I have recently powered my blog with MaxCDN. Here is the story, what I did and how can you configure without installing W3TC?
- Signup MaxCDN.
- Creating a Pull Zone in MaxCDN OR configuring MaxCDN.
- Importing media files to WordPress default directory.
- Rewriting urls using CDN Linker Plugin.
- Finalizing or clearing all caches.
- A few clarification
I was serving all the images from sub-domain static.netrival.com which is hosted on dreamhost. and my blog was hosted on www.netrival.com but in a dedicated directory to WordPress. (e.g. media folder was subdomain.example.com and WordPress is in www.example.com/sub-directory). I will discuss later why i have hosted my media in some different sub-domain. For now, come to the point and lets configure CDN.
Steps I followed:
Step 1: Signup MaxCDN:
Signup MaxCDN. Here it is important to say that MaxCDN is actually powered by NetDNA, which provides high-end CDN services and MaxCDN suits to most blogger or site owners. You will need to have only $39.95 in your wallet to signup. In $39.95 you will get 1TB for one year. It should be noted that the unused bandwidth (in first 1TB) will lapsed. By the way I signed up using my Debit card which failed to make successful transaction (it was expected), Than, I used Entropay and created Virtual Credit Card (VCC) using the same Debit Card. Than signed up again MaxCDN, The transaction was successful and account has been created.
Step 2: Create a Pull Zone and pointing cname:
The form was really simple and novice can create a pull zone. I just fill a form as shown above.
Pull Zone name should have at least 3 character and should be alphanumeric. Origin Server is the domain where your files are currently hosted. Custom CDN Domain should be your domain which will used as CDN Domain. You may also check the checkbox if you would like to GZip html, text, js, css and xml.
I updated my cname record and pointed cdn.netrival.com to temporary url which was cdn.netrivalcom.netdna-cdn.com.
Step 3: Importing media files:
Initially I thought to keep static.netrival.com for media uploads and www.netrival.com for rest of all. but it was not a good idea and I imported my all media to WordPress default directory, which is wp-content/uploads, using filezilla.
Its not all done, We have to rewrite the all urls of the WordPress database to WordPress directory. Since I have moved all files from static.netrival.com to www.netrival.com (not cdn.netrival.com). To do this I used Velvet Blues Update url plugin (Download).
Step 4: Installing CDN Linker Plugin and configuring:
I have installed Hyper Cache as caching plugin which do not support CDN rewrites. So after I installed CDN Linker plugin which rewrites all essential links to cdn.netrival.com from www.netrival.com, like images, css files, java-scripts and favicon.
In CDN url field you should add temporary url obtained from MaxCDN, if your cname not working (in my case it was cdn.netrival.com). I will recommend to use temporary url for at least 24hrs, until cname propagates properly across the globe.
For SuperCache users CDN Linker is already installed and available in SuperCache menu from wp dashboard.
Step 5: Clear Cache:
Now, it’s time to clear/purge all cache of your WordPress, Browser and MaxCDN. Just do it and go to your blog and check if it is working.
Why I not used W3TC (W3-Total-Cache) plugin?
W3TC is really a big and all in one plugin for optimizing WordPress, which needs more server resources or anything that is not available on my Dreamhost. I have very bad experience with w3tc. This is why I choose Hypercache+CDN Linker. Supercache is another good option if you want one plugin instead of two.
MaxCDN’s after-sales support is really awesome and they work hard to configure the problem and their solution. To implement CDN to my blog I have contacted them many times and they always responded nicely. But, It should be also noted that MaxCDN has no Network in Asia/Pacific but they have planned to add edge network in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo. But, it does not means their is any problem with latency.
Disclosure: I am not compensated for this review/tutorial. However if you buy MaxCDN from here, I will be able to buy a few cups coffee.