The loading time of your page has a vital role in your website’s user experience. And it can be one of the major contributing factors to page abandonment by your visitors. That's why so many people use free CDNs to boost their WordPress speed.
According to a survey, 40% abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Even worse, 79% of web shoppers say that they won’t return to a website to buy again if they found any trouble with the performance of the website.
Undoubtedly, boosting your website speed is critical to the success of your online business. This is where a free CDN for WordPress can make a huge difference.
What is CDN and how can it boost your WordPress website speed?
A CDN (Content Delivery Network) is a network of multiple servers that are distributed at different locations throughout the world. It caches all the static content and files of your site and deliver it to your website visitor based on the geographic locations of the user through a server that is closest to them.
Below image can help you understand how a CDN works and how it can boost the speed of your WordPress website.
Best of all, using a CDN service for your website not only boost the speed of your WordPress website but also save bandwidth costs from your hosting provider. Moreover, having a faster website can improve your search engine rankings as well. Now, the thing is this, a lot of CDNs cost quite a lot, so if you can find a free CDN for WordPress, it's of course so much the better because you can boost your site speed until you can afford to pay for a better CDN WordPress service.
Want a really really fast website? Try MaxCDN
DART Creations has been seeing surges of traffic for a while now. The only way to keep up with demand and still have a fast website was by implementing one of the best CDNs around - MaxCDN. We are powered by MaxCDN because we really really care about our site. Rather than go for a free CDN, we prefer to just pay $9/month and put our mind completely at rest. We've got a blazing fast site and are covered by excellent support too, so we're more than happy with MaxCDN ;-)
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Implementing a free CDN WordPress service on your website
For most WordPress websites, CDNs are easy to implement.
All you need to do is tell the CDN which files it needs to be mirrored, configure your site so it can send requests to the CDN for handling the files. You may also need to modify DNS records and change the name servers as well.
Additionally if you want a free CDN for WordPress websites, you may need to install plugins to ensure your WordPress blog is running optimally on the CDN platform.
Now let’s look at various free WordPress CDN services that you can opt for. Most of these free CDN providers allow you to upgrade to a paid service if you outgrow your free plan which is great because it allows you to start slowly whilst you build your traffic.
CloudFlare is one of the most popular free CDN services. They claim that they are serving 2,000,000 web properties to make it faster and safer. They offer a free subscription with maximum upload size up to 100 MB. To get more features like mobile optimization and firewall protection, you can upgrade your account at any time.
Once you sign up and have configured your site, make sure you install the CloudFlare WordPress plugin for optimal service.
If you're looking to implement HTTPs on your WordPress site we can show you how. If you are planning to use CloudFlare's flexible SSL on WordPress, this is how to do it.
Incapsula is yet another CDN network used by thousands of websites around the world. Apart from CDN & optimizer, its free plan offers useful features like bot protection and IPV6 support.
While CloudFlare’s free plan offers SSL encryption, Incapsula offers it under a paid plan only.
During the setup process, you can install the Incapsula WordPress plugin here, to enable the free CDN.
For a self-hosted WordPress user, Jetpack plugin needs no introduction. It is an all-in-one plugin that provides many wide varieties of functionalities. With their Photon CDN module, it now gives your site a boost by loading images from the WordPress.com content delivery network.
Unlike the other free CDN services, Photon is specifically for images and it will be useful for websites especially those who use lots of images on their WordPress website. So if you're looking for a free CDN for WordPress images on your website, your search is over.
Here’s how to use Photon module on your WordPress website.
At first, download the Jetpack plugin and install it.
Go to the Jetpack page in your WordPress dashboard and click Activate button for Photon. That’s it- you’re done!
Coral CDN is an MIT project, developed by Michael Freedman based on peer-to-peer technology. The service is absolutely free because it relies on billions of connected computers around the world since it is based on P2P network.
Swarmify can be used as an add-on to distribute/cache image and video files of your website and not any other web page file such as CSS or HTML. If you are currently using any CDN, you can still use Swarmify as an add-on to offload your bandwidth intensive media files.
It can be considered as an alternative to Photon module of Jetpack plugin. The difference is that Swarmify can cache video files as well.
For easy configuration to this free CDN for WordPress, you can use the Swarmify plugin.
7. Free cloud storage services
Using free cloud storage services to host your downloadable file on your website is one of the best ways to save your server bandwidth. You just need to upload the downloadable files to your cloud storage, make it public and share the download link on your website.
Below are some of the most popular cloud storage solutions.
Free CDN trial services
So far we’ve seen CDN services that are absolutely free to use. Now let’s look at a few CDN services, which offer a free trial for a limited time.
Please note that the goal of using trial period is to gather real experience in using the CDN and to decide if the service is best suited to your needs.
HighWinds is one of the most popular CDN services for WordPress. The pricing starts at as low as $9/month. They offer a free trial upon request. You can fill out the form here to get a free CDN trial.
Internap offers 30 days free trial. Their CDN services also include many useful features. Some of them are:
- Audience analytics to understand audience behavior and demographics.
- Video streaming and encoding to encode your video for on-demand and live streaming.
- Live event broadcasting to share your videos and stream live events.
MetaCDN offers 7 day free trial. Some of its features are:
- Detailed analytics: Similar to Internap, MetaCDN also offers detailed usage and performance reporting.
- MultiCDN: When your visitor tries to access your websites, CDN is selected based on which one will be fastest for them. If there are multiple providers in one region, they’ll serve content from the fastest one.
Premium CDN Services
What WordPress CDN do you use?
Are you using any other free CDNs that are not mentioned here? Feel free to list it down in the comments section below. Do you believe one of the above is the best free CDN or are there any other free CDN providers which you are able to recommend? We'd be happy to take your suggetions!