Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)?

Actually, it is not hard for a web developer which have experienced configuring the domain name server (also known as DNS) settings of their domain name on their registration service or registrar. If you only knew how to configure the DNS settings and how it works, you will have no problem using CDN, unless if the network itself have a problem, because it's really quite easy. But there are many different ways how to use this technology with your website and this is the instruction how to point your DNS to your content delivery server. Configuring your DNS name server is the often way to makes the CDN that you've chosen connected with your website. If you wanna try to use a CDN even thought you doesn't have a site, then forget about it because there's no chance of it. CDN has build to improved the performance of a site and weblog of webmasters and bloggers. If it's not possible to configure the DNS settings of your domain name or subdomain, then you have no way to configure your DNS but to contact your domain name or subdomain provider to manually change it.

  • First of all, of course you will need to sign up on the content delivery network that you have wanted to serve the content of your website. There are many types of this technology, and the two popular are a free CDN and a traditional commercial CDN.
  • The second is, the content deliver network that you've chosen will show you a link or a text field where you can add your website. Remember that the domain name of your site that you've wanted to be with CDN must allowing you to edit its DNS settings.
  • After adding your website or weblog, your content delivery provider will do checking the DNS resource records and/or the configuration of your DNS name server for a second. You should need to wait for a while.
  • After the automated checking of your DNS resource records, your content delivery provider will now giving you new DNS records for your website. You will now need to configured your DNS settings and point them to those new DNS records.
  • This is that hardest part, by pointing your DNS to your content delivery server. Basically your delivery provider will giving you two DNS records for your website, the (IP) Address record and the CNAME (or canonical name) record. The A record is look likes an IP address and the CNAME record is likes a subdomain that your delivery provider have own. If you have a subdomain, your CDN will gives you a resource record for that subdomain, it can also be the previous CNAME or other than that.
  • Configure your DNS settings, change and point the A record of your naked to the new A record (which is look likes that they've given to you, and you also need to point your to their and then, don't forget to save it! If you have a subdomain, you must also point them with a CNAME record that your CDN have given to you.
  • And now after the step by step (simple) instruction, it is now finish when your content delivery provider have mentioned you that your configuration was successful. Your CDN is now ready to replicate the static content of your website on their server to serve it to your visitors, and their network is now your new DNS name server!

See how to point your domain name server to your content delivery provider? It's so quite easy. But there are other ways to use a content distribution network which is not often used by the other delivery networks.

  • If your CDN allowed you to create a subdomain which will be used to deliver your static content, they'll always give you a CNAME record for that subdomain where to point of. The best subdomain name for your CDN is and that is the most popular name for a CDN-hosted subdomain.
  • If the way of your delivery provider for you to use their network is only the installation of a plug-in, then download the plug-in and upload it to the application where it suitable. But of course, you should check the plug-in first if it's authenticated and trusted by the people and not some just a bad stuff that can harm your site.
  • If ever a CDN requires you to use a rewrite engine, that kind of network is a low tech and they're giving you a lot of work, because you will need to study for it first, (another study,) and manually program your website by yourself.

I hope you've learn how to setup your domain name server to point it to your content delivery server. If you have any question relating to this topic, feel free to drop a comment.

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