Wordpress/Free CDN

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QUESTION: I have a small Wordpress website. Everything I read keeps recommending that I should use a CDN to speed up my website. But they're all so expensive. Are there any good free ones?

ANSWER: The benefits of using a CDN on a small website are debatable. If you aren't already using a caching plugin your WordPress website, then you should definitely look into Quick Cache. This plugin will cache your website's files so that they load much faster.

If you want to try a CDN, you can get a free one at www.cloudflare.com. I use cloudflare on some of my websites. You will need to redirect your domain's DNS records to point to cloudflare's servers (they'll walk you through the process), and everything will flow through them instead of directly from your server. This will reduce the amount of bandwidth you will use on your server, and secure your website a little more than before. However, you should test your website before and after using both Quick Cache and Cloudflare to see if it's actually helping the performance of your website. You can test the speed of your website at http://tools.pingdom.com.

Sometimes with smaller websites, activating Cloudflare or even Quick Cache can make a website slower! But usually it works nicely. Just make sure to test and retest to see your performance results.

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QUESTION: I'm currently using Super Cache. Is there any reason why you would recommend Quick Cache over Super Cache?

Answer
Super Cache is also a great Wordpress Plugin. If you're happy with it, then there's no reason to change. I usually recommend the Quick Cache Plugin because it's easier to configure, and I believe that it's lighter weight than Super Cache. If you are serious about making your website faster, try using each individually and compare your website speed at tools.pingdom.com. See which one is faster for you.

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Chris Gagner

Expertise

Almost anything about Wordpress. -Getting Started -Finding the right themes & plugins -Search Engine Optimization -Editing CSS, HTML,& PHP -Security & Backups -Finding a good web host Note: I currently only answer questions about single user Wordpress. I don't answer questions about Multi-User.

Experience

I've built several personal and business websites with Wordpress, as well as a few others for colleges. In my opinion, it's one of the most powerful ways to make any website (not just blogs)! I've downloaded and used over 400 plugins, and read about many others. I always download free themes for my websites, then heavily customize the CSS and PHP until it looks unique. Over the years I've become an expert in Wordpress because that is all I've ever used to create my websites.

Education/Credentials
Personal experience using Wordpress since 2007.

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