Monday, December 11, 2017

MaxCDN Review – Insanely Speed Up Your WordPress Blog

The following is external content provided as a free resource for blog readers.

A content delivery network (CDN) is an interconnected system of computers on the Internet that provides web content rapidly to numerous users by duplicating the content on multiple servers and directing the content to users based on proximity. It’s an absolute necessity for high traffic websites and eCommerce sites. Today we’re going to review MaxCDN – one of the most popular CDN companies in the industry.

MaxCDN was started by Chris Ueland in 2009. They offer a wide array of CDN services including specialized services for major content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, Magneto. With solutions for both one-man websites and enterprise level companies, MaxCDN has quickly acclaimed the title of #1 CDN brand.

Setting up MaxCDN for WordPress blogs using W3 Total Cache is straightforward and easy. I’m using MaxCDN on Pixel2Pixel Design since the beginning of 2013. Here’s why I’m more than impressed with its performance and features.

History Lesson

maxcdn merger

Up until the last month of 2013, MaxCDN’s parent company was NetDNA – an enterprise level CDN provider. On the 17th of December, MaxCDN’s blog announced a father-son reunion under one name – MaxCDN. As of April 2014, MaxCDN employs over 50 people located in different parts of the world.

Server Chops

maxcdn network

MaxCDN’s global peering network consists over 53 PoP locations, with 22 in North America and 31 in Europe. In Asia and South America, they’ve teamed up with leading ISPs to provide the fastest possible content delivery network.

MaxCDN’s Customer Base

maxcdn customer base

MaxCDN has an impressive army of customers behind its throne. Industry leading Managed WordPress hosting companies like WPEngine and ZippyKid teamed up with MaxCDN to bring its clients super-fast web page load times regardless of their location. Other notable companies include Forbes, The Washington Post, The Next Web, AndroidCentral, TemplateMonster, Web Page Test, Buy Sell Ads, StumbleUpon and Yoast.

Why use a CDN?

A CDN drastically improves your site’s load time by distributing the static content across the all servers in their global peering network. When a visitor requests a page, the static files are served from the CDN’s server which is physically closest to his/her (the visitor’s) location. Static files include JavaScript and CSS files, images, custom web-fonts and other web objects.

Benefits of using a CDN

  • There is a significant increase in the site’s speed and overall performance
  • A substantial amount of the host server’s bandwidth is saved
  • Load balancing during ‘traffic spikes’
  • A fast site helps improve conversion rate and search engine ranking (Google considers site speed as one of its ranking factors)

Benefits of using MaxCDN

I’ve listed some of the features I like best about MaxCDN. I hope you find them as interesting and useful as I do:

1. Easy to use Control Panel

maxcdn dashboard

MaxCDN has an all-inclusive control panel, which makes accomplishing tasks a spontaneous event, even for the first-time user. I’ve uploaded a couple of screenshots of the MaxCDN control panel.

pull zonesettings

Creating and managing push/pull zones in MaxCDN is walk in the park.

maxcdn reports

The Reports panel gives me the latest information of my site’s bandwidth consumption.

2. Several Types of CDN Zones

video on demand

A CDN traditionally offers Pull Zones and Push Zones. MaxCDN also offers a VOD Zone and Live Zone. The basic difference between the two is the fact that a VOD zone is used for streaming pre-recorded video whereas the latter is used to stream live video. As you can tell from the links, the FAQ is well documented.

3. Multiple CMS Support

cms support

MaxCDN provides extensive documentation and video tutorials to help you setup MaxCDN with multiple CMS platforms, eCommerce portals and forum software. MaxCDN’s knowledgebase contains all their tutorials in a clean, organized manner. Here’s a list of all the currently supported CMS platforms: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magneto, PrestaShop, OpenCart, X Cart, SocialEngine, IPBoard, vBulletin, and PyroCMS.

4. Knowledgeable Customer Support

Every company must offer good customer support. With toll-free phone, fax, email and chat support – 365 days a year, MaxCDN’s customer support is nothing short of excellent. Enterprise customers receive a dedicated support manager who they can call as and when required. No more endless waiting, reply from bots with preset words. You get solutions, tailored to your needs.

Allow me to share a personal experience with you. I had contacted MaxCDN’s customer support via the chat portal. A couple of days later I get an email from with offering me a discount. I got a month’s subscription for just a dollar!

5. Serious Security

Your MaxCDN account is protected using SSL, two-factor authentication, proactive email alerts, IP whitelist and a complete activity log. You can add new members to your account so they can create/modify zones without sharing your account details. This is extremely helpful for teams operating under a single account. Open the image for a better look.

