Disclosure: this is a sponsored review but opinions are our own.
As website owners, it’s incredibly important to make sure your web site loads fast.
Slow loading times can actually drive visitors away from your site and that is the last thing you want.
What is a CDN?
In short, it stands for Content Delivery Network which means that your site’s static files are served to your visitors from a server that is closest to them.
That results in your site loading faster which in turn means your visitors will be happy – this makes them far more likely to buy a product from you, sign up to your email list, read your content or whichever other action you may want visitors to perform while on your website.
When it comes to CDN providers, there are many out there. Some are well known and some are starting to carve out a name for themselves.
Today we take a look at KeyCDN – a CDN provider that promises top notch results for a low price.
Taking a closer look at KeyCDN
KeyCDN is a high performance Content Delivery Network, located in Switzerland. They are a privately funded company whose goal is to provide quality service at low prices.
They aim to make CDN services available to everyone, and expand into regions where CDN’s are typically not available.
They support all the major content management systems out there, namely WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
- Push and pull functionality
- Video hosting features
- RMTP streaming functionality
- Security features
Let’s take a look at the core features more closely:
Push and Pull functionality
You can create as many zones as you need and decide whether you want to create a push or a pull zone.
With push zone you upload your files to their server via FTP.
With pull zones they fetch your content from your website. Both push and pull zones come with their own set of specific features:
- Upload content to your FTP account
- FTP subusers
- Synchronize content with rsync
- Enabled directory listing
- Enabled directory index
- No limit on file size
- HLS and HTTP streaming support
- Purge an entire zone or purge a single file
- Cache query strings
- Override origin cache-control headers
- Override origin expires headers
- Strip cookies
- Enable canonical headers
- Custom request HTTP header field (X-Pull)
Video hosting gives you the option to monetize your videos with their ads enabled video player, with no watermark and a consistent user experience with both HTML5 and Flash based videos.
When it comes to security each account comes with a shared SSL, secure token and custom SSL for your CNAMEs.
KeyCDN is very affordable. There is no contract or monthly payment plan. Their plan is a pay as you go and prices start out at $0.04 per GB for the first 10TB. They offer a free trial of their service which gives you credits worth 25GB of traffic ($1.00) which expire after 3 months. No credit card is required to start your free trial.
How well does KeyCDN perform?
To test out their service, I’ve set up one of my blogs with their free trial. The setup process is fairly straightforward: you define a zone (push or pull), name the zone and define the origin URL.
I tested the loading times before and after enabling KeyCDN to see if there was any difference. You can see from the screenshot below that the loading times for the blog were around 2.50 seconds:
After signing up for their services and creating a pull zone, the only other requirement was to have W3 Total Cache installed which was already in place. You can also set it up with the WP Super Cache plugin.
Configuring W3 Total Cache required enabling the CDN option, selecting Generic Mirror under General Options tab, and entering hostname under the CDN tab.
After everything was set up I ran the tests again using LoadImpact and Pingdom Tools.
As you can see, the load time was reduced to under a second with the highest time being a little over 800ms.
Pingdom tests show a similar result:
The KeyCDN dashboard
The dashboard for KeyCDN is relatively simple and straightforward to use which really helps you get to grips with the platform.
The menu is located on the left-hand side and it’s easy to navigate.
What I really liked about the dashboard is the tab with links to their Knowledge database which can sometimes be tricky to find with other platforms. The link for support is clearly located at the top, should you need to contact them.
Wrapping it up
Overall, I have been happy with the results. KeyCDN is a great content delivery network that really does speed up the website loading time considerably and offers competitive pricing. The fact that their plans are pay as you go, and that the prices are scalable is another plus in their favor. Customer support is available 24/7 globally via LiveChat, email or phone.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but opinions are our own. Read more.