How to Set Up and Integrate a CDN

If you want a fast loading website, investing in a CDN is an absolute must. A CDN (content delivery network) displays your content to visitors via the fastest route possible. However, setting up a CDN is a bit challenging without any technical know-how. This video will walk you through the steps you need to take to get a CDN up and running on your site.

Video Transcript

Hey, what’s up everybody, it’s Brian Dean from Quick Sprout. In this video I’m going to show you how to set up a CDN on your site to increase loading speed and security.

Your first step is to sign up for a CDN service. Neal uses MaxCDN at Quick Sprout because it’s one of the best out there. So, sign up for an account. Once you login this is the dashboard that you’ll see. What you want to do is at the top toolbar click on zones, then click on create pull zone. A pull zone is basically where your data will be kept at the CDN so they can serve it to visitors.

Under the pull zone name you can put whatever you want. I’m just going to put Backlinko here. In the origin server URL this is the home page of your site. You want to make sure this is the home page of your site. Then, under label, that’s just optional. You can give it a name like CDN for Backlinko, whatever you want that’ll help you remember it.

Then, where it says compression enable, you want to keep that to increase the loading speed of your site. Then you want to add a custom domain. This is very important. You want to add at least one. We’re just going to add one.

For example, you want to put something like speed.backlinko.net. So, whatever your domain is you want to add a subdomain here, and that will be where your CDN content will be served from. You can name it whatever you want. You can name it speed, CDN, but it’s important that you have this subdomain.yourdomainname.

Once that’s all set up clickon create. Once the pull zone’s all set up this is the screen that you’ll see. What you want to do is copy this URL here. This URL will look different for your site because this is the account name and CDN name that I just made. It’ll look different for you, but it’ll always have this NetDNA CDN there. Copy this URL and save it in a¬† Notepad file.

Once that’s saved head over to your hosting control panel. Then, scroll down to where it says domains and click on simple DNS zone editor. Then, you want to choose the domain from the drop down menu that you want your CDN set up on, in this case backlinko.net. Then, you want to scroll down to where it says add a CNAME record. The name, you can name it whatever you want, but I prefer to use something like CDN because that helps me remember what it is. Then you want to paste that URL that we just copied into here and click on add cname record.

Your next step is to login to your WordPress dashboard and install the WP Total Cache plugin. To do that, hover over plugins and click on add new. Type in WP Total Cache and click on search plugins. Then, click on install, okay, and activate.

Once the plugin is installed you’ll notice a new performance area to your WordPress sidebar, so hover over that and click on CDN. Then, you want to scroll down to where it says configuration and click on the authorize the button. If you’re already logged into MaxCDN this will log you in, but if not you want to enter your user name and password here.

It’ll automatically create an authorization key for you. Click on the copy button, then head back to the plugin and paste in this authorization key. Under replace site’s host name with you want to use the CNAMe that you created in your control panel. So, head back here. In this case here was the CNAME that I created. You want to paste it here, then click on save all settings.

Scroll down to see if everything’s set up okay. Under select pull zone it already selects the pull zone that we created within MaxCDN, but you can always create a new one from within your WordPress dashboard using WP Total Cache. Actually, once you do this you’re all set up. Your CDN is working. If you want to make sure you can click test MaxCDN and that’ll do a test to make sure everything is set up correctly.

That’s all there is to it. Sign up for an account at MaxCDN or another CDN. Then, install the WP Total Cache plugin and configure it using the steps I outlined in the video.

Thanks for watching this video, and I’ll see you in the next one.