Why Integrate WordPress Blog with Amazon S3 Cloudfront CDN

Do it like the big boys! These days, CDN or (Content Delivery Network or some refer as Content Distribution Network) are no longer only for the rich and famous as the price become very very affordable. So, when money is no longer restricting, integrating WordPress Blog and Amazon S3 Cloudfront Content Distribution Network (CDN) should be on top of your agenda for various reason that I will discuss below.

If you asked, the argument put in this article can be applied to whatever your website platform is. Even if it’s not a blog. Have a read yourself!

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Why CDN (Content Distribution Network  or Content Delivery Network)

  1. Maximise your page rank by having speedy website
    Google has indicated that will consider the speed site as one of the factor determining PageRank (Read here for further info). Integrating your website with Amazon S3 Cloudfront or other CDN will make it significantly faster. And hence will give you the maximum point possible for your PageRank.
  2. Ease The Burden Of Your Server
    Not everyone have a dedicated server with abundance memory. Most of us will use those cheap managed host server where every website have limited CPU load and memory usage to be used. By using the Cloudfront or other CDN, you have offloaded all those static content that doesn’t need any computing power at all from your server, therefore saving both CPU load and memory. Those resources will be more useful to serve more visitor, isn’t it ?
  3. Who doesn’t like fast website?
    When browsing internet, ask yourself that question. Of course the faster the website, the happier your visitors are. Not only enhancing their user experience, but encourage them to come again next time.
  4. Worldwide audience/visitor are for your blog. Your target is the world audience. But can you afford to have a mirror on each corner of the world to serve your audience better? Well, just use the CDN and they will get your static content for faster and better user experience..

Why Amazon S3 Cloudfront CDN ?

  1. The price that Amazon charge is ridiculously cheap compare to the value they deliver.
    What sort of price range? Amazon will charge you as you go (whatever used only, no fixed monthly bill) and very cheap.
    Say you have about 100 visitor a day, so 3000 visitor a month and each visits one of your blog page (Well done!, it must have been PR2 or PR3). 65% of the top Technorati blog have less than 1MB size of a homepage(*) and 67% of them are static content (image or css file). Then your static content will be approx 670kb, hence the charge will be around 20c per G x 0.00067 x 3000 = 40c. Yes, Amazon will charge you around 40c. To be more precise use this calculator (select Amazon cloudfront). The current price is on Amazon Cloudfront Current price
    Can you believe that? Less than $1 to serve 3000 visitor a month. I’ll take that any day.!
    Any cheaper provider? Yes, RackSpace Cloud Files probably offering cheaper price, but with not much plugin/software and feature who support it as yet (including no support to CNAME), then I would recommend to stick with Amazon. Other “Simple CDN” provider usually give you monthly charge whether you use it or not and don’t have as massive infrastructure as Amazon.
  2. Fast infrastructure anywhere in the world.
    Amazon server (They call it “Edge Location”) is located on various strategic hub in the world, namely US, Europe, Hong Kong, Japan. When a visitor go to your website, and you store all static file (those background, image, ideo file, etc) on Amazon Cloudfront, then your visitor will get the file downloaded from the nearest server. Basically slash hundreds millisecond for each file. I did a test with a website with medium number of images, before I move all static file it need 9.7 seconds to serve. After optimization, it only need 1.8s which then giving me the change to add some more functionality (content gallery) and end up with less than 4s. That’s more than 2x the speed.
  3. Good features
    Amazon S3 Cloudfront support some useful feature that not offered by other: support CNAME (so you can use your own domain name from branding reason), support “folder” (so integration is as simple as copying your image folder – no need to change every single path – other CDN may only support flat structure,i.e: there is no folder or subfolder), pay as you go and very low pricing,  fast setup and 100% uptime !
  4. Supported by community
    You can tell by many “free” software and tools that can be used together with Amazon S3 Cloudfront services, for example: Firefox adds-on (S3Fox an others), S3Browser, Cloudberry Explorer as well as other paid or “Po” version. I personally use only S3Fox and Cloudberry Explorer.

Hope this articles can provide you with additional thinking if you considering CDN as part of your website.

Have a good day !

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