If you’re finding that your website is slowing down through regular visitors and your budget doesn’t stretch to a faster server, the answer might be a content delivery network. Such a service will host your media files, reducing your site’s bandwidth and server load, hopefully resulting in improved overall speed and uptime.
There are many CDN services available, each offering a good selection of features, so what makes KeyCDN special?
Features You Can Expect With KeyCDN
KeyCDN can be looked upon as the next generation of content delivery networks, offering high performance, better value for money, a global network of infrastructure designed to accelerate content delivery and solid security features.
Probably the most important feature of KeyCDN is how you can designate content into “zones”.
Zones can be used in two ways: using the Push feature, you upload media content via an FTP account, making it available for your website to display. With Pull, KeyCDN will grab the content from your site, and individual files can be purged, headers overridden and cookies stripped.
Data Centers are situated globally, with seven “Points of Presence” in North America, seven in Europe and four across Asia and Australia at the time of writing with a further eight planned around the world. These sites have been chosen to reduce latency, ensuring visitors to your website get the content they’re expecting delivered before they realise it. If you need scalability, availability and speed then KeyCDN should be on your list of content delivery networks to assess. With support for video hosting, media streaming (Video on Demand support for FLV, MP4, .ismv and .isma as well as MP3, Live Streaming based on RTMP, RTMPT and RTSP) as well as games and software distribution, trialling the service is recommended.
Finally, KeyCDN offers a selection of security features, with Secure Token links providing content only to visitors with a valid link, Shared SSL which is available free and a Custom SSL service that can be created based on your requirements.
Price-wise, KeyCDN charges by the gigabyte with the first 10TB costing just 4 cents. The tariff decreases as the usage increases for users in North America and Europe, although those in Asia, Australia and New Zealand are locked to a flat 4 cents.
Getting Started With KeyCDN
To begin, you’ll need to set up an account. This activates a 30-day trial mode offering 25 gigabytes of free traffic.
In the KeyCDN console, you’ll gain access to various tools such as accounts settings, reporting and information about your zones (more on those below). Reporting is particularly useful as it displays the traffic and storage volumes in use by your website.
If you’re opting to use KeyCDN beyond the trial period, the Payment screen will handle any credit purchases you want to make. Payment is by PayPal or credit card, and extra credits can be gained via the affiliate program, into which you’re immediately signed up. KeyCDN provides you with a link that you can share, giving you $1 for every signup and 50% of the first two payments of any customer you acquire for the service.
Most of the time you’ll probably use the Overview screen, which provides a digestible summary of everything you’re doing with KeyCDN.
Integrating KeyCDN With Your Website
Once you’re signed up, you’ll need to integrate KeyCDN with your website.
Push Zones and Pull Zones
To start, you’ll need to determine whether you want a Push or a Pull zone for your site. In the Dashboard, click Zones, add the Zone Name, Zone Status and specify the Zone Type.
If you’re using Push Zones, you’re done. Just click Save to proceed, then use ftp.keycdn.com to begin uploading the data you wish KeyCDN to deliver.
For Pull Zones, you’ll just need to enter the URL of your website. This tells KeyCDN where to grab, or pull, your static content from.
Both zones have a set of Advanced options that can be configured as per your preference, covering things such as CORS, SPDY, SSL, cookies, etc. You should use the same screen to create VOD and Live zones, intended for streaming media content to your readers.
Integrating With WordPress
To use KeyCDN with your WordPress site, you’ll need to have WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache installed.
With WP Super Cache, open the WordPress dashboard, open Settings > WP Super Cache and find the CDN tab. Check Enable CDN Support and in the Off-site URL field input your KeyCDN Zone URL. If shared and custom SSL are disabled in your zone settings (these are found in the Advanced tab) then ensure the Skip https URLs to avoid mixed content errors option is checked, and click Save Changes to finish.
W3 Total Cache users should go to the Performance tab, then to General Settings > CDN. Check Enable, then select Generic Mirror in the CDN Type drop-down menu. Click Save all settings. Next, click CDN in the horizontal menu, scroll down to Configuration and enter the zone URL in the Replace site’s hostname with field. Click Save all settings, and then switch back to General Settings and click Deploy, followed by Save all settings.
Integrating With Other Sites
Integration with WordPress is the easy option. To integrate KeyCDN with your non-WordPress site, you’ll need to set up a method of switching the URL of non-HTML content to point to the KeyCDN Zone URL.
Confirming KeyCDN Integration
To ensure that your site is successfully integrated with KeyCDN, you will need to view your website in the browser and check the source (right-click > View Page Source) to confirm that the Zone URL is being used for your CSS and media files.
KeyCDN: The Content Delivery Network You Need To Switch To
With an impressive set of features, media streaming and VOD support, not to mention the ability to distribute software and online games, KeyCDN is among the most scalable services we’ve seen. Suitable for websites as small or as large as you can imagine, with low cost and an easy integration whether you’re using a custom built website or a WordPress-based one, there’s only one thing left to say: it’s time to find out for yourself if KeyCDN is the content delivery solution for you.
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