Best CDN Providers for WordPress – Speed Review 2018

CDN’s are becoming all the rage nowadays ever since CloudFlare offered their free plan. But now, there are all kinds of micro-CDN’s popping up everywhere. Each with a different set of pricing and services. I won’t go over the differences…all I care about is speed, reliability (HIT frequency), coverage, and ease-of-use.

Here’s a list of CDN’s I’ve experienced and my thoughts on each:

  • Akamai – fast, but expensive.
  • Amazon (CloudFront) – annoying name with same initials as CloudFlare. Fast and works well! I use it for loading large files (videos) from S3 buckets.
  • BunnyCDN – cheap, fast and works! DNS is not as fast as CloudFlare, IMO. I have many clients on this. All are very responsive.
  • Beluga – I haven’t tried yet.
  • – never tried, but heard about awful/shady billing practices.
  • CloudFlare – many say they aren’t a true CDN but they perform with similar results…also free and super fast, fastest DNS times out there. I’ve heard many complaints from folks I respect but I can’t help but wonder if all their 500 errors might just be their server. (If CloudFlare’s DNS is reliable in your target areas, use them! Some areas of the world are not routed as quickly and it appears they sometimes send your data from faraway proxy.)
  • CDN77 – slow! Don’t even bother.
  • Fastly – great when it works.
  • KeyCDN – heard great reviews so far. I would try them if I was venturing out for a new service.
  • MaxCDN (StackPath) – largely considered fast, but expensive. I’ve had some instances were I felt it wasn’t particular fast at all.

Thoughts on choosing a CDN provider

Decide what matters to you:

  • budget (how much bandwidth you need)
  • what you want to cache (small static assets vs large assets vs dynamic pages)
  • coverage (POP locations in the world, and proximity to your visitors)
  • quality of service (speed/reliability)

If all you need is static assets (images/css/etc), CloudFlare free plan should be just fine. If you want to have the fastest page loads (caching pages as well as static assets), it’s best to have a CDN with lots of configurable page rules.

Those caching big items will prefer fast bandwidth. Those caching small items (images, css, js) will prefer fast DNS times.

11 thoughts on “Best CDN Providers for WordPress – Speed Review 2018

  1. Just wondering if you have any advice on optimal settings for WordPress @ CloudFlare? I have a couple of page rules in place that relate to the Dashboard, but would be super grateful for any tips on getting the most out of this service.

    1. I do this on a site-by-site basis so it’s hard to recommend general settings. I could probably make a guide with a list of things to test and you see which ones work for you or not.

  2. ​Page loading is mandatory for any website, and it is now an official search engine ranking factor, and if your pages are not loading less than 3 seconds, you need to work on it right away.

    Although websites used to rely on a single server for presenting all the content, and CDN services have improved the scenario forever. By using a reputable CDN service, you can make sure that the readers are experiencing a faster page loading speed plus a better-performing website. It is possible to use the primary CDN service for free in private blogs or simplistic websites. But, if you want to improve security components, you have to go for the value added packages.

    Thanks for sharing the information, I am using CDN on my recently started WordPress powered website; now my website is really fast loading after CDN integration, but your post encourages me to think more about premium features that are required for security concerns.​

  3. Thanks for the write up Johnny, but I’m curious what you mean by BunnyCDN’s DNS being slower than CloudFlare’s. Do you mean using their CDN URL will take longer to resolve?

    1. No, I just meant their asset look-up times feel slower than CDN but overall, their performance is usually better than Cloudflare. You’ll have to test both and see for yourself. I notice different regions perform differently.

      1. Okay, thanks! I use BunnyCDN and sometimes in the bottom corner of the Chrome Browser there is the “waiting for” (my added URL for Bunny CDN) take a while. I’m wondering if the CDN is causing some bottlenecking, that’s why I asked about the slow DNS.

  4. Great article. I have several low traffic sites. As mentioned in this article I only need Cloudflare free for my websites to work properly. But I ran into problems like Cloudflare showing their SSL instead of mine. And to fix this, I need to upgrade to a bigger plan.

    Switched to BunnyCDN, works really well, easy to use. And their pricing is great too. One great thing I found is, their billing is so transparent.

    1. You don’t need a bigger Cloudflare plan to show your own SSL. Just pay an extra $5/month and they give you a private SSL certificate.

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