HTTP/2 CDN
03 Apr 2015

CDN setup

The question of expediency of CDN management for every concrete website in the concrete moment is a question of business strategy, target market and preparedness. Content delivery setup is undoubtedly a part of an overall website strategy, but it is definitely not a first step to improve the website. The process of CDN setup optimally should start only when all other processes to improve a website done. First of all the company must be sure that website is already attractive for users, pagespeed is maximally improved and that website is mobile friendly. After that, a question of expediency may be raised. Does the further CDN can help the website?  Actually, there are some site features, in which it can be determined whether the site needs CDN. If site have known heavy traffic in different countries (especially on different continents), if site is streaming large video files and consist mainly a large media (like image web sites) – then this website can definitely be improved by a CDN. Conversely, all web sites that have their main traffic in one geographic region (area), and websites of local businesses (like restaurants or beauty parlors) probably won’t change their effectiveness with CDN. Again, if traffic is only in one country it doesn’t mean that it will not need CDN; it depends on geographic spread – if it is a small country, it can go without CDN, but the business in a big country will probably need it.

Although many CDN companies declare that CDN can be set in five minutes, CDN integration should take a while.  Setting up of the CDN is a process, and like the others, it requires a new terminology and knowledge. First step to set up the CDN – is to choose the CDN company service. Some of more known CDN companies are Cloudflare, Fastly, Amazon, CloudFront, MaxCDN, Akamai and Cachefly; but there are plenty of other CDN companies and any of them can be chosen based on price, quality, geographic spread of CDN servers and other reasons. The main steps to set up the CDN are: to sing up for a service, identify files to use, get this files to a CDN server, create a CNAME (how urls will be named), ensure that webpages use CDN files and finally test it.

Mostly, CDN companies offer the same scenario of working – CDN operate with all webpage assets and HTML comes from the website’s webhost. Webpage assets include website’s CSS, images, and javascript files – these are files cause many problems for users that visit the site from far off places. Actually, to locate webpage assets geographically close to end user is the entire point of having a CDN. Getting webpage assets to a CDN server usually have the same mechanism – to load files to one server and automatically replicate them to all target servers by a CDN. Some services have an option of automatic load, some of them do not have and it will take a while to load files.  Because webpage assets change their urls to a large and unattractive while being in CDN, it is better to use CNAME to make urls attractive.  File name changes can be a problem for the SEO, that is why it is better to work with reputable CDNs, which have already found good solutions for any common SEO problem.