Content Delivery Network Tutorial – Boost Site Speed With MaxCDN

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One of the biggest things I find a lot of people overlook is their website speed which is easily fixed with a content delivery network.

We are so focused on creating content, building links & managing social media we often forget about the end user experience.

 Making sure your website loads quickly should be one of your top priorities no matter how much traffic your site gets.
Slow sites are ranked lower in Google, have higher bounce rates and much lower conversion rates making it that much harder to succeed.

One of the easiest ways to improve site speed is with a content delivery network.

Why Is Website Speed Important?

The longer your website takes to load, the more money you are leaving on the table every single day from a number of angles.
One of the biggest impacts website speed has is on conversion. User’s DO NOT like waiting.

Just a 1 second delay in load time can decrease conversions by 7%!

website speed conversion

In my previous website speed case study I calculated that reducing my sites load time from 5 seconds to 2 seconds would result in an extra $29,076 per year profit!

This is for a number of reasons, people like browsing fast sites. We are busy people and every second counts – you are much more likely to spend 10 minutes on a fast site than a slow site.

That means people click more affiliate links, sign up more to your list, tell more people about your site and even stretches to the earning of social signals and backlinks.

On top of that Google have used site speed as part of the ranking algorithm since 2010. As a company they are advocates for speed, they are obsessed with it!

If you have read ‘In The Plex’ you will understand why Google are so obsessed with speed.

However you look at it your websites speed impacts you directly on a number of fronts.

 The good news is, it is very easy to improve!

What Is A Content Delivery Network?

A content delivery network is one of the easiest and quickest ways to speed up your sites load time.

If your website is hosted in America and someone from the UK visits it, the data has to travel thousands of miles before the website can load.

So you need to get the data closer to speed up the load time.

So if that data was mirrored in the UK, then it wouldn’t have to travel anywhere near as far and the site would load much faster.

content delivery network

This is in essence how a content delivery network works. They mirror copies of your website’s files and images on servers all around the world.

So if someone from Australia accesses the site, it gets served from an Australian server. If someone from India accesses the site, it gets served from an Indian server.

If you hit this link you will get a message from your local CDN data centre that stores data from my free SEO tool website.

maxcdn content delivery network tutorial

The beauty of a content delivery network though is that once you have spent 10 minutes setting it up, you can forget about it.

Everything else is automatically taken care of!

And all of the fastest Wordpress hosting providers include CDN’s in their package automatically!

Learn how to start a blog that people notice in 7 days

Who Are MaxCDN?

MaxCDN are one of the largest content delivery network companies in the business.

They can mirror your content in over 90 countries and are the CDN provider I use on this blog and all of my other projects. They deliver my content FAST.
MaxCDN are also the provider of choice for a huge range of websites and services like StumbleUpon, Forbes and many major blogs.

They also make it very easy to integrate with Wordpress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal, Vbulletin & a bunch of other platforms. The MaxCDN wordpress plugin for example takes seconds to install & integrate.

But is MaxCDN worth it? The only way to truly see what they are made of – is it to put them to the test.

MaxCDN Review & Case Study

To see if MaxCDN is actually worth bothering with I setup a case study with a series of tests.

I took 4 URL’s from 2 websites I own on 2 different hosts and measured their site speed without MaxCDN and then with MaxCDN enabled.

These are the pages I tested & why-

  • How To Start A Successful Blog – This page is huge, over 7MB in size and very resource intensive to load.
  • Raven Tools – This page is much smaller but is made up of more text than images.
  • Premium Tutorials – This page very image intensive & key to conversion.
  • Affiliates – A very image intensive page, affiliates won’t promote if its slow.

This blog is hosted on the premium host WPEngine which allows you to enable the CDN with the tick of a box. WPEngine uses MaxCDN as their CDN provider.

RankCracker is hosted on a VPS with GeekStorage and MaxCDN support was enabled through the W3 Total Cache plugin.

The Testing Process

These are the steps I took to conduct the tests for each URL-

  1. Run the page through WebPageTest
  2. Run the page through Pingdom Tools
  3. Record the results
  4. Enable MaxCDN
  5. Run the page through WebPageTest
  6. Run the page through Pingdom Tools
  7. Record the results

This means we are testing 4 URLs, from 2 domains, using 2 different web hosts with 2 different website speed tests.

Content Delivery Network Case Study Results

I have compiled all of the results into an easy to read table!

WebPageTest Pingdom Tools
Page No CDN With CDN Time Saved No CDN With CDN Time Saved
Top 100 26.31s 24.59s -1.72s 6.77s 5.39s -1.38s
Raven 15.42s 11.57s -3.85s 3.39s 2.24s -1.15s
Premium 8.20s 6.13s -2.07s 3.51s 1.38s -2.13s
Affiliate 10.65s 7.18s -3.47s 3.84s 1.67s -2.17s

If numbers aren’t your thing let me make it a bit easier for you to digest.

WebPageTest Pingdom Tools
Page Seconds Quicker % Quicker Seconds Quicker % Quicker
Top 100 1.72s 6.5% 5.39s 20.3%
Raven 3.85s 24.9% 2.24s 33.9%
Premium 2.07s 25.2% 1.38s 60.0%
Affiliate 3.47s 32.5% 1.67s 56.5%

You can verify the results here.

Although both services report different load times MaxCDN provided an average website speed increase of 2.77 seconds with WebPageTest & 2.67 seconds with Pingdom.

Not bad for 10 minutes work which instantly increases conversion rates & bottom line profits.

Update: I have recently tested the new NitroPack CDN service which also optimises your code for perfect Google Pagespeed scores and improve core web vitals.

So, I suggest you take a look at my detailed NitroPack review and case study results to learn more about it.

How To Setup A Content Delivery Network

Setting up the MaxCDN content delivery network for your website is really easy. There are 3 simple steps.

All you need to do is-

  1. Create a MaxCDN account
  2. Create a pull zone
  3. Integrate with your site

Once it is setup your files will automatically be mirrored all over the world.

Creating A MaxCDN Account

Just head over to MaxCDN and sign up for an account.

Accounts get setup instantly and are ready to use within minutes of signing up!

Creating A Pull Zone

Next you need to create a pull zone. This is what is used to ‘pull’ files from your website to ‘push’ them to servers all over the world.

Just login to your MaxCDN account and follow these instructions.

Website Integration

The final step is to integrate MaxCDN and the pull zone with your website.

This is really easy just follow the instructions for your website below-

That is all there is to it!

Wrapping It Up

Setting up a content delivery network is a fantastic way to increase website speed.

It is quick and easy to do and delivers a wide range of benefits including increased user engagement, conversion rates & Google rankings.

Whether your site gets 20 visitors a day or 20,000 a day – setting up a content delivery network like MaxCDN should be a top priority!

And if you really want to speed things up, you might want to consider reading my WP Rocket review which is what I use to drive this site!