Are you looking for a suitable content delivery network for your WordPress website? It is a crucial thing to make your website load faster.
There are several CDN providers out there. However, each of them differs from one another in terms of price, flexibility, and how it works.
What’s best for an eCommerce store may not be the right choice for a personal blog. So, you have to select a CDN based on your website’s requirements.
In this post, we will look at some of the best CDNs available today and compare them. Some of them are enterprise-level, while others are suitable for a wide range of users.
By the end of this list, you will be able to pick the right CDN.
Before that, here is a quick recap about why you should use a CDN.
Also, some providers can act as a full-site reverse proxy, while others don’t have that feature.
What is a CDN & Why Should You Use One?
- Content Delivery Networks have edge servers around the globe.
- It serves your content (primarily static content like images, CSS, JS) from a location closest to your user.
- This approach helps to reduce network latency
- It helps to reduce the effects of a DDoS attack.
- Serving content from a CDN reduces the load on your origin server, which in turn makes websites faster and more reliable.
List of the best CDNs for WordPress
I included BunnyCDN first in this list, as it is the one I use on this website. Here are a few reasons I chose it over others.
- Lowest cost per GB
- 37 data centers across the globe, including in India
- The minimum recharge amount is just $10.
- Faster response times than other similar CDNs.
If you are a blogger on a budget, BunnyCDN definitely won’t break your wallet. For websites with low traffic, you’ll take months to spend the $10 recharge amount.
If you want advanced features like on-the-fly image optimization, BunnyCDN offers it at an extra cost.
However, what it lacks is DNS-level protection or Website Firewall. If it is a must, Cloudflare or Stackpath can be a better option for you.
The main advantage of using Cloudflare is its DNS-level protection, that too for free.
To integrate Cloudflare, you have to change your domain’s nameservers. After that, Cloudflare acts as a shield (reverse proxy) in front of your origin server, in addition to serving static content from edge servers.
They have data centers (PoPs) at over 190 locations. Only Amazon Cloudfront has more PoPs than Cloudflare.
I have a step-by-step guide on how to install Cloudflare on WordPress, check it out.
However, Cloudflare is not a silver bullet to fix all the security and performance issues. It has some disadvantages too.
The main problem is that your website’s availability entirely depends on their systems. I’ve experienced inconsistent speed a few times in the past.
But overall, using Cloudflare will only bring benefits to most websites.
Apart from the free plan, Cloudflare’s paid plans start at $20/mo. It offers more features like Web Application Firewall and image optimization.
Like BunnyCDN, KeyCDN is another provider quite popular among bloggers, although a bit more expensive.
They have 34 PoPs including in India, New Zealand, and Africa, with more coming in the middle east as well.
Another advantage is their Origin Shield mechanism, which can significantly reduce the load on your origin server.
In addition to pull-zones, you can also create storage zones. It is beneficial if you want to offload static content from your origin server.
KeyCDN also gives a 14-day free trial. After that, you have to charge your account with a minimum of $29 to continue using the services.
Also, you can only create three free pull zones. Each additional zone costs an extra $1/mo.
StackPath is another CDN provider that comes with straightforward pricing. The price of their CDN stays flat at $10/mo for up to 1 TB bandwidth. It is in contrast to other CDNs whose prices increase progressively from GBs to TBs.
In addition to these, StackPath also provides the reverse proxy feature. It works similarly to Cloudflare and helps to defend attacks better. However, to get this feature, you have to pay $20/mo.
A problem with StackPath is their slow response times, according to CDNPerf. Also, they don’t have any PoPs in India or Africa.
Do you use the JetPack plugin on your sites?
If yes, then you probably don’t need to look for another CDN. It includes the option to enable content delivery network with a single click.
The feature is available in the free version of JetPack, so you don’t have to pay a penny. In addition to that, JetPack also includes the option to lazy load images, which helps to improve scores in Google PageSpeed Insights.
However, JetPack doesn’t allow you to set up a custom domain for the CDN. That can be a deal-breaker for many people. You can only serve content from the default wp.com sub-domain.
6. Sucuri CDN
Sucuri is primarily a website security provider, which also offers a CDN feature along with it. It works in the same way as Cloudflare by changing your DNS.
Unlike Cloudflare, Sucuri does not have a free plan. The pricing starts at $199.99/yr, which is slightly less expensive than Cloudflare’s Pro plan.
With 12 CDN edge servers around the globe, including each one in Australia and Brazil, Sucuri helps to speed up your website while protecting it from attacks.
Apart from DDoS threats, Sucuri also helps to protect against hacking and malware injection. Their team also offers malware removal service in case your site gets affected.
Moreover, the Sucuri plugin enables deep integration with WordPress. Using this plugin, you can always monitor your site. It has the option to check WordPress file integrity so that you can easily detect any hack attempts.
Overall, Sucuri is a reliable solution. If you can justify the price, it’s a great option.
CDN77 is another content delivery network with a presence in 30+ locations worldwide.
Cache prefetching is one of its notable features. With that, you can cache new content to all edge locations with one click. It can help to reduce cache misses, thereby reducing latency.
CDN77 offers both monthly and yearly pricing plans, the latter being more cost-effective.
8. Amazon Cloudfront
It is an enterprise-level solution with excellent response times and 200 PoPs around the world.
- Spotify, Canon, Intuit, and Slack are some of the big brands that use Cloudfront.
However, setting up Cloudfront to use with WordPress can be a bit intimidating for a beginner. You have to get used to the Amazon AWS dashboard, which includes tons of options and settings that can intimidate an average website owner.
If you are an existing AWS user, Cloudfront is an excellent option as it works well with S3 buckets. You can store static assets on S3 while serving it from Cloudfront.
Fastly is another enterprise-grade CDN used by brands like Lonely Planet, Github, Stripe, and Shopify.
Fastly has over 50 PoPs and supports instant cache purging. According to them, purging takes effect within 150ms.
Price-wise, it is also the most expensive on the list. The minimum price is $50/mo. So, unless you have high traffic that justifies the price, there’s no point in using Fastly.
While there is no doubt about the importance of integrating a CDN, I believe that no single provider is suitable for all websites.
We have seen that some CDNs can work as a reverse proxy, ensuring more security. Cloudflare and Sucuri are examples. On the other hand, BunnyCDN or KeyCDN handle only the file delivery.
If the whole idea about using a content delivery network is new to you, I suggest you try Cloudflare first, as it offers a free plan with the reverse proxy feature. Otherwise, if you need the content delivery feature only (without a reverse proxy), starting with BunnyCDN or KeyCDN are the most economical options.
Note that I haven’t mentioned a few high providers like Akamai or Incapsula, as it is beyond the scope of this blog.