At Kinsta, maximizing the performance of our customers’ sites is one of our top priorities. Every part of our hosting stack from our C2 compute-optimized VMs to our highly tuned software configurations was selected with performance in mind.

A content delivery network (CDN) is a crucial component of a modern hosting stack, and we’re proud to offer Kinsta CDN –a premium CDN powered by Cloudflare – at no additional cost. In this article, you’ll learn more about Kinsta CDN, and how to enable it for your WordPress site.

Kinsta CDN

All sites hosted on Kinsta are secured by our free Cloudflare integration. In addition to an enterprise-level firewall and DDoS protection, Kinsta customers also have access to a high-performance HTTP/3 CDN powered by Cloudflare’s robust global network.

To take advantage of the new Kinsta CDN, existing customers need to enable our free Cloudflare integration. For new customers, no additional steps are required.

How Fast Is Kinsta CDN?

To test the performance of the new Kinsta CDN, we ran a series of benchmark tests from 10 locations around the world. For this test, we used a WordPress blog with a custom theme and a variety of text and graphical content hosted in Google Cloud’s data center in Iowa, USA. In total, the page we tested made over 30 static asset requests (JS, CSS, images, fonts, etc.) and weighed in at 3.2 MB. Lastly, we measured the full page load time three times per location, and calculated the average time in each location.

During our performance benchmark tests, we found that enabling Kinsta CDN resulted in up to a 44% reduction in page load time. In the table below, you can see the before vs after results compared for different locations.

Keep in mind that locations that are in close proximity to the origin server we used to run our tests (Iowa, USA) may not see a performance boost with Kinsta CDN.

Location No CDN (seconds) Kinsta CDN (seconds) Percent Diff
Frankfurt 2.64 2.19 -17.05%
Amsterdam 3.05 1.7 -44.26%
London 2.78 1.55 -44.24%
New York 1.16 0.835 -28.02%
Dallas 0.721 0.849 +17.75%
San Francisco 1.1 1.2 +9.09%
Singapore 4.91 3.41 -30.55%
Sydney 4.72 3.95 -16.31%
Tokyo 2.83 2.18 -22.97%
Bangalore 4.43 4.82 +8.80%

With a network that spans over 200 cities across the globe, Cloudflare operates one of the largest CDN networks in the world. Comparatively, other popular CDN providers like KeyCDN, Bunny CDN, and StackPath have less than 60 points-of-presence (PoPs).

This means that by enabling Kinsta CDN, your WordPress site will be able to serve static assets from many more locations across the world without the need to pay for additional services!

Advantages of Kinsta CDN

By leveraging Cloudflare’s network, Kinsta CDN offers a number of advantages over traditional CDN providers. Let’s go over a few of Kinsta CDN’s biggest advantages:

HTTP/3 Support

Kinsta CDN comes with native support for HTTP/3, the latest revision of the HTTP protocol. Compared to HTTP/2, HTTP/3 offers faster 0-RTT handshakes, SSL encryption requirements, better performance, and more.

Now that major web browsers like Chrome and Firefox have added HTTP/3 support, it’s important for CDN providers to start supporting it as well. At this time, Kinsta CDN is one of the few CDNs that support HTTP/3. With that said, you don’t have to worry if your visitors’ browsers don’t support HTTP/3 yet, as Kinsta CDN will automatically fall back to HTTP/2 when necessary.

Primary Domain Support

Cloudflare is a reverse proxy service, which means you won’t need a secondary domain just to take advantage of its various features. Thanks to Kinsta CDN, your site’s cached assets can be served from your primary domain instead of a secondary CDN domain.

While Google claims there is no SEO benefit to serving images from your primary domain, there are still a few advantages to not having to rely on a secondary CDN domain. For example, if you share an image URL that uses a secondary CDN domain, it may return an HTTP 404 error if you switch your CDN provider in the future. By caching and serving static assets via your primary domain, you won’t have to worry about this problem.

Lastly, being able to serve assets from the primary domain without having to deal with URL rewrites for a secondary domain also improves compatibility with WordPress multisite.

How to Enable Kinsta CDN

To enable Kinsta CDN, log in to MyKinsta and go to Sites > Your Site > Kinsta CDN, and click Enable Kinsta CDN.

