a content delivery network include the following:
✦ Improved speed of your Web site
✦ Improved visitor experience
✦ Improved scalability for your Web site and database data delivery
✦ Resistant to Web site crashes during times of high traffic volumes
In the next section of this chapter, we give you a couple of plugins that
provide a user interface to help you set up a CDN on your Web site. Just
remember that CDN services aren’t free, and the costs vary depending on
the service provider that you use.

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Using a content delivery network

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