In my last post, I told you guys that the next step in my quest for faster page load times was to start using a content delivery network (CDN).
So that is what I did.
So now when a visitor comes to your site, they will download your site’s content from a server that is closest to them (as opposed to from where your web host’s servers are). This means all your visitors will see consistently fast page load speeds, no matter where they are coming from.
There are several different CDNs to choose from, but after some research, I decided to go with MaxCDN. It seemed to be the most popular one amongst bloggers and it’s being used by a lot of well known sites like StumbleUpon, Yoast, and CSS-Tricks.
This post isn’t meant to be a full review of MaxCDN since I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks so far. I’ll save that for a future article.
Instead I wanted to publish a quick tutorial on how to quickly get up and running with MaxCDN by integrating it with W3 Total Cache.
Step 1 – Install W3 Total Cache
W3 Total Cache is the most popular WordPress caching plugin. It’s a must install, even if you aren’t going to be using a CDN with it.
You can find instructions for optimally setting it up in my post here.
Step 2 – Setup MaxCDN
I’m going to assume you already have subscribed to a MaxCDN plan already. So the first thing you need to do is create a pull zone.
Sounds complicated, right? What is with all this technical mumbo-jumbo?
On the next page, click on the Create Pull Zone Button.
Then you need to enter in the following info.
- Pull Zone Name – You can give your pull zone any name you want. This is just a way to identify it from your Dashboard.
- Origin Server URL – Here’s where you put your website url. Make sure to include the http://
- Label – A short description of your pull zone.
Once you hit the Create button, it should take less than a minute to get your newly created pull zone up and running.
Step 3 – Configure W3 Total Cache to work with MaxCDN
The next step is to go back to your website and configure W3 Total Cache to use your new pull zone.
In your WordPress admin page, go to Performance > General Settings.
Scroll down to the CDN section and check the box to enable CDN, make sure that MaxCDN is selected from the CDN type dropdown and save your settings.
Then go to Performance > CDN and scroll down to the Configuration section of the page.
First, click on the blue Authorize button which take you to a MaxCDN page where it will display your authorization key. Copy this string and paste it back into the Authorization key field in W3 Total Cache and hit the validate button.
Finally click on the Test MaxCDN button and if you did everything correctly, you should see a Test Passed message. Remember to press the Save All Settings button and you should be good to go!
As you can see in this short tutorial, it is pretty simple to integrate MaxCDN with W3 Total Cache. You can finish this whole process in less than 10 minutes of work.
If you haven’t signed up for MaxCDN yet, but you want to do so, make sure to use the MaxCDN coupon code checkout25 to save 25% on your order.
Have you considered using a content delivery network to help you speed up your site? Let us know in the comments.