MaxCDN vs Yola
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Yola provides a drag-and-drop website builder that is easy to use for users looking to build a professional-looking website without any prior technica... Learn More
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5.5¢/per GB Overage
1GB of bandwidth
1GB of Memory Storage
Cloudswave Editorial Review
MaxCDN Review by Cloudswave
Whether you have a background in website development or you only possess a cursory understanding of how one works, you most likely appreciate the basics. Everyone who surfs the World Wide Web knows that a website has to be fast. You’ve probably struggled to contain your frustration once or twice before as you waited for a site to finally load. Below, we’ll discuss what exactly goes on behind the curtain and why websites that don’t use CDNs, especially MaxCDN, are becoming more and more antiquated.
What Is a CDN?
Before we get too far into our review of MaxCDN, let’s take a look at what the “CDN” in their name stands for. This quick summary will go a long way toward helping you better understand what it is MaxCDN does and what makes them unique amongst their market.
First, it’s important you know how a server works. A server is just a computer that operates for the sole purpose of supporting a website. Most actually support many of them. Servers just store the memory necessary for keeping a website available to visitors. Everything from the company’s logo to their background to what happens when you click on a certain link is held in a server somewhere.
Whenever you visit a site and take some kind of action with it, the server works to make sure the appropriate reaction fires off. As you can almost certainly imagine, not all servers are the same. You’ve probably been to a site that took forever to load and you’ve most likely been to one that was as fast as lightning. Chances are the servers were responsible for those differences.
You’ve probably also tried going to a site before and saw that it was “down.” This is usually because something happened to the server. Just like your computer doesn’t work when your hard drive suffers, no website functions properly when its server isn’t running correctly.
Alright, now that you understand servers, you can understand CDNs. A content delivery network is a collection of distributed servers that deliver their information based on a visitor’s geographic location.
More than one server can hold a website’s information. This is usually done for the sake of what is known as “redundancy.” The idea is that if two or more servers all over the world support a website, no natural disaster or other site-specific problem can take out a website. If there’s an earthquake in San Francisco that knocks down a server, a website that is also supported by a setup in Tokyo will be just fine.
CDNs involve this kind of network, but they add a level of functionality too. The idea is that the closer a server is to a user, the faster the information will get to them. This might sound strange in an age when information is seemingly fired around the globe at the speed of light, but proximity actually makes a huge difference.
Therefore, the main point behind a CDN is that it allows websites that get tons of traffic or get a good amount of it from all over the world to still offer the types of loading times visitors demand. Obviously, this means CDNs are also good at protecting a site against large surges in traffic and, as we already mentioned, providing redundancy.
The Rise of CDNs
One last note, CDNs are definitely growing in popularity. While they used to be utilized almost solely by B2B companies, this is beginning to change. In fact, many of the popular websites you regularly visit may take advantage of CDNs without your knowledge. Unless the URL changes for some reason, you’d never know except for an improvement in load time.
Given how much time millions and millions of people spend online, more and more companies are investing in CDNs. It’s the only way to make sure their own popularity doesn’t come back and bite them by hurting their ability to service as many visitors as possible at once.
Of course, the more sites there are, the more they have to compete for visitors. Ensuring the highest possible speeds for loading time is a good way to make sure competitors don’t pass you up for something so simple.
What Makes MaxCDN so Great?
By now, you may be sold on the idea of leveraging the multiple servers involved with a CDN for your company’s website. After all, we’re not just talking about better loading times, but also improved security and redundancy.
It doesn’t take long, though, to appreciate that you’re not short on options for CDN providers. Therefore, it’s time to take a close look at MaxCDN and why so many companies out there are loyal customers.
It’s Not Just About Loading Times
Now, this might sound odd given how much emphasis we just put on loading time and, yes, we’re about to talk more about MaxCDN, but it’s worth pointing out one last very important factor where loading time is concerned.
In case you’re convinced that users are just fine with your current loading time, slow though it might be, guess who hates it? Google. Before their last algorithm update came out, Panda created huge waves in the SEO industry by introducing some very big changes.
One of them was that Google now cares a lot about your loading time. Even if every one of your users swears up and down that they don’t mind waiting an extra second or two, if Google does, you’re going to feel the result.
By the time you’re reading this, it may not be enough to simply have a CDN. Sooner or later, most companies will and only those with the best CDN will get the best load times and the ideal treatment from Google.
With that, let’s now explore what MaxCDN brings to the table.
Start with a Test Drive
Right off the bat, you have to love any company that provides you with a free trial. In the case of MaxCDN, though, this is a fairly involved process. It’s not like you’re just clicking around the demo version of a piece of software.
Instead, the company will actually give you a trial account that you can test out for yourself. This account may be the only sales tactic the company really needs. Once you see how much faster your site could be loading, you likely won’t be able to tolerate anything less for your users.
