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How to integrate CDN with my project?

Nowadays, websites and mobile solutions cannot work effectively without providing recipients with static content in large amounts. It is mainly about images, videos, and JavaScript code. The more data to transfer, the greater the bandwidth requirements, which translates into website loading times. The shorter, the better for the recipient, and the whole process translates into the quality of browsing resources and server use. To shorten the time between the page loading and minimize project maintenance costs, it is worth considering the implementation of CDN services to enable caching of resources by using PoP servers – geographically dispersed.

What is CDN and how it works

When the user enters a website, a response from the DNS server is sent to him. It includes an IP address. Having this information, the browser sends a request to display the www content. It consists of several elements, mainly static, i.e., images, JavaScript code, HTML, and CSS code. The use of CDN service causes static resources to be sent to CDN servers in two variants (manual push or automatic download. Thanks to this, the server knows where and how to connect to the CDN network. Depending on which solutions you use, you can perform these functions by entering code or using plugins (see the integrations [link] section).

CDNs apply to many types of resources. They are supported, among others, custom domains, CNAME records (useful for custom fonts). Here, edge servers are used that, upon receiving a request, send a query to the point of presence that is geographically closest to a given user (PoP). Such a point is one of many IP (Internet Exchange Point) components, made up of numerous edge servers. The embedded system analyzes how to create a balance in load distribution in the CDN network and, on this basis, sends a request to the selected PoP, and through it, the end-user receives the displayed resource.

Caching mechanisms in CDN

When the CDN receives a static resource request, it is forced to download a copy of that resource from the closest CDN graphics server or origin server to cache it. This is due to a shortage in the cache. However, the resource can be written to the edge of memory by the first call. Subsequent queries go to the appropriate border location, for which the cache is responsible, thanks to which the request is processed much faster. Thanks to this, delays are significantly eliminated, and it transfers traffic from the Internet to the CDN. You can verify where the traffic is coming from by answering the HTTP header – in the first case, it will display the value “MISS,” in the second case, the value “HIT” for the X-Cache. Details can be found in the CDN provider’s documentation (See BlazingCDN documentation: [link]).

Push and pull CDN

Earlier, we mentioned CDN push and pulled in the context of resource caching. What exactly does this process look like?

  • Downloading resources in the CDN is an automatic process. It consists of entering the initial server’s address and then sending the CDN permission to automatically download and cache the static resources assigned to a given website. This solution is usually used regularly updated and lightweight (usually HTML, CSS, and JS). The next step is to match the static link resources, based on which the URL sent by the CDN is indicated. From then on, the CDN handles queries, possibly using distributed caches (PoP) and the source server.
  • Stuffing resources in CDN is a manual process. We decide for ourselves where the selected resources are to be stored. Once in place, the CDN pushes resources out of the cache by using distributed edge servers. They are used in files with rare updates and greater weight – mainly audio-video, PDF, or software files.

CDN integration with my project

CDN implementation is to bring specific benefits to your project. Therefore, it is worth considering what impact the service should have on the site. Several problems can be solved. If your origin server is your problem and its load is increasing, consider increasing the cache and moving to local caching.

Also, before we launch the CDN, it is worth going through optimization, which will further strengthen the entire solution’s operation. This includes compression of CSS and JS files or compression of HTTP requests, which should translate into bandwidth or website loading speed. Before and after the CDN implementation, it is also worth performing a performance test using the available online tools (we wrote more about it here [link]).

Integrating BlazingCDN into your project

You know your project needs extra support to help take you to the next level. Regardless of whether it is the scaling of the project, throughput, or response time, CDN will significantly affect the quality of services you provide.

Most websites use popular CMS systems or are written in specific programming languages when carrying out their business. The integration for each variant requires different solutions. BlazingCDN has made the process as simple as possible and usually does not require coding. The most important elements are having an account and a static domain installed in the BlazingCDN service (HTTPS protocol must be additionally secured with SSL).

Details on the most popular integrations can be found in our knowledge base. We have described the connection with popular solutions and CMSs at this address: 

CDN integration with the project – summary

Using a CDN can significantly help your project run – from bandwidth and page loading speed to scalability. The use of a geographically dispersed network of PoP servers substantially reduces delays and the rate of loading resources. CDN also uses server edge cache, which reduces costs and bandwidth in ongoing service.

With the ability to integrate with popular network solutions through code or ready-made plugins, a package of cooperating security, and the ability to monitor resources, CDN is an effective solution for high network traffic projects.

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