Introducing SiteGround Cloud CDN in Beta

Not so long ago we launched a Centralized Anycast DNS service which made DNS management on SiteGround really easy and significantly boosted domain name resolving speed and redundancy for SiteGround clients compared to using local DNS servers. Our Centralized DNS also laid the foundation for another feature that is essential to website speed and performance –  our own Cloud-based Content Delivery Network – SiteGround CDN.

Why did we develop SiteGround CDN?

For the past 10 years, we’ve been partnering with CDN providers to offer free built-in CDN as part of our hosting services. However, third-party services invariably require additional setup and configuration, often involving managing things from separate interfaces or technical knowledge about DNS, HTTP, cookies, etc. On top of this, using third-party services may sometimes cause confusion for users or issues which are outside of our control. And at SiteGround, we’ve always strived to minimize the hassle as much as possible for our clients. 

That’s why we wanted to build our own CDN solution to provide a simple On/Off service with smart defaults and native server performance. SiteGround CDN is developed specifically for our clients to incorporate all related services needed for best results:

  1. Smart Anycast DNS to route the traffic to the geographically nearest CDN location
  2. More control over the backend hosting servers to increase redundancy and offer more features out of the box
  3. Greater flexibility to configure things for our clients without them having to do anything

What are the benefits of SiteGround CDN compared to a third-party service?

Cloud-native Performance

Our new CDN service is hosted entirely in the Cloud – multi-region, highly available, and redundant groups of servers, making it possible for your content to be cached and replicated across multiple locations, and be served to your website visitors with minimal latency. It works with our Centralized DNS and its high-speed Anycast routing technology to direct your site’s visitor requests to the closest SiteGround CDN location. In turn, it will serve the content from the cache in our CDN cloud (if the specific content has been cached previously) or proxy it to your site’s hosting server ensuring near-native server performance.

Client-specific Locations with Premium Networking

We carefully analyzed the aggregated main website traffic sources on our servers and created the following list of locations currently powering our CDN network: Tokyo (Japan), Singapore, Sydney (Australia), Warsaw (Poland), Hamina (Finland), London (England), Frankfurt (Germany), Eemshaven (Netherlands), Council Bluffs (Iowa, US), Moncks Corner (South Carolina, US), The Dalles (Oregon, US), Los Angeles (California, North America). 

Having CDN cloud servers at the locations above gives us a great advantage in terms of network performance. The fact that we have network control over both the CDN layer and your website’s hosting server makes the communication between them blazing-fast. By using internal routes between the servers we are eliminating any delays and latency that might be observed with third-party CDN providers utilizing the public network to communicate with your site’s hosting server. In short, this ensures the fastest private network between our CDN locations and our shared hosting servers, resulting in faster website loading speeds for our clients.

No Configuration and Simple Management

Thanks to the fact that every layer of our system – from the hosting environment, through your website management panel, to the Centralized DNS – is built in-house, we can provide our clients with an easy and comfortable way to add a CDN layer to their websites with literally one click. It also allows us to implement the CDN functionalities you need and make them available in an easy-to-use interface directly within SiteGround’s website management interface – Site Tools. 

Everything from setting up your SiteGround CDN to enabling/disabling a certain feature is handled automatically in our backend. The only thing left for you to do is click a few simple buttons in the Site Tools -> Speed -> CDN section of your site. This way we’re saving you a ton of annoying actions:

  • No external CDN control panels – you don’t need to log anywhere else except your Site Tools area
  • No need to change and use external Nameservers – it all happens within our central DNS records
  • No need to create additional DNS records for the www-prefixed version of your domains – we will route absolutely everything through our CDN service, regardless of whether your site is opened with the WWW or non-WWW version of your domain. 
  • No additional HTTP configuration – no specific Cookie settings, no need to implement anything in your application. You just click the “On” button and your content will be served from the closest SiteGround CDN location point to your site visitors.

SiteGround CDN Beta Features

After successfully passing our detailed internal testing, SiteGround CDN Beta is now available for testing. Currently, SiteGround clients can enable it for their sites’ primary domain names with one click, absolutely free. Here’s a quick overview of the features that are currently available for all users that decide to use the SiteGround Cloud CDN in Beta:

  • Access all available CDN locations that we currently offer
  • Static & Dynamic caching with no extra configuration – third-party CDN services usually only cache and serve static content by default ( website images, CSS, Javascript, ect). With SiteGround Cloud CDN, you can choose to cache both your site’s static and dynamic content with a single click. This way our CDN will instantly deliver cached copies of the dynamically generated pages of your site by default, instead of static content only.
  • Cache TTL (time to live) modification – SiteGround CDN currently has a global default value of 12 hours. However, if you want to set a different cache TTL you will be able to do it by simply choosing the desired cache time to live from a drop-down menu in your Site Tools interface.
  • Development mode – caching is good, but we know that sometimes you want to check the latest website changes live quickly to ensure everything looks good. Our Development mode functionality will allow you to bypass the cache and fetch fresh content from your site’s hosting server, instead of the CDN. So there’s no need to turn the CDN service on and off again and again when you’re making website changes.
  • “Always online” feature – we also know that sometimes things can go wrong. Our Always online feature tells our system to keep delivering the cached pages from our CDN servers, which comes in handy if your website application starts returning an error for some reason.