Enable Kinsta CDN in MyKinsta.

Enable Kinsta CDN in MyKinsta.

Next, confirm the zone creation by clicking Enable Kinsta CDN on the popup dialog box.

Confirm Kinsta CDN deployment.

Confirm Kinsta CDN deployment.

How to Disable (or Purge) Kinsta CDN

After Kinsta CDN has been enabled, you should see a green check mark that indicates that Kinsta CDN is now live! On this page, you’ll also see two buttons –Disable and Clear CDN Cache.

  • Disable: click this button to disable Kinsta CDN.
  • Clear CDN Cache: click this button to flush the CDN cache. Clearing the CDN cache is a good first troubleshooting step if you see discrepancies on the frontend of your site. For example, if you make some changes to your CSS but don’t see the changes on the frontend, it’s possible that the old CSS file is cached. In this situation, you can clear the CDN cache during your troubleshooting process.
Kinsta CDN settings in MyKinsta.

Kinsta CDN settings in MyKinsta.

Testing Kinsta CDN

After Kinsta CDN has been deployed, you can test it with a website speed test tool. Since Kinsta CDN doesn’t use a secondary CDN domain, you can’t verify that the CDN is working by inspecting the domain of your static files.

Before you proceed with speed tests, we recommend inspecting the HTTP headers of a static asset to confirm it is loading from Kinsta CDN. There are two ways to check HTTP headers – web browser and Terminal.

How to Check Kinsta CDN With a Web Browser

You can use your web browser’s built-in developer tools to check whether Kinsta CDN is working. For this example, we’ll use Google Chrome to inspect HTTP headers for a static asset. To launch the Chrome developer tools, right-click on the page and click Inspect.

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Launch Chrome developer tools.

Launch Chrome developer tools.

Next, click on the “Network” tab and reload the page. As the page loads, you’ll see a list of the page’s static assets on the left hand side of the developer tools window. To verify that Kinsta CDN is working correctly, click on any static asset (CSS, JS, image file, or web font) that loads from your domain.

HTTP headers in Chrome developer tools.

HTTP headers in Chrome developer tools.

In the “Headers” tab, scroll down until you see the “Response Headers”. In this section, you should see a cf-cache-status header with a value of HIT. If you see a different value such as MISS or DYNAMIC, try to refresh the page a few times to prime the CDN cache.

How to Check Kinsta CDN in Terminal

If you’re familiar with how to use Terminal (command line), you can also check HTTP headers with the curl command. First, you’ll need to find the URL of a static asset on your site. To do this, right-click on an image on your site, and copy the URL.

Next, use the command below and substitute the URL at the end of the command with your asset URL.

curl -L -s -o /dev/null -D - https://kinstacdn.kinstalife.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/post-one.jpg

After running this command, you should see a response like this:

Check cf-cache-status and ki-cache-tag of an asset in Terminal.

Check cf-cache-status and ki-cache-tag of an asset in Terminal.

If Kinsta CDN is enabled, you should see a HIT value next to the cf-cache-status header. If you see DYNAMIC or MISS instead of HIT, try to run the command a few more times to prime the CDN cache. You should also see the ki-cache-tag header in the response, which indicates the asset is being served by our Kinsta CDN.

Important Notes

Here are some important notes regarding the Kinsta CDN integration.

  • If you’re using a third-party CDN, we recommend disabling it before enabling Kinsta CDN. Using multiple CDN services for a single site can cause asset purging issues.
  • If you use your own Cloudflare account alongside Kinsta’s Cloudflare integration, your caching and optimization settings will override Kinsta’s settings.
  • The maximum cacheable file size is 5 GB.
  • Static assets are not automatically served over HTTPS. If you want to ensure all assets are served over HTTPS, we recommend enabling “Force HTTPS” in MyKinsta.

Summary

Kinsta CDN is a high-performance CDN available to all Kinsta customers at no additional cost. It’s powered by our free Cloudflare integration, and automatically serves your content from over 200 PoPs around the world. If you have any questions about Kinsta CDN, feel free to reach out to our 24/7 support team for further assistance!


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