6. API

MaxCDN offers a powerful API to for easy integration into your apps, in the programming language of your choice. They have repositories in GitHub for the following languages:

  1. .NET
  2. Ruby on Rails
  3. Python
  4. PHP
  5. Perl
  6. Node (NPM)

They also have a Twitter account dedicated to developers called @MaxCDNDeveloper

7. Entrepreneur Pricing

standard pricing 2

MaxCDN is offers a very reasonable pricing despite its brand value. An annual subscription will get two months free. Plans start at 9 USD per month, with a limit of 2 zones. The same plan would cost you 90 USD annually (instead of the usual 108 USD).

8. Professional Pricing

affiliate program

High volume pricing starts at 299 USD/month for 5TB, including a 1 on 1 setup call. And guess what, the annual discount applies here too!

9. Lucrative Affiliate Program

MaxCDN’s affiliate program deserves a special mention. They treat their customers as well as people who bring them customers – with equal respect. The minimum you earn per referral, is 20 USD. Maximum? A jaw-dropping, double semester funding $12,500 USD. To make things even more irresistible, they have a two-man dedicated affiliate team to help us out – over the phone, email or Skype!

10. They Give Back

Ever heard of Subway feeding the homeless on Friday nights? MaxCDN does the same on the Internet. Well, not feeding the homeless per say, but they sponsor a multitude of open source projects – some serious bandwidth consuming ones like Bootstrap CDN, jQuery and FontAwesome. Take a look at all the projects sponsored by MaxCDN. This is truly a commendable effort from MaxCDN and they have my respect.

How to Setup MaxCDN on WordPress

As I’ve already mentioned in the beginning of this post, you can use a caching plugin called W3 Total Cache and set it up automatically. There’s a step-by-step guide on setting up W3 Total Cache and MaxCDN together. If you prefer WP Super Cache instead, there’s a way to set MaxCDN up alongside that, as well.

There you have it! You have MaxCDN, the best WordPress CDN, jacking up your site speed and taking care of your traffic spikes!

Conclusion: When should I use a CDN?

Young beautiful woman in business wear at work

As you can imagine, a CDN service isn’t free. Although there are free CDNs for WordPress like CloudFlare or Incapsula that work just fine up to a certain point, there comes a time when a transition is necessary.  Point being, when you invest in something, there’s always a question of value for money – “bang for the buck”, if you will. So, at what point do you start using a CDN?

  • People with high traffic (above 500 visitors/day) websites with lots of images should use a CDN.
  • If your website is less than three months old and receives around 100 pageviews daily, then a CDN is pointless – your server should be enough to handle the load
  • eCommerce sites should use a CDN right from day one. Any advertising campaign via the television, radio or social media channels like Facebook or Twitter would drive a huge amount of visitors into your site. The CDN would balance the server load and prevent downtime.

MaxCDN Coupon 25% Off


As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts. What’s your favorite CDN?  What’s your daily bandwidth consumption? We look forward to hearing from you! If you have any queries, the comment form is all yours.

Read More...

Friday, December 8, 2017

20 WordPress Themes With Big Fonts & Bright Colors

The following is external content provided as a free resource for blog readers.

Using bright color and big font can help pique user interest, make them feel secure, see a website as an authority, make them feel playful, keep them coming back, and much more. So in this post we`ve gathered 20 WordPress themes with big fonts and bright colors to focus people`s attention and to make designs memorable.

Penumbra

It is a clean, minimalistic, portfolio WordPress Theme inspired by modern typography trends. It has some features which will help you make your project stand out from the crowd.

Penumbra - A Contemporary Multi-Concept Portfolio

Aoki

It is not only a powerful theme with a beautiful style. It is designed with user in mind.

Aoki - A Bold Multipurpose Creative Theme

Diorama

An eye-catching theme that will help you create the portfolio your work deserves in virtually no time.

Diorama - A Bold Portfolio Theme for Agencies and Freelancers

Cortex

Whether you are a freelancer, agency, or any kind of creative, Cortex has the perfect solution for you.

Cortex - A Multi-concept Theme for Agencies and Freelancers

Bjorn

Enter universe of creativity with this theme. Packed with stunning templates, beautiful elements and flexible options, it`s all you`ll ever need.

Bjorn - A Contemporary and Clean Multipurpose Theme

Atmosphere

A dazzling theme designed for all types of designers, creative studios and freelancers. Make your dream website now.

Atmosphere - A Bold, Fresh Portfolio Theme

Ivery

It is a creative portfolio, resume & CV WordPress theme. A unique bold color and modern design for creative works. It`s a great choice!

