How a CDN benefits WordPress loading speed
A Content Delivery Network (CDN) is usually a number of geographically dispersed webservers. Your static website content is housed on these numerous servers. When a visitor to your website requests loads a page a quick calculation is made by the CDN and content is delivered from the server that is able to deliver the page to the visitor in the fastest time. It so happens that the server closest to the visitor is usually the server to deliver the content to the visitor.
A CDN is separate from your Webhost; you still need a webhost to serve your website but your webhost, when using a CDN, will usually deliver most of your content to the CDN which, in turn, delivers content to your website visitors. The benefits for your webserver is that, because content is stored for a short time, and delivered from the CDN, not as many resources are needed from your webhost (which means that you don’t need as powerful a webhost as you may need without a CDN … which means least cost for you).
Of course, because most content is being delivered to your website visitors from the CDN, the location of your Webserver is far less important therefore a cheaper location of a webserver may be selected (hosting in Australia is notoriously expensive)
Which is the best CDN for WordPress?
There are numerous good CDNs out there that work very well with WordPress. Most of my clients use Amazon Web Services (AWS) CloudFront or CloudFlare. I’ve also used the Google PageSpeed Service quite a bit. All three of the aforementioned providers have servers in Australia so Australian visitors will get content delivered from an Australian server (no matter where your webhost is located).
My recommendation is to go with CloudFlare or AWS CloudFront.
Should you use AWS CloudFronts or AWS S3?
A use-case of this scenario is the model we use for our WordPress Tips website; we host the WordPress website with Site5 shared hosting in the U.S.A. and static content is stored on, and delivered from, an AWS S3 ‘bucket’ in Singapore. The reason we chose to use S3 rather than a CloudFront or CloudFlare (or MaxCDN or any other CDN) is that 90% of visitors to that website are from Oceania and Asia therefore serving content from Singapore realised the lowest cost whilst giving significant speed benefits to the geographic region of most of our website visitors (Using S3 in Singapore is cheaper than S3 in Australia and using S3 rather than CloudFront is about 75% cheaper).
If you’d like to have the benefits of using a CDN or AWS S3 with your WordPress website then contact us.