The best CDN providers focus on features the more mundane companies can't provide. I've been in the cloud, edge, and web development and design industries for over 15 years. I've used every CDN you can dream of, and some stand out while the others... well...
Below is a fast look at my top choices. None of these have any specific problems but each has a strength for various types of users. I point these out and offer an orange link you can click on to jump straight to the company's site.
I'm sure you want to know how I made this selection. I explain that below and give you some info about the choices that don't appear on this list (and why). But for now, lets look at the best options, what they offer based on my real world experience, and their pricing structures.
In my opinion, Sucuri are the kings. They can integrate into any of the major CMS's out there like WordPress with a simple plugin and even offer you the free Let's Encrypt SSL certificate (most make you buy another one). What's not to love? Their plans are fairly similar except malware & hack scan frequencies.
Below I show you their Basic plan (cheapest to get the CDN), but I recommend the Pro plan at minimal for businesses with custom SSL certificates.
|Price||$200 /yr||$300 /yr||$500 /yr||CDN||✔||✔||✔|
|Scan Frequency||12 hours||6 hours||30 mins|
|Custom SSL Cert||✖||✔||✔|
As a website developer, I get hired for two things more than anything else: speed and security, separately. Sucuri knocks out both in one fell swoop for a modest annual fee, much far less than I charge one-time. There are companies that do CDNs well and that do security well. Sucuri does both masterfully with no impact on the price. That's why they're the leaders in the game.
StackPath are the heavy hitters. They aren't any more difficult to set up. Though they don't have their own WordPress plugin, they can integrate into any of the major caching plugins that we all already use anyways. It's also simple to set up for any other CMS system. This is for the big players and companies that can boost their bottom line easily by ensuring constant and superior connectivity.
Let's go ahead and take a look at their three most basic offerings, though there are higher tiers if your business is a complete monster:
|CDN Only||Edge 20||Edge 200|
|Price||$10 /mo||$20 /mo||$200 /mo||CDN||✔||✔||✔|
|Site Monitoring||✖||1 Service||5 Services|
For not much more, I'd definitely push you towards their Edge Delivery packages because you get the additional benefits of their WAF (web application firewall) and can aim your DNS straight at their servers, enhancing the speed for your users drastically. They'll also monitor your sites and setup for all kinds of errors and problems so you never end up in a weird situation you couldn't have anticipated. As a blogger, I'd probably push you towards Sucuri above. As a business, StackPath is where it's at.
The main criteria I based my selection on is my own satisfaction while actively using them for my own websites and having used them on countless client websites. There's items like up-time that aren't even negotiable and they've all achieved 99.99%. It's the amount of bandwidth or requests you're offered compared to the price, plus other things that sweeten the deal:
Anything not mentioned is a waste of our time to talk about. These companies cannot have downtime or poor security. These aren't real issues. The focus is on what you get beyond the basics, which is what I chose to point out.
First off, let me warn you about these review roundups online. You could say the same about this article, but I'm here to educate everyone about cloud technology in general. You'll see a lot of posts out there on big sites that exist just to refer you to the companies that will pay them the biggest commission, regardless if the service is the best. Often times, companies will spend more on marketing than ensuring they have great CDNs. Please defend yourself from dishonest recommendations.
Here is my opinion on some other good options out there, that have a downside to the common website builder, just so you're in the know:
I lump Akamai into the "great but too complicated" bunch.
Also, one thing to point out that will remove some confusion is the MaxCDN company was bought by StackPath (mentioned above) so that's why you can't find that anymore, though everyone still recommends them. MaxCDN was fantastic. I used them for years. StackPath is just as good.
People use CDNs for a reason! Here's a big list of why these are becoming increasingly popular, if not crucial for most websites.
The main benefit is speed. You want to make sure the CDN provider you choose has many edge points (servers) distributed around the globe or within your country. Most focus on global gains but will plant many servers within big countries like the USA. Keep an eye on that! The only real disadvantage if you do your homework otherwise is the extra cost, which is why I recommend using a platform that offers extra benefits like security checkups (like Sucuri above).
With so many choices out there, including the dishonest and incentivized reviews, it's hard to for someone not living in this world to make a decision. I've used them all and am giving you my opinion based on over a decade of real world experience. The problem these days is most of the companies are expanding towards servicing giant, international companies instead of smaller website owners.
I'm so wrapped up in this stuff that I'm even able to tell you when a company is acquired by another and if that helps or hurts the original service. Sometimes even my favorite companies end up tanking, leaving me the first to mourn and remove them from my recommendations.
I stand by my word when I tell you that you'll be satisfied with my picks above and can use them with full confidence.