How To Get Free CDN To Speed Up Your Blog

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How to get free CDN service for your blog. Choices of totally free CDN service to use. What is CDN and why do you need it?

free cdnCDN stand for Content Delivery Network. What CDN does is to deliver content (partial or all, depends on the service) of your website from their server instead of direct from your web hosting server. This will make your site loading faster because the content is deliver from a server closer to the visitor. If your blog is hosted in US then your blog will load faster for the visitor from South East Asia if the content is deliver from a server in South East Asia instead of from your blog hosting server in US. Basically, CDN make your blog load faster for international visitors from every corner of the world. With CDN you will have many mirrors of you blog all over in a global network.

Do you need it? Yes. If your blog is for international audience, consider CDN as a must. Now, if your blog is for local audience, say if your blog hosted in Malaysia and your target audience is also from Malaysia, well, maybe you don’t need CDN. Still you want to consider CDN because CDN may have other features that could make your blog load faster and safer such as caching, minifying, hotlinking guard, parallel request,  and security.

You might not realize that you may already using certain type of CDN in a minor scale. For example if you installed certain bookmarklet service such as from addthis.com or sharethis.com, the files (script and images) already deliver from global CDNs instead of directly from their server.

Here is the list of free CDN you can choose:

Free CoralCDN

free coral cdnCoral CDN uses peer to peer distribution network. Get the info at: Free CoralCDN. This is a unique way of delivering your site. You just append nyud.net at the end of your website url and your website content will be delivered from their network cache. Try it now, type in your blog url to internet browser but add nyud.net at the end of the url. For example, this blog url is http://www.blogging4ever.com, by entering http://www.blogging4ever.com.nyud.net this blog will be delivered from one of Coral CDN network.

To use CoralCDN  for good you need to configure the  DNS server to point to CoralCDN.  It hardly explained on the CoralCDN website on how to do that. It easier to just point your CSS, JavaScript and images to CoralCDN.  There are wordpress plugin to do the job. You  can set up your blog to use Coral CDN easily by installing a word press plugin at CoralCDN WordPress Plugin or at Coralize plugin

The first WordPress plugin last update was 25/12/2009 although it says it compatible with wordpress 3.1.3. The second plugin is older. That’s the reason I don’t really recommend this but I love the peer to peer  distribution method, let’s watch how it develop. It’s suprisingly fast!

Free Cloudflare CDN

I definitely suggest Clouflare for your Free CDN need. Not only it is easier to set up, Cloudflare has some awesomecloudflare free cdn features that are even more than some paid CDN providers provide. Some of extra features are the security and the statistics (superb!). I could write another article on Cloudflare alone but I suggest you pay them visit. Well documented.

How to set up Cloudflare? The configuration page is very user friendly, I think you can do it within minutes. The only thing that might slightly difficult for newbie is that you need to change your current webhosting DNS server to point to the one provided by Cloudflare, this is fully explained on the website.  From my experience it take less than 12 hrs for your website to fully deliver from Cloudflare after the set up completed. (tips – suggest you set the security to ‘false’ first and try other setting after every thing works okay, probably “security too tight ” –  a very common issue with Cloudflare could arise).

Using Dropbox network

free cdn with dropbox

You can use public Dropbox (a cloud based file sharing/storage) network via a WordPress plugin. Get the plugin for WordPress to set up with Dropbox at Dropbox WordPress Plugin.  The plugin allows you to upload your themes CSS, JavaScript, and Images into your Dropbox ‘public’ folder and serve these files from the Dropbox network. Be prepare to get your hand dirty with a little coding.

Dropbox itself  is awesome cloud file sharing/storage tools, using it for content delivery is quite a nice hack. Check it out.

Using Google network

This is a D-I-Y method which you use Google Apps to make your own CDN. Well, this look like a metaphysic science to me. A lot of work to do compare with other method. Yes, get your hands dirty with some coding. You need to download developer files first to create the apps. For those (geeky you) want to try this, you can read the tutorial at 24ways.org or or at digitalistic.com

FreeCast (multimedia – audio video streaming)

free freecastBroadcast your audio video stream with this P2P network. Interesting, you can broadcast from your PC easily by installing the FreeCast software. This is a specialized Content Delivery Network solution, hit on to FreeCast Broadcaster for the info.

Speedy mirror (free for the first 50 gb)

speedymirror free cdnEasy to install and with easy to follow instruction. You can choose using sub-domain method and/or change the DNS server setting (similar to Cloudflare).  SpeedyMirror is free only for first 50 Gig.  This made Speedymirror the first CDN provider you might want to use first before making full commitment.  That will give a good estimation of how much monthly data your website need. See how long 50 GB data will last for your blog. 50 GB is a lot of data, maybe good enough for many months (depends on website traffic and contents). You can purchase additional bandwidth after 50 GB has used up.

Update Sept 2012 – Speedymirrorwebsite not available anymore.

Exabytes Free Lifetime CDN

exbytes free cdnThis is a great free CDN limited offer you don’t want to miss. Free Lifetime 25 Gig monthly Free CDN. Really? Yes! If your blog uses not more than 25 Gig per month then you don’t need to pay a single  cent. You need to pay only if you use more than 25 Gig. Easy to configure with a lot of features too. If you have a website or blog with NOT super-duper on traffic just like mine, good chance 25 Gig is more than enough for you. Dude, hurry up for this. The offer will not last 4ever. Run, don’t crawl. Rush to exabytes and use this coupon code : FREECDN for the life-time free monthly 25 Gig.

Update 09/2012 The Free CDN is not available anymore.

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There is a so-called D-I-Y CDN creation method  which involves creating a sub domain and then put the JavaScript, images, css files etc to the sub domain so those files will be delivered from the subdomain. The idea for this technique is to create parallel downloading when requested by internet browser to make the website loading faster. Well, although it is a Content Delivery too but it’s hardly Networked because there is no network of global server involved at all.

Oh, I could write longer on this CDN stuffs but this article has become lengthy that it’s better for me to bore you with another  post on CDN next time .

I hope you will find the right one for you (I mean the CDN not your sweetheart!). Well, sleep sounder now, knowing that your blogs will be loading faster for your  lovely visitors from all corners of  the earth.

Note: After CDN installation, you might feel like there’s no difference in the loading speed. No need to be peculiar. Actually, that’s for your own visit, probably your web hosting  server already close to you in the first place, but the visitor from other location should feel a very big difference. If you stay on the North Pole you might want to ask your friend on the South Pole about that.

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