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What is MaxCDN Hosting?
MaxCDN is a highly optimized and user-friendly Content Delivery Network. A Content Delivery Network is a type of web hosting service that stores and serves static web assets, like images and video, for consumption by viewers of websites served up by other (usually dynamic) web servers.
The biggest reason for using a Content Delivery Network is that it can dramatically increase speed and site performance. A secondary reason is that, often, use of a CDN can be more cost effective than serving images and other static assets from the same server as a dynamic web site or web application. In addition to these two key features, MaxCDN provides some added benefits.
MaxCDN for Speed
One of the most important aspects a good online experience is page-load speed. In a fast paced world, with a lot of other distractions, no user wants to wait around for your website or images to load. If they have to wait, they are likely to simply click away.
Speed can also play a part in Search Engine Optimization. Search engines like Google and Bing understand that a slow page is an annoyance to their users, and so they would prefer to serve faster websites over slower ones. Additionally, the major providers of search have a vested interest in making the internet faster overall. For these reasons, search engines have included page speed in their overall site and page scores.
Besides user-friendliness and SEO, there are some cases where speed is not just important but absolutely critical. Online gaming, for example, requires hundreds of unique assets to be delivered to a gamer in any given moment and a slow-down would essentially kill playability.
MaxCDN helps speed up loading of web assets in two ways.
First, individual items such as pictures and sound files can be served faster by using higher-performing hardware and optimized server systems. MaxCDN uses Solid State Drives (SSDs) rather than conventional spinning disks in order to boost speed, and that is just one of many engineering decisions they have made in order to make their servers as fast as possible. MaxCDN is recognized as having some of the fastest load times in the industry. They even provide support for Google's SPDY protocol.
Secondly, by serving multiple assets from multiple locations, instead of all the assets for a single page being loaded from the same server that is rendering PHP and writing to a database, several assets can load in parallel to each other, speeding up total page load time tremendously.
How CDN can be more cost effective
No matter how your web hosting account's billing structure is set up, underneath the pricing plan and the coupon codes, you are paying for three things: storage, processing cycles, and transfer bandwidth.
You need a dynamic web server for storing and manipulating a database, for running PHP applications, and for sending and receiving email, but you do not really need a lot of processing power or the latest version of MySQL in order to serve a static image or to store an audio file.
If you are running one small blog, read by a few people, the expense of keeping your static images on the same server as your application files is negligible, which is why many hosting companies sell plans with nominally â€œunlimitedâ€ storage and bandwidth.
However, in high performance and high volume situations, when the number of assets reaches into the tens of thousands and the number of page views is even higher, the cost of storage and bandwidth become serious issues.
MaxCDN allows you to offload static assets, which don't require any server-side processing, to their servers, which can save expensive storage and bandwidth on your primary application servers.
Key MaxCDN Features
MaxCDN provides a detailed Control Panel and dashboard, showing stats and reports on all aspects of your content's delivery.
MaxCDN provides plugin support for file uploads and delivery in most major Content Management Systems, like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, and Magento. There's also a full-featured API with complete documentation that allows you to do custom integration with any system.
MaxCDN has placed its edge servers (the â€œfront-lineâ€ machines from which files are directly delivered) in data centers in key geographic locations all over the world, near major internet pipeline hubs. They also use intelligent request routing and asset provisioning to make sure that requests take the shortest path possible and that content is where it needs to be, when it needs to be there.
MaxCDN will work in parallel with any other web hosting service you are already using, integrating primarily with your application code, rather than with your web server directly. For this reason, MaxCDN is compatible with almost any hosting plan.
Some hosting providers already use MaxCDN, or another Content Delivery Network, automatically. You may already be getting the benefits of MaxCDN without knowing it, so be sure that your current hosting plan doesn't already provide this service before adding it to your website yourself.
If you are looking to speed up your website and file downloads, MaxCDN may be exactly what you are looking for.