Heavy Objects Are a Breeze
Earlier, we talked about how much proximity to a server mattered. You may have been surprised to find out that, for a server in Los Angeles, it takes several more seconds to send data to New York City than Salt Lake City. Think about that: several seconds. Now imagine Paris or Cairo.
However, something else that may surprise you is that not all data is the same. Put another way, when it comes to transporting information related to your website, some data is “heavier” than others. That’s largely why you see content load on some sites long before accompanying images do.
For obvious reasons and the SEO reasons we just covered, you want this to happen as little as possible. Every website these days has images. At least, yours definitely should. However, your site probably takes advantage of CSS too, which gives it a unique, user-friendly interface. Perhaps you leverage Java as well.
Those are just three examples of heavy objects MaxCDN is known for handling with ease. You can now get a site that loads quickly and evenly, leaving you visitors and Google happier.
Who Is MaxCDN For?
If, at some point, you got the idea that this type of service only makes sense for larger companies, it’s time to forget that completely. Everyone should be using CDNs to create better websites. In fact, it would be a very good investment by smaller companies because of how much it would help them stay competitive.
Furthermore, small- and medium-sized businesses need to support scalability the most. It’s not like huge corporations need to worry that they’ll somehow become even bigger tomorrow.
As the best CDN available, MaxCDN will make scalability possible at a moment’s notice. It can even help when scalability becomes necessary overnight and you weren’t expecting it. If one of your products, videos or blogs suddenly becomes hugely popular, you can expect a swarm of traffic, right? With MaxCDN, you don’t need to be concerned that all of this exposure will become a problem.
That’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but won’t a service this powerful cost an arm and a leg? If you go with a competitor, sadly, yes. Not only will you have to find a lot of room in your budget, but the results may be subpar too.
MaxCDN Is Extremely Affordable
Fortunately, MaxCDN is dedicated to keeping things both affordable and simple. You won’t have to worry that a better site will cost you a fortune. MaxCDN charges just $39.95 for the first terabyte. That’s not $39.95 a month, mind you. It’s a flat charge.
For those who may not be incredibly tech-savvy, a terabyte should last you an entire year, easily. After that, should you somehow make it past the terabyte threshold, it’s mere pennies on the gigabyte. Of course, if you ever get to the point where adding to your package becomes necessary, you probably won’t be worrying about money as much.
Hopefully, this makes clear why MaxCDN is so popular with those who work from home offices, run small businesses or are otherwise entrepreneurs. Although giant corporations could also benefit from this company, and save lots of money in the process, smaller outfits are definitely the big winners here.
You might still have one concern worth addressing, though. No matter what type of digital asset we’re talking about, implementation can really make or break a deal. Even the best possible solution may not be worth it if you’re going to have to suffer through a long ordeal in order to benefit from it. When it comes to something affecting your website, you don’t want to have to endure downtime just to get whatever reward is supposed to come afterward.
The developers behind MaxCDN understand this concern. They’ve also worked with a number of companies from across practically every industry, which means they’re very familiar with the different kinds of sites that exist.
This understanding gave birth to nearly a dozen different plugins that are ready to make MaxCDN’s implementation as easy as possible for your website.
The Best Support in the Industry
Finally, let’s cover any lingering concerns you may have. MaxCDN is widely recognized as having the best customer support in the entire industry. If you’re nervous about what CDN will mean for your site or how exactly it will work, just remember that help is always there when you need it. Actually, if you wanted to, you could head to their site right now and begin a chat with one of their representatives to get any questions answered we didn’t cover here.
Their control panel is extremely user-friendly too. You don’t have to have a background with servers or even websites, really, in order to figure out how to get it to work.
Though this won’t matter much to a lot of you, MaxCDN has an API that any programmer will love. This shouldn’t be too surprising, though, when you consider the company’s history of supporting open-source software. If you or your company has specific needs where CDN is concerned that you think you’ll need to create a solution to fully enjoy this service, MaxCDN is definitely the right option to go with.
Gone are the days when you could hope to just skate by with a website that took 10 or 20 seconds to fully load. Visitors don’t have to be patient anymore. They can move on to one of your competitors. Fortunately, it’s never been easier or more affordable to give your visitors the experience they deserve. MaxCDN is a CDN company capable of doing both and with plenty of high-profile customers to prove it.
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Most Favorable User Review
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Most Favorable Critic Review
Yola Silver provides a clean interface, efficient imaging tools and ample template categories. It's a great website maker for anyone who is apprehensive about building a website for his or her business. It lacks rollover creation and offers only 5GB of storage, but it has sufficient tools and features that make up for any deficiencies. The $100 in free credits (upon spending an initial $25) on AdWords credits is a generous perk and good indicator of Yola's devotion to customer service. This application is easy to use and will help you to make refined and professional websites that your customers will enjoy visiting.
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