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How much do CDNs really help?
04-15-2011, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 04-15-2011 07:16 AM by jesper_mortensen.)
Post: #8
RE: How much do CDNs really help?
First off, a quick comment for future visitors of this thread: CloudFlare isn't a traditional CDN, and doesn't quite do / doesn't only do what a CDN does -- CloudFlare is more like a layer of proxy servers added on top of shared hosting AFAIK.

(04-06-2011 12:06 PM)ckelly06 Wrote:  How much do you really think I'm going to lose by not using a CDN? My site isn't making money yet so I really don't want to pay for a CDN at this point, and obviously CloudFlare isn't working out.

How much a real CDN will gain you will depend entirely on the complexity of your pages. At one extreme, if your page is 1 HTML file, 1 CSS file, and 1 image for the logo, all less than say 50 kb, then your page will load pretty fast from anywhere even without a CDN.

If on the other hand your page has 50 static CSS + JS + SWF + IMG files in it, and weighs in above 500 kb, then a CDN will make a large difference, especially for those users who are "far" away from your server in terms of latency.

Use webpagetest.org to test the impact of having a CDN, by testing with and without CDN. Just remember to:
  • Make 3-4 test runs (to warm up the caches on the CDN)
  • To test a best-case scenario (user who is close to your server, i.e. same city)
  • and to test a worst-case scenario, i.e. a end user who is on the opposite side of the planet relative to where your server is.
Then consider where your users are, and then you have the data to decide if a CDN is worth it for you or not. Smile
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Messages In This Thread
How much do CDNs really help? - ckelly06 - 04-06-2011, 12:06 PM
RE: How much do CDNs really help? - Marvin - 04-11-2011, 08:43 AM
RE: How much do CDNs really help? - jesper_mortensen - 04-15-2011 07:11 AM

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