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How do you weigh the benefits of implementing a CDN over a server upgrade?

Joe Link

Well-known member
I know this is a pretty basic question, but my searching hasn't turned up much.

It seems a fair number of people here are using CDN's to improve the speed and security of their forums. I'm curious to know how one would go about measuring whether they'd be better off implementing a CDN service or upgrading their dedicated server. Those who use CDN's, do they still use server caching? Can you serve your site over SSL via a CDN? What are the downsides to a CDN service, assuming uptime is acceptable?

Joe Link

Well-known member
Thanks for the reply Bama. My server is actually in Michigan, with LiquidWeb, before they had their Arizona data center. The bulk of my members are in Oregon and Washington. Think there'd be any advantage there?


Well-known member
This is apples to oranges. One isn't going to solve the other problem. If your site is slow because you are low on resources you need to upgrade your server. If things are slow to the global audience (due to distance), you use a CDN.

The main downside to using a CDN is that for some users, your site might actually slow down. We see this ALL THE TIME with CloudFlare and similar offerings. People might actually get a better/quicker route to your server, vs. going through the CDN servers. Just too many factors involved.

Are you noticing that your site is slow?