Ivery - Creative Portfolio & CV WordPress Theme

Dieter

Build an awesome website and an immersive porfolio without any knowledge of HTML or coding. Fully responsive system based on WordPress at your disposal for creating beautiful case studies and project pages. It give you everything you need to create an amazing website. Set up your website quickly and with ease.

Dieter - An Authentic Theme for Artists, Designers, and Creative Agencies

Seniman

It is Modern Portfolio WordPress Theme that suitable for Designer, Freelancer or Artist. Seniman uses drag and drop page builder for built the page elements, make you easier to arrange your layout. This theme also served with extensive theme options. With header builder and footer options, we create every one of theme have their controls.

Seniman | Modern Portfolio WordPress Theme

Alecta

Alecta is packed with a collection of gorgeous predesigned inner page layouts which can be used for a large variety of purposes. Present your team, the services you offer, and much more

Alecta - A Smart Theme for Creative Agencies and Freelancers

Naix

It is a creative & high performance Portfolio WordPress Theme. This theme is suited for for photography, blogs, portfolios, agency, wedding studio, or any business that relates to showcase photos.

Naix - Creative & High Performance Portfolio WordPress Theme

Smoothly

It will help you showcase your own work or create absolutely amazing websites for your clients and friends. Just use your imagination to create something outstanding!

Smoothly - Portfolio WordPress Theme for Creative Professionals

Anders

Present your work in a stylish manner with the help of Anders` huge collection of beautiful predesigned portfolio single project layouts.

Anders - A Clean Multi-concept Portfolio Theme

OSCAR

The theme is fast-loading and minimal, you can have your website setup within minutes. This WordPress Theme features multiple portfolio landing pages, advanced UI elements and various presentation options.

OSCAR - Multi Concept Creative Portfolio / Agency WordPress Theme

Precise

As an endless inspiration, Precise allows you create the beautiful site as you wish with distinguished functional home.

Precise - A Modern, Minimalistic Shop Theme

SKIN

Sassy, colorful and original – It is a perfect theme for bloggers who want to leave a lasting first impression on their visitors with smooth, trendy gradients, totally original circled posts slider, colorful details, truly GIF-friendly layout and social-boosting features.

SKIN - Gradient-Powered Creative Blog & Shop WordPress Theme

Superfood

A theme for your organic food and health product business. From bakeries and restaurants to grocery and organic cosmetic stores, Superfood has you covered.

Superfood - A Vibrant Theme for Organic Food and Health Products

Vibez

A Dynamic Multi-concept Theme for Dance Studios and Instructors. You get absolutely everything you will ever need for your website with Vibez. Astounding predesigned and easily customizable blog, shop and portfolio templates await inside.

Vibez - A Dynamic Multi-concept Theme for Dance Studios and Instructors

Newsflash

It`s the perfect time to launch your online publication, and with the help of Newsflash you can be sure you’ll have a fresh and modern website and be able to display your articles in a variety of creative ways

Newsflash - A Fresh Multi-Concept News and Magazine Theme

Music Club

It is a WordPress theme exclusively built for band, label, studio, festival, dj or singer websites. It is fully responsive, retina ready and easy to customize.

Music Club - Music, Band, Studio & DJ

Read More...

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

40+ Free Christmas Templates & Resources for Designers

The following is external content provided as a free resource for blog readers.

Christmas is only few days away, and we realize that all you creators will begin to design the plan of your customized Christmas cards, solicitations, backdrops and everything else in the middle of that is Christmas or Christmas season related.

Along these lines, just to help you out we to have a fabulous collection of FREE Christmas related resources we know you will love and will ideally help get you into the merry soul.

We haven’t picked customary resources. Rather, we focussed on choosing those resources that have been designed with probably the most prominent and recent design trends from the last few years. You’ll find flat-styled seasonal illustration templates and icon sets, line-styled Photoshop Brushes, retro-styled characters, invitation templates, free fonts and Photoshop Actions that simply shout ‘Merry Christmas!’

80+ Christmas Mockups, Icons, Graphics & Design Resources

80 Christmas Mockups, Icons, Graphics and Design Resources

Christmas Vector Icon Set (EPS)

Christmas Vector Icon Set free holidays

Retro Santa Cap Vector Greeting Card Templates (EPS)

Retro Santa Cap Vector Greeting Card Templates free holidays

10 ‘Make it Snow’ Actions (Photoshop)

10 Make it Snow Actions free holidays

Christmas Vector Letters Background (EPS)

Christmas Vector Letters Background free holidays

Merry Christmas Illustration Vector (AI & EPS)

Merry christmas illustration Vector free holidays

Christmas eCommerce Background Illustration with Typography (EPS)

