If you are not familiar a CDNs, they are network of servers that deliver your images, CSS, and JS files extremely fast. This reduces the page load time an reduces your web host's server and bandwidth usage.
The trick is moving all of your images, CSS and JS to the CDN without having to manually update every page. Luckily in Joomla there are several ways to accomplish this. The easiest way is the use of a CDN extension.
Following is a list of the ones we have used and found to be helpful. As we test and use more we will add to this list.
Currently there are three main Joomla CDN extensions:
|Features||CDN for Joomla!||JomCDN||JA Amazon S3 CDN|
|Price||Free/ Pro €30||$29.95||$50|
|CDN Support||All (Pull) CDNs||Amazon CloudFront
Rackspace Cloud Files
|CDN Type||Pull CDN||Push CDN||Push CDN|
|File Type Include/Exclude||Yes||Yes||Yes|
CDN for Joomla! by NoNumber
CDN for Joomla! is an excellent option. It is free or paid (30 Euro), works on Joomla 2.5 and 3.0, works with all of the major CDN providers, and has all the flexibility you need. It is developed by NoNumber.nl, one of the best extension developers. NoNumber has created 25% of the top 50 Joomla extensions, which is a pretty good track record.
CDN for Joomla! is easy to install and only works with Pull CDN, which we find easier to work with (Learn the difference between Push and Pull CDNs). Once installed you need to add your name of your CDN (cdn.example.com), your site root which is most likely "/" and the types of files you want moved to the CDN. Once this information is entered, publish the plugin and you are done. Pretty easy.
Free vs Paid. The main difference between the two is the level of support and ability to add multiple CDN sets. Both of these features are nice have but not absolutely nesecary
Bottom Line We really like CDN for Joomla! because of its stability, flexibility and simplicty. It works on all of our Joomla sites, is easy to install and configure and allows us to exclude any files and file types that might cause an issue. It is easy to turn off and on, when we are updating the site or experiencing any sort of cache issue. We like CDN for Joomla! so much that we are using it on this site.
CDN for Joomla! Key Features:
- Supports Multiple CDN domain names
- Supports HTTPS URLs
- Supports up to 5 different CDN Sets (Paid Version)
- Ability to select file types to be moved to CDN
- Ability to exclude specific files
- Add extra file types to be moved to CDN
- Pull zone support only
jomCDN $29.95 (no free version) was developed by Rafael Corral at CorePHP, is Joomla 2.5 and 3.0 compatible and works with Amazon CloudFront and Rackspace CloudFiles. We are not aware of plans to add aditional CDN support. The install and configuration is straight forward and easy. corePHP provide complete and easy to understand documentation.
Once the extension is installed, you have complete control over: which files types are copied to the CDN, how long they are cached, as well as browser caching with Expires and Cache-Control headers variables. It is a very configurable extension.
jomCDN works with Push type CDNs which requires the changing of your URLs and the copying of files to the CDN provider. We like that jomCDN handles both the rewriting of the URL and copying the files. We have worked with other CDN solutions that us to develop the process for moving files to the CDN and that was a lot of extra work. In jomCDN, you set up the cronjob separately but jomCDN then handles the remainder of the process.
In this aspect we like working with the Pull CDNs better because they copy the files automatically. This is more a comment on Push vs. Pull CDNs than on jomCDN as an extension. jomCDN makes the process very easy.
Bottom Line If you need to use Amazon or Rackspace, then jomCDN is a great way to go. The interface is easy to use, with plenty of features, complete documentation and most importantly works great.
jomCDN Key Features:
- Objects have Etags
- CSS and JS are minified and Gzipped
- Expires & cache-control headers
- Many different file types supported
- Add in new file types
- Amazon S3 and CloudFront support
- Image optimization
JA Amazon S3 CDN by JoomlArt
- Compatible with Amazon S3 & Cloudfront
- Unlimited Buckets
- Cron Jobs Support
- Multiple Sync Profiles
- Include/exclude file types
- Enable/disable sync of specific files & folders
- Multiple Amazon S3 Accounts
- Upload new & updated modified files
- File & folder ACL System
Thers are serveral excellent options for adding a CDN to Joomla!. We find it easiest to work with Pull CDNs and use NoNumber CDN for Joomla! (Pro Version) for all of our sites. It's easy to set up and when it needs to upgrade you can do it straight from within the NoNumber Extension Manager. Our speed dramatically improves with CDN and we find it to be a necessity.
Have a different opinion or would like another extension to be reviewed? Let us know. We hope this has been helpful.