A CDN for WP Multi-site


I have been trying to figure out a good solution for getting the benefits of a CDN (content delivery network). I have been experimenting with Cloudflare, but am not sure if it is the best choice. I read and heard from some that they had some problems with them I also found that their beta Rocket Loader was making my site slower.

I discovered MaxCDN for Wordpress which also looks good and I think you can use both MaxCDN and Cloudflare at the same time.

Are there any better options out there that people have tried with multi-site?

  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero


    Thanks for mentioning us! We've gotten several inquiries from this thread already.

    In summary, CloudFlare is a great service but isn't a traditional CDN. It's essentially an excellent global DNS which has the advantage of filtering requests against a database of known bad IPs. We have tested it extensively, and will add CloudFlare capability (with one-click activation) to a new cPanel/WordPress hosting product we're rolling out.

    CloudFlare also caches some content like a CDN does, but it is unclear what is cached and for how long. Therefore, I don't think it's a full-fledged replacement for a traditional CDN. CloudFlare can work hand-in-hand with a CDN. Some people route the CDN URLs through CloudFlare's system, but we've heard of issues with this. We recommend using a CDN in conjunction with CloudFlare, but not routing the CDN traffic through CF.

    Our CDN service is designed for WordPress, and is designed primarily for those who don't want to learn or set up complex things. With our WordPress service, we set things up for you, and you just have to install and activate our CDN plugin. Or instead, you can use the integrated CDN support in various caching plugins (WP Super Cache, W3 Total Cache). For those who want more hand-on control, our download/streaming acceleration service also works with WordPress, and gives you a control panel so you can set things up yourself.

    Our CDN works with multisite. With the subdirectory method, one setting covers the main domain and everything under it. With the subdomain method, each site must have a CDN zone and hostname entered. (Not as hard as it might sound.) Due to the way multisite handles files, make sure to enter the "files" directory into the appropriate field in our CDN plugin (or WP Super Cache). This is explained further in the instructions we send out on activation.

    Hope this helps!


  • dustin
    • The Crimson Coder


    I still don't understand how Cloudflare would work with a cdn. How do you the best of both worlds? So if I use both I will get the security protection that Cloudflare offers and the cdn benefits you offer?

    What are the drawbacks to using both?


  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero

    Hi Dustin,

    Sorry I missed this post somehow. I neglected to turn on e-mail notification. In case it's not too late...

    To use both, simply set up CloudFlare and also set up the CDN. Do not route the CDN hostname through CloudFlare, just set it up as if CloudFlare was not active.

    The CDN will always cache and deliver your static items (images, etc.), whereas CloudFlare will filter the traffic to your site for security purposes. CloudFlare will also attempt to cache some items, but that will be largely irrelevant since the CDN is active.

    So yes, you'll still get the security benefits of CloudFlare this way. There are really no drawbacks to doing both. In fact, I can't imagine running a site any other way. CloudFlare provides protection and some performance boost, and CDN provides performance boost.

    Hope this helps,


  • wpcdn
    • Syntax Hero


    But I need a sitewide CDN

    CloudFlare can work sitewide (across a multisite) if it's a subdirectory installation. Otherwise you'd have to set up CF on every subdomain.

    Same goes for traditional CDN like ours...on a subdirectory installation it would work sitewide, otherwise you'd need to set it up for each sub-site.

    Hope this helps.


  • Qlof
    • The Crimson Coder

    Is there a CDN for multisite sub-site set-up that you don't have to add each site in?

    I'm aware about the CF plugin for multisite. Are there any other alternatives? I'm getting 5-10 new blogs/day and I'm not about to add them manually...

  • dapadoo
    • Site Builder, Child of Zeus

    I used CDN once with multi-site and works good. Moved away from the host I had that connected the CDN. Spent 3-4 days trying to find a good solution for multi-site. Before moved servers I had 9,000 files uploaded just from themes and plugins for the site. I deleted them before moving so there would be no conflicts.

    However I plan on using CDN again in the near future for the same multi-site. I tried many options before finding one that worked with a simple set up.

    What works is WP Super Cache with the CDN Sync Tool plugin. This will help upload files to Amazon S3/Cloudfront. CDN Sync tool requires you have Wp Super cache installed. You don't have to activate WP Super Cache but it needs to be installed in plugins.

    Only problem with installing Wp Super Cache and not activating it you'll forever see a message at the top of the dashboard to activate it in the Network and Main site.CDN tool works fine. You need to activate the CDN Tool on the main site not network wide. I found where I could remove the activation message in the plugin files and removed it.

    Activated as described it will still upload all the static files img, html, css, js, swf files to the CDN for all themes, plugins and other folder you may have on the root level of the site.

    Hope this helps someone!

  • RavanH
    • The Crimson Coder

    Old thread but still interesting.

    Qlof no Super Cache does not do this automatically for sub-sites. It does activate the CDN option for all but you'd still need to configure it site by site.

    Hummingbird (new plugin since this thread was last updated) has now a Cloudflare option and for static file concatination and minification it can host them on the wpmudev CDN as well ... but it seems only to allow these two options, not any other/custom CDN like Super Cache does :slight_frown:

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