Christmas eCommerce Background Illustration with Typography free holidays

Santa Claus with Swagg Illustrations (AI, Designed by Jordan Succar)

santa Claus with Swagg Illustrations free holidays

Happy Holidays Free Vector Illustration (AI, Designed by Marko Jotic)

Happy Holidays Free Vector Illustration free holidays

Merry Christmas Typographic Christmas Greeting Illustration (EPS)

Merry Christmas Typographic Christmas Greeting Illustration free holidays

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Background Illustration (EPS)

Merry Christmas Happy New Year Background Illustration free holidays

Black and White Vector Christmas Badges Pack (AI)

Black and White Vector Christmas Badges Pack free holidays

Jingle Bells Christmas Vector Elements (AI & EPS)

Jingle Bells Christmas Vector Elements free holidays

Christmas Vector Elements (AI & EPS)

Christmas Vector Elements free holidays

6 Free Christmas Patterns (Photoshop Patterns)

6 Free Christmas Patterns free holidays

4 Hand-Drawn Retro Christmas Postcard (PSD)

Hand-Drawn Retro Christmas Postcard free holidays

Free Handmade Retro Christmas Flyer holidays

Hand-Drawn Retro Christmas Postcard free holidays

Free Retro Christmas and New Year Flyer holidays

Free Christmas & Happy New Year Party Flyer Template & Mockup (PSD)

Free Christmas Happy New Year Party Flyer Template Mockup free holidays

Vintage Retro Style Christmas & New Year Illustrations (EPS)

Vintage Retro Style Christmas & New Year Illustration free holidays

Free Christmas Flyer Mockup (PSD)

Free Christmas Flyer Mockup free holidays

Christmas Party Invitation with Hand-drawn Santa Vector (AI & EPS)

Christmas Party Invitation with Hand-drawn Santa Vector free holidays

Christmas and New Year Wallpapers

Christmas and New Year Wallpapers

13 Christmas Stamp Brushes (Photoshop)

13 Christmas Stamp Brushes free holidays

Retro Distressed Christmas Label Set (AI & EPS)

Retro Distressed Christmas Label Set free holidays

126 Christmas Doodles Brush Pack (Photoshop)

126 Christmas Doodles Brush Pack free holidays

8 Christmas Icons (Sketch App)

8 Christmas Icons free holidays

91 Christmas Brush Collection (Photoshop)

91 Christmas Brush Collection free holidays

32 Creative Santa Claus Illustrations

32 Creative Santa Claus Illustrations

Vector Vintage Party Christmas Flyer Template (AI & PSD)

Vector Vintage Party Christmas Flyer Template free holidays

12 Hand-Drawn Style Merry Icons (AI, EPS, PSD & PNG)

12 Hand-Drawn Style Merry Icons free holidays

20 Free Christmas Icons (AI)

20 Free Christmas Icons free holidays

78 Christmas Icons (AI)

78 Christmas Icons free holidays

Santa, Reindeer and Christmas Pudding Vectors (AI & EPS, Designed by Jenny Hadfield)

Santa Reindeer Christmas Pudding Vectors free holidays

Vintage Vector Christmas Badges Pack (AI)

Vintage Vector Christmas Badges Pack free holidays

Christmas Icon Set (EPS)

Christmas Icon Set free holidays

15 Flat Vector Icons for Christmas (AI)

15 Flat Vector Icons for Christmas free holidays

20 Christmas Colors Patterns for Photoshop (JPEG & Photoshop Patterns)

20 Christmas Colors Patterns for Photoshop free holidays

15 Flat Christmas Icons (AI)

15 Flat Christmas Icons free holidays

16 Vector Christmas Icons (AI & EPS)

 free holidays

Merry Christmas Free Font

Merry Christmas Free Font free holidays

Christmas Icons Vector Set (AI & EPS)

Christmas Icons Vector Set free holidays

15 Flat Holiday Icons (AI)

16 Vector Christmas Icons free holidays

Real Photo Invitation or Greeting Card Mockup (PSD)

Real Photo Invitation or Greeting Card Mockup free holidays

26 Vintage-Retro Xmas Patterns (Photoshop Patterns)

26 Vintage-Retro Xmas Patterns free holidays

Christmas Time Free Font

Christmas Time Free Font free holidays

3 Free Christmas Actions (Photoshop)

3 Free Christmas Actions free holidays

12 Vector Holiday Icons (AI)

12 Vector Holiday Icons free holidays

Christmas Background Illustration with Retro Text (EPS)

Christmas Background Illustration with Retro Text free holidays

3 Christmas Photoshop Actions (Photoshop)

3 Christmas Photoshop Actions free holidays

5 Christmas And New Year Cards (PSD, AI, EPS & PNG)

5 Christmas And New Year Cards free holidays

Read More...