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Use a CDN to Instantly Improve Your Website's Performance by 20% or More 

If you have a lot of static content to store and you aren't looking forward to setting up and maintaining your own giganto SAN, maybe you can push off a lot of the hard lifting to a CDN?

Jesse Robbins at O'Reilly Radar posts that you have a lot more options now because the number of Content Distribution Networks have doubled since last year. In fact, Dan Rayburn says there are now 28 CDN providers in the market. Hopefully you can find reasonable pricing at one of them.

Other than easing your burden, why might a CDN work for you? Because it makes your site faster and customers like that. How can a CDN so dramatically improve your site's performance?

Steve Saunders, author of High Performance Web Sites: Essential Knowledge for Front-End Engineers, has using a CDN has one of his "Thirteen Simple Rules for Speeding Up Your Web Site."

About CDNs Steve says:

Remember that 80-90% of the end-user response time is spent downloading all the components in the page: images, stylesheets, scripts, Flash, etc. This is the Performance Golden Rule, as explained in The Importance of Front-End Performance. Rather than starting with the difficult task of redesigning your application architecture, it's better to first disperse your static content. This not only achieves a bigger reduction in response times, but it's easier thanks to content delivery networks.
At Yahoo!, properties that moved static content off their application web servers to a CDN improved end-user response times by 20% or more. Switching to a CDN is a relatively easy code change that will dramatically improve the speed of your web site.

It's at least worth looking into if looking for a performance boost or are concerned about storing so many buckets of bits.

Reader Comments (4)

The Only One Thing what was a bit confusing about CDNs for me is the way how can you measure the distributed trafic. In other words you have to trust your network provider's bills.

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterdH

Between hosting your files on your web server that also handles application logic and using a CDN (which is just a dumb file server, after all), you could go ahead and build your own "CDN" that suits your application. You could do this with a few (or more...) unmanaged cheap dispensable servers and a monitor node that would send clients to other mirrors when one of the mirrors is down.

Of course, implementation details are not easy, but for most applications that do not handle more than 300-500GB of data, this can be easily obtained with $200-per-server hardware and a small excess of brain activity ;-)

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterSorin Mocanu

how can i use a cdn for web sites

November 29, 1990 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I know everybody wants to know how to use CDN on the Websites,in this case you have an easy solutions for Blogs like Wordpress.If you are using Wordpress blog you can use W3 total cache Plugin.
If you want to know the configuration of CDN in Wordpress,even want to know how to create your own CDN,you can find the same in this tutorial...

July 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterArafath

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