A Cheap Content Delivery Network with a Wealth of Features – MaxCDN Review
Today’s web users expect a rich multimedia experience when they’re browsing the web. High-resolution photographs, animated graphics, videos. sound, user posts and other interactive features are practically essential for the modern website.
But as we know, every new element on a page increases its load time ever so slightly – and those load times are amplified by every new user that clicks onto your site and adds to your current site traffic.
And what if those users are accessing your site from another country? The further the distance from a user to your server location, the longer that user is going to have to wait for your page to load.
And what if they’re using a mobile device to access your site? They’re either using public wifi (along with everyone else in the coffee shop) or a 4G/3G connection, which means that loading time will drag on even longer…
Studies have shown that the average internet user won’t wait more than three seconds for a site to load before they leave and look elsewhere. Of course, the average user also has no way of seeing how many other people are trying to access your site at the same time as them, so you’ll have to forgive them for their apparent impatience. How do you provide great media content without harming your loading times (and by extension, your conversions)?
Content delivery networks aim to solve the problem by hosting your content files on many different servers distributed in strategic locations around the world. Everyone who visits your site will be delivered your content assets from the nearest server to their location, minimising the time they’ll have to wait for your site to appear.
Since each geographical group of visitors has their own content server, the strain of higher traffic on your overall site will also be reduced significantly – and if your site is targeted by a Distributed Denial of Service attack, the damage will be minimised.
MaxCDN – Content Delivery with a Wealth of Features
I’ve been using MaxCDN, one of the most popular content delivery networks on the market. MaxCDN helps you offer lightning fast performance for your site’s visitors, no matter where they’re visiting from or what kind of device they’re browsing on.
It boasts ‘FastStack’ TCP stacks powered by 100% solid state drives, direct reach into more than 90 different countries, intelligent routing and clever monitoring & analysis of latency and data packet loss – all designed to keep your site running silky-smooth at all times. It also offers integration with Sucuri’s CloudProxy to keep your site safe from a wide range of security threats.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the features than a MaxCDN subscription includes.
- Realtime cache purging – ensure your users always see the latest content with cache purging available across your entire network and within individual geographic zones.
- EdgeSSL security – let MaxCDN’s server network take care of your SSL requests to deliver a secure connection to your users quickly. SSL can be enabled instantly with a single click.
- Origin Shield – direct requests from MaxCDN’s POP servers to an Origin Shield to reduce the load on your origin server and prevent overload downtime.
- EdgeRules – set up your own set of directions for how your content is delivered to different users, such as providing different caches for mobile and desktop users and creating customised redirects.
- API – create software applications and integrate features and resources from MaxCDN, with software development kits available for Python, PHP, Ruby, Node.js, .NET and Go.
- MaxCDN Insights – assess the performance of your site and predict user behaviour with realtime analytics reporting.
- Security protocols – keep your content secure with two-step authentication and IP whitelisting.
As well as the Insights analytics platform, you’re also provided with a control panel. From here you can see current stats such as bandwidth usage, view detailed reports from past and present on your site’s performance, and implement changes across your server network simultaneously.
247 Super Support
One of the most attractive features of MaxCDN is their support network. On their dedicated support site, you’ll find a huge range of tutorials, FAQs, resources, blog posts and even testing tools to check if your site is running as it should be.
If you’ve got a specific query, you can call their number, drop them an email via their support address or click the chat option in the bottom-right corner of their site to talk to one of their experts, who are always friendly and happy to help you.
What if you have an urgent problem that needs to be fixed? No problem – MaxCDN’s support agents will get back to you on your problem within two minutes, and their support lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Great Pricing Options
In terms of pricing, MaxCDN is the cheapest content delivery network you can get. There’s a range of monthly subscription plans available, so everyone from independent webmasters to larger corporations can benefit from distributed content servers.
Plans range from 100GB/$9 bandwidth (which is what I personally use) all the way up to 350TB/$12544, and you can even set up your own customised plan if you wish.
You’ll want to select a package that’s right for you, but most larger sites will work well under their $79 per month plan – this is MaxCDN’s most popular package, and it offers 1TB of monthly bandwidth and up to 5 geographical zones. You can also opt to pay yearly on all subscriptions, which will net you a nice 20% discount.
If you’re still undecided about using MaxCDN (and you use over 15TB of bandwidth on your site a month), you can try it out for yourself by signing up for a 30-day free trial account. You’ll be given the full set of features and controls, with no obligation to buy.
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