In this article I expose my review of the Shift8 CDN solution, based on my own experience.
What is Shift8?
Shift8 is a provider of a free CDN solution that is compatible with WordPress. The company is based in Toronto. Their CDN solution is relies currently on a handful of servers which are located around the world, as illustrated below:
Setting my Shift8 CDN account in WordPress
In order to review Shift8 CDN, I installed it on my blog. To do that:
Go to the Shift8 CDN webpage, create an account, fill out your wordpress site details.
Then go back to your wordpress site -> Plugins and add Shift8 CDN. Copy the Shift8 CDN API key in there.
You should see this picture as a proof of a successful integration:
It is important to test the integration with the Test URL before enabling link, before activating the CDN.
If you see the following image, it means there is an integration problem and you need to address your issue to the support through their forum or per email. I personally had a very positive experience with their technical support which is covered by Stardot Hosting
Here is an excerpt from my interaction with the technical support:
Speed Test With And Without Shift8 CDN
First, let us see the performance score without Shift8 CDN:
The result was a Pagespeed score of 93% and a YSlow score of 76%.
Now I activated CDN under Core Settings
Here is the result:
The PageSpeed score dropped by about 13% and the YSlow score by almost 20%!!
So maybe if we enable CDN for CSS we should see an improvement, but still not as good as without the plugin:
Although the free offer from Shift8 CDN seems interesting, the measured speed is clearly impacted which is really bad. Maybe the company will improve the functionality of the CDN with WordPress. But until then I will keep it deactivated.