Content Delivery Network (CDN)-Cloud Flare

What is a content delivery network (CDN)?  A CDN is A content delivery network or content distribution network (CDN) is a geographically distributed network of proxy servers and their data centers.  What does that mean?  It means that CDN works along side your website to get the text and images faster to your web visitors / customers.   Instead of your data being spread across the internet with one server (left picture), you now have multiple servers spreading the data in multiple locations (right picture).

Do I need it?

The short answer is yes and no.  What are your business goals?  If you don’t plan on putting any serious effort into your website, then CDN is not for you.  If you plan on your website being an asset to get customers, then yes.  Employing the use of a CDN allows your customer to have the best user experience across all devices. We all would say we want our customers to have the best experience possible.  Google rewards website owners / developers who think like this.  By aiming to give your customer to best possible experience google will give you better search rankings.  A little disclaimer, there many more things that go into search rankings but overall google is after its users (our clients) have the best possible experience.

How do I set up a CDN.

I would first recommend you do some research on CDN’S but they all pretty much do the same thing.

  1.  Pick your CDN.  You can use any CDN, I like to use cloud flare.
  2. Create your free Cloudflare account either through Cpanel or logging into Cloudflare

3.  After the account is created either do a full setup or a partial setup.

4.  What options should you enable?

  • Security Level – Medium
  • Challaenge Passage – 30 minutes
  • Browser Integrity Check – On
  • SSL- If you use SSL ceriticate either use Flexible, Full, or Full Strict
  • Auto minify – You can enable these options but be aware they may break your website.  I don’t have them enabled because I am using software that does it for me.
  • Development Mode – If you are working on your site and want to see the changes instantly turn development mode on or purge the cache.
  • Browser cache expiration – Leave at 4 hours.

What will cloud flare do for you

Cloud flare has many cool features to help your website with performance improvements, security hardening and saving you money.  Take a look at the amount of bandwidth your site will save on.  Before you say, “I get unlimited bandwidth from my web hosting company.”  You DON”T get unlimited bandwidth.  Most companies will say you get unlimited bandwidth up to a certain amount bandwidth.  Any performance driven web hosting companies will alway monitor you bandwidth.  Here is some bandwidth and security screenshots.

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