You can find detailed instructions on how to use our CDN interfaces in our CDN tutorial.

How to take advantage of the SiteGround CDN Beta?

You can activate SiteGround CDN Beta from Site Tools -> Speed -> CDN section of your site. Currently, it’s available for primary domain names only, and completely free with its full feature list. The official SiteGround CDN release will feature two plans – basic and paid with different functionality. All clients who activate the Beta version of our CDN get access to the complete list of features, and will be able to continue using them for free for 3 months after the Beta period is over.

Gaining even more data and insights during the Beta period, in addition to client feedback, would help us polish and perfect the nitty-gritty details. All clients using SiteGround CDN in Beta will be able to test its performance benefits and provide feedback about the service or what we can improve directly in our Support HelpDesk, so you’ll be able to communicate and share your opinion directly with the people who designed and developed the whole system. And how often, really, do you get to have that – free performance optimization and a direct feedback loop to the people who created it. At SiteGround it’s a win-win for all.

Daniel Kanchev

Product and Technology Lead

Daniel is responsible for bringing new products to life at SiteGround. This involves handling all types of tasks and communication across multiple teams. Enthusiastic about technology, user experience, security and performance, you can never be bored hanging around him. Also an occasional conference speaker and travel addict.

Speed

Comments ( 44 )

author avatar

Zoltan

Mar 16, 2022

This is Great!!!

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author avatar

Jason

Mar 17, 2022

I saw this yesterday. Interesting. Is this going to be comparable to Cloudflare? You are less expensive. Can we run both? Or should we choose just one? Also used the new Gmail function. Cool too. Thanks for what you do in keeping my sites up and easy to manage!

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author avatar

Daniel Kanchev Siteground Team

Mar 18, 2022

Hi, Jason. Using two CDN setups simultaneously will probably cause more issues than it will solve. Thus, I do not advise doing that. The SiteGround CDN has been specifically designed for sites hosted on our servers. The main advantages are ease of use, full integration with other SiteGround products and services, and speed improvements due to the fact that both the CDN and the backend hosting servers utilize the same premium Google network. In addition in order to use our CDN you have to use the SiteGround central DNS. This means that once you enable it you do not have to reconfigure your site to use only www and there is no need to make changes to your existing codebase - the CDN just works for both www and non-www links. My advice is to test our CDN and see for yourself how it works and get back to us with feedback. Thanks for using our services!

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author avatar

Nicholas

Mar 20, 2022

I am looking into using your CDN, how long will my site not show images while it's switching from Cloudflare to your CDN, when I turn off Cloudflare from the dashboard do I need to do anything else to make your CDN work? Also how to I reconfigure my site to only show the site name without the www. Thanks, and by the way, your techs are beyond awesome!

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 01, 2022

The change should be almost instant, if you see any content issues, please reach our Support, so we can check that. The CDN can be activated with a few clicks from your Site Tools, no need of any additional changes. You are not obliged to reconfigure the website URL to the non-URL version. If you still want to do that, you shоuld reconfigure the application based on the CMS type.

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author avatar

Costel

May 06, 2022

Hello Daniel So, what is the fee for Premium CDN Beta? Can I just stay with Basic CDN? Thank you

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

May 09, 2022

The prices will be announced shortly, and the upgrade to the paid plan will be optional.

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author avatar

Christophe

Mar 17, 2022

Exactly what we need ! Thanks a lot !

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author avatar

Ian

Mar 18, 2022

Hey SG Peeps, If we already have sites set up with CloudFlare CDN, how simple is it to activate SiteGround CDN? Is it really just a few clicks and SG disengages CF and sets up the CDN in SG? Or do I need to disconnect from CF manually first, and then engage the SG version?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Mar 23, 2022

If you start activating the SiteGround CDN, our system will display a warning for any websites already using the CloudFlare CDN. You can disable the latter with a few clicks and continue the activation process of our CDN.

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author avatar

Bruce

Mar 22, 2022

If Siteground DNS isn't being utilised and only A record is pointed to SG can we still make use of the CDN?

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author avatar

Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Mar 22, 2022

In order to use the SiteGround CDN your domain has to be pointed to our Central DNS service.

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author avatar

Stephen Vaughan

Mar 27, 2022

Hi, I have three questions: If we test the beta do we have the option to do so with the premium features off? I am tempted to try it on my own site but would be hard pushed to use a premium version. The same for clients whose sites I make. I can sell to them the annual hosting fee based on the fact that the SSL certificate, Cloudflare CDN, along with other features are included. I need to be able to asses like for like; basic CDN compared to Cloudflare. Will the development mode option be available with the basic CDN and, will be able to toggle this on from the SG Optimiser plug-in without having to do so via a login to Site Tools? I like the idea of the CDN being set and forget, eliminating the game of configuration bingo to see what works best. But, will we be given an under the hood list of all the underlying tech used. Knowing what this is always reassuring… I do agree though. I sometimes think we are given the choice of over complexity when it comes to performance and caching where better tuning of hardware and software would serve us better.

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 12, 2022

For now, the CDN can be enabled only from SiteTools, thank you for your interest! Once you can activate the Beta CDN, you can select which options to enable and disable from within the menu.

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author avatar

Arnaud

Mar 28, 2022

Trying the CDN on my site, TTFB is still high when