Save money AND make your site faster using a CDN

My most popular website, the Fake Name Generator, recently ran into two major problems:

  1. It was using too many server resources.
  2. It wasn’t as fast as I wanted it.

To solve these issues, I turned to SimpleCDN and their awesome “mirror buckets”. Basically you setup a bucket, point it at your base URL (in my case, http://www.fakenamegenerator.com), then update a few links on your website. Instead of linking to something like http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/images/logo.png, I link to http://fake.name.generator.lg1x8.simplecdn.net/images/logo.png. When the visitor pulls up the new SimpleCDN URL, SimpleCDN will see if they have a cached copy of my image. If they don’t, they download it from my server then serve it to the visitor.

How does this help?

First, the website is faster for the visitor. The images are served up from a server that is geographically near them and that is guaranteed to handle all the headers related to caching properly.

Second, my server doesn’t have to handle images or CSS for that site anymore. For the Fake Name Generator, that is 260,000 requests per day that Apache doesn’t have to handle. This makes my server capable of doing more without having to buy more memory or get a faster CPU.

So the big question: how much does it cost? $0.039 per GB. For me, that means for the low low price $7.31 per year, they’ll handle 94,900,000 requests totaling 187 GB.

The best part? They give you a free $15 account credit when you sign up, so I won’t pay a penny until 2012.

Check it out at SimpleCDN.

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