How to Choose the Right CDN Hosting for Your WordPress Site
When it comes to content delivery networks, or CDNs, there are a lot of options to choose from. What is important though, is that you pick a reputable company that offers a quality product and transparent pricing. In this article, we will discuss how to choose the right CDN host for your WordPress site.
Free Versus Paid
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing an Internet host is whether you want to go with a free or paid service. You’ll need to make a decision here because although the two options are similar, they are not exactly the same. Generally speaking, if you are looking for a free service then you’ll likely be satisfied with the results. However, if you want to take your site’s performance to the next level then you might want to consider paying for a premium plan. We’ll talk more about price below.
When choosing a CDN host, you’ll also want to make sure that they offer the functionality that you need. The more features that they offer, the more tailored your experience can be. Some of the most popular CDN hosts offer features such as free domain privacy, free backups, free SSLs, and free domain forwarding. To learn more, check out this detailed list of the features available on the most popular CDN hosts.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a CDN host is how much bandwidth your website consumes. Nowadays, web hosts often bill you by the GB (gigabyte) so it’s essential that you know how much data you are using. These days, a GB is equal to about 250 MB (megabytes) so if your site uses a lot of data then you might have to upgrade your hosting plan. Luckily, most web hosts offer a free version with limited bandwidth resources so you might not have to pay a cent.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a CDN host is speed. Just like with any other aspect of website performance, your speed directly impacts the user experience. The faster your site loads, the better because users will have a more positive experience navigating your website. In case you are curious, here are some of the tools that you can use to test the speed of your site.
When choosing a CDN host, you’ll also want to make sure that they offer a fast speed. The best way to find out how fast a particular host is is through speed tests. For example, if you want to test the speed of Bluehost, you can use this resource to compare it to other top-notch hosts.
When choosing a CDN host, you’ll also want to make sure that they offer a high uptime. This is exactly what it says on the tin: the longer that your site is up, the better because users will have the opportunity to reach your content when they want. Since uptime is so important, make sure that the host that you choose has a good track record with respect to uptime guarantees. You’ll also want to consider paying for a gold plan if they offer this feature because this will most likely result in increased uptime. Let’s not forget about the importance of backups either; if your host doesn’t offer this feature, then you’ll need to look for another host that does offer backups because you can’t risk losing your site’s content even for a minute. It’s vital that you back up your site automatically so if anything happens then you’ll be able to continue operating without any worries.
If you are starting a new site or expanding an existing one, you’ll want to choose a web host that is highly scalable. This basically means that the host has the ability to easily add more servers so that your site can handle a significant amount of traffic. These days, all web hosts offer some form of scalability because it is so popular among users who want to grow their sites quickly. If you are looking for a free service then make sure that they have this feature because it will most likely result in a substantially more satisfying experience when dealing with traffic spikes. Not all free hosts are created equal though and some of them choke when it comes to handling huge amounts of traffic so be sure to research this before making a decision.
Like any other aspect of website performance, security is also important. When choosing a CDN host, you’ll want to make sure that they offer a secure and reliable platform. If you are dealing with sensitive information (e.g., credit cards) then make sure that the host is PCI compliant which stands for Payment Card Industry Security Standards. PCI compliance is a must in this day and age since it ensures that your credit card data is safe and secure when processed on the web host’s platform. The PCI compliance checklist that you’ll want to look out for is the encrypting of data at rest and in transit, the storing of encryption keys in a secure manner, and the restricting of access to personally identifiable information. To learn more, check out this valuable resource from the PCI Security Council.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a CDN host is reliability. This basically means that you are selecting a service provider whose infrastructure is built on solid ground and will not break down frequently. The better the reliability of the host, the better because down time is frustrating for users and can result in lost revenue. If you are looking for a free service then make sure that they have a good track record with respect to reliability because this will most likely result in a substantially more satisfying experience when dealing with downtimes. Not all free hosts are created equal though and some of them are complete trash when it comes to reliability so be sure to research this before making a decision.
When choosing a CDN host, you’ll also want to make sure that they offer a good support system. This is especially important if you need help with setting up your site or with fixing a technical issue. Most web hosts offer a live chat service as well as email support so you can contact them whenever you want. In case you want to test the quality of their support, you can also look for reviews on sites like reviews.com or yelp.com because they will be able to provide you with a more objective opinion than just from your personal experience. Just remember that sometimes it’s easier to resolve an issue yourself instead of paying for expensive services. If you are feeling creative, you can even try and fix the issue yourself instead of depending on others to do it for you. Sometimes this can be a fun learning experience and you might even end up being able to solve complex problems while gaining valuable experience.
Choosing a CDN host is probably one of the most important decisions that you’ll make when building a new site or expanding an existing one. In order to ensure that you make the right choice, make sure that you educate yourself about all the aspects that are important to you. In case you are looking for a free service then make sure that they have a good reputation with respect to quality and support because this will most likely result in a substantially more satisfying experience when dealing with traffic spikes and downtimes. Just keep in mind that for the best user experience, you’ll want to go with a paid service.