In my quest for efficiency I have been experimenting with CDN.
Content Delivery Network promises a lot in return for a simple setup. I decided to give it a try.
I signed up with CloudFlare, as they have a fair reputation and are free. Setuip was simple, as all I had to do was to give them the name of the site. I then pointed the site’s domain at their name-servers and sat back to watch results.
To test the effectiveness, I measured site load speed on three sites and the following are the results I obtained from the three –
|Domain name||Size||Load Time||Average Speed per KB|
|headrambles.com||52.75 KB||0.63 seconds||0.01 seconds|
|apipeandakeyboard.com||57.08 KB||0.58 seconds||0.01 seconds|
|smokingoutthetruth.com||39.77 KB||0.95 seconds||0.02 seconds|
Of the three, this site is the fastest, and it is also the site that is registered with CloudFlare. However as the difference in speed is a matter of a few milliseconds, I doubt if I will bother setting up Smoking or Rambles.
On another note, I have also been playing around with caching. Having tried several caching plugins (one of which caused an almost total failure of the site) I settled back into WP Super Cache. I had heard that it conflicts with my theme, but having tested the site on both browser and mobile phone I could see no problems.
However one thing I did discover is that by playing around with the Advanced settings, I could gain an appreciable increase in speed. Using the default settings, Smoking loaded in around 3.41 seconds. Having tweaked Super Cache, that dropped to the 0.93 seconds as shown in the table above.
Now that is what I call an appreciable return.
the biggest advantage that I've noticed is on websites that use image galleries, where the images are delivered via PHP in case they need resizing, etc.sending the images via CDN instead of directly from the site means you're shaving (as you've spotted) seconds or even tens of seconds off the load time.this has a huge effect when there are /multiple/ sites on the server with the same problem.
That makes sense. After all, images are probably the biggest overhead in a site, so anything which speeds up their load time will have a big impact.
Having been on CloudFlare for a couple of days now, I'm begining to get stats. I now have to work out if their "Threat Control" provides any advantage over a normally hosted site…