The ProCDN works by caching static content on its worldwide network of servers. So how does this work with Content Management Systems (CMSs) like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla? CMSs typically generate most of their content dynamically from databases. There are actually a few different ways to use the ProCDN effectively to boost your CMS-generated site, if it gets a fair amount of traffic - read below for details. If your server doesn't get many file requests, and you don't have any large static files being served, your speed increase will not be as dramatic.
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On the other hand, if those 15 static files were hosted on the ProCDN, your host server would have to handle just the one initial page request (using 2 file descriptors), and the ProCDN would handle all the other HTTP requests, for which it is specifically optimized. From an HTTP request and file descriptor point of view, the server would be able to handle about 10 times as much traffic with the same resources. (Note that memory and CPU use would not see such a drastic increase in efficiency, because dynamic page generation typically uses more of those resources than static files do.)
Check out the SymKat suggestions for how to use a WordPress plugin to capitalize on this type of configuration for your WordPress site, with minimal configuration required.
- This configuration corresponds to the Media Manager option in the EdgeCast Control Panel. See Getting started with ProCDN and How do I upload content to my ProCDN?
ProCDN-buffered dynamic site with low caching times
You can use the ProCDN in front of your entire website with a low caching time, so that dynamic pages are updated frequently in the ProCDN cache but can still take advantage of the extra-fast HTTP serving.
Specifically, you could add cache-control: max-age: 600 to your HTTP headers. This would signal the ProCDN to refresh the cached versions of your files every 10 minutes. If a 5 or 10 minute lag is acceptable for a blog post comment to show up, for example, this could be a great solution for you.
The ProCDN aims to be RFC 2616 compliant, and is compliant with RFC 2616 Section 14 specifically. The techniques for expiring that are documented at w3.org are valid for use with the ProCDN, including max-age and s-maxage.
This solution would work well for most blogs. However, it is NOT recommended for active wikis or forums.
- This configuration corresponds to the Customer Origin option in the EdgeCast Control Panel. See Getting started with ProCDN.
There are other, more advanced CDN configurations that may work even better for your CMS-driven site. Please keep in mind that this product is aimed at our ProDev customers, and requires webmaster involvement and technical proficiency with DNS, HTTP web servers, and caching concepts. In the future, additional configurations may be provided in a simple package, but for now, please direct further questions to our forums.