Ultimate SEO is all for trying things and testing out options. While we’ve used JetPack we’ve settled on Cloudflare over a year ago as our preferred CDN provider. Ultimate SEO is a Cloudflare Certified Partner and we offer SEO Hosting packages through our Ultimate SEO Network which uses https://ultimateseo.net for all infrastructure.
Building a custom CDN though we registered UltimateCDN.com which we’ll use in this experiment.
Speed And Mobile Search Results
In previous articles we’ve discussed the importance of speed. Two client articles addressed this: Sex, Speed And The SEO Migration of Romantic Depot to WordPress and Optimizing For Site Speed: Page Load To SEO Cloud Server Infrastructure.
We have also shown how less established, less well known, less trusted sites can out rank household brands by just being faster in Can Page Speed Alone Make A Difference In Google Ranking? Yes, it even beats Domain Authority.
With mobile searches number now over 50% of all searches speed is a premium means to rank up among content. Every time this site loads in the 2 second range we gain momentum and every time I find myself dropping in the rankings I realize I forgot to turn on our CDN.
Content Delivery Networks Deliver Content From Edge Servers
A CDN is a Content Delivery Network. Essentially your load balancing on a global scale, this isnt new but its new to non-multibillion dollar companies. Literally all across the world you’d need data centers all caching the content served by your webserver and providing it to visitors closer to them than to your webserver.
Bring the data closer to the user and spreading out the load delivers a smoother web experience. It looks like this graphic.
Each server has the same content on it, all served from the one server that hosts the content usually. To build an effective global network though is expensive, unless you rent space on someone elses. Thats where CDN providers come in and provide services to sites too small to build their own network.
Free Options: JetPack CDN and Cloudflare CDN – I hate one love the other
Jetpack is a free CDN that operates a plugin on WordPress … I HATE it …. everytime I use it, the rewrites of all my images get messed up and I effectively loss all graphics on a site. You still see from time to time references in articles where the image doesnt display. 9 times out of 10 its trying to still use JetPack. I’ve search and replaced in the WordPress database but still somehow the referrences remain and the images don’t work anymore. I never use Jetpack.
Cloudflare provides a free tier that speeds up your site but these only cache a limited amount of the site. To my knowledge images and html are not cached making the free CDN option only a half win. The paid plan does offer better CDN options and they’re still next to nothing in cost at $20/month.
Using DigitalOcean Spaces To Build Custom CDN
As you may recall in Technical SEO: Digital Ocean vs Google Cloud vs AWS DigitalOcean came out the cheapest and best in performance testing. They have their “Spaces” S3 compatible storage solution thats object oriented … great for static content.
This naturally creates an opportunity to scale out a CDN and DigitalOcean offers free Domain Name Service so picking them as the DNS easily allows a custom subdomain to take root for a CDN on their Spaces. network.ultimatecdn.com is an example now.
I’ll continue to develop this resource and test its performance, updating here with more data soon.