Which CDN (Content Delivery Networks) to use for your WordPress Site?

Image by Amar Vyas- feature post for CSN on WordPress

Introduction: Need for CDN for WordPress site

Today someone asked a question in a Facebook group about using CDN or Content Delivery Network for their WordPress site. They wanted the CDN not just for media files but for other elements of the website as well. I responded with a series of options, thought of posting them here so that it can benefit the wider community.

Last year, I wrote several posts on different elements of a CDN on my blog, you can read them by following this link.

Choosing system settings for Linux Mint

What can a CDN be used for?

Most people would associate a CDN or Content Delivery Network with serving media files such as images or videos. But a CDN can do much more than that. You can host documents, presentations, etc that you can give away in exchange for email address of the recipient. CDN can be used for hosting scripts (e.g. javascripts specific for your site) or fonts such as google fonts. You can host landing pages (e.g. Brizy cloud) or other related content. In other words, there are plenty of ways in which a CDN can be used.

Many shared hosting providers offer Cloudflare CDN as an add on. The free tier should more than meet the requirements of most persons. However, their paid plans can get pricey beyond a limit.

There are options that range from the really cheap (in price, not in quality!) such as BunnyCDN, going all the way up to enterprise level networks such as Cloudfront and Akamai. For images, there are a few deals going on in the “lifetime” deals space. EWWW is one such deal currently available on Appsumo. Annual plans are offered by most Image-specific CDN providers such as imgix. For video, look no further than Vimeo.

Note: Bunnycdn is awesome for images, scripts, and now video. And …yes there is WordPress plugin for BunnyCDN.

CDN Options I have tried for my WordPress sites

In addition to Cloudflare, here are options we have tried or currently use:

Paid options

Shift8 offer cheap monthly pricing for 1 TB traffic, which should take care of most images and non Hd videos. Else Quic.cloud (Litespeed hosting only), -Both have WordPress plugins if you prefer the convenience of using plugins.

Free option: backblaze b2 + Cloudflare

(read my post for video hosting and delivery by following this link)

Below image is hosted on backblaze B2 and served over Cloudflare

Uploading images on Backblaze b2 bucket
Skies by Amar Vyas

Gumlet + Backblaze b2

If in “aftermarket” you can get 1 code or two for Gumlet… backblaze b2 +gumlet works wonders, no Cloudflare needed (if you are averse to using Cloudflare) -Gumlet has WordPress plugin

Below image is hosted on backblaze b2 and served via Gumlet

Updates to operating system while installing Linux Mint

Selecting Timezone for installing Linux Mint

Rethink/ Publist

In theory, for low traffic sites, you can use any cloud storage such as Dropbox or pCloud (particularly for serving documents or reports, etc.) In this space, I recently found that Publist (or Rethink, original deal from Pitchground) is actually a good CDN though it is cumbersome to configure/ embed codes. But the speeds are great for Audio, video, images. I had written about my experiences with Rethink earlier this year. -They don’t have plugin afaik.

You can also serve video and audio files this way.

CDN for serving Images Only

In addition to EWWW and Imgix, below are some more options:

Shortpixel Adaptive Images (they use Bunnycdn as backend)is a great option. Free tier offers 50 GB of data transfer a month (note: I am NOT a fan of ‘free’ services) -Yes there is wp plugin for Shortpixel Adaptive Images

Optimole, Smush, and a host of other wordpress plugin based services for serving images.

Finally, you can get cheap shared hosting for 4 or 5 dollars/month, with high traffic limits. Then use that as a CDN if all else fails. You can use cName for your own subdomain. For example, the domain a.amarvyas.in is actually a folder located on a shared hosting website.

-No WordPress plugin for this method (that I am aware of). However, Gumlet and Shortpixel can be used to get the desired results.

Wrapping it up

There are plenty of options for CDN for WordPress site. “Which CDN should I choose for my WordPress site” is a common question, but the answer does vary depending not he need, ability and the requirements of the website owner/ administrator. In this post, we saw options that vary from free to freemium to paid, and options that are most suitable for one form (e.g Images) to those that can serve multiple file types such as scripts, fonts, media, documents etc.(e.g. BunnyCDN or Cloudfront)

Also note:
Cloudinary and Droplr are the other two CDN options I have used in the past. Below is an image served from Droplr.

Droplr: Using RClone

Best wishes in picking your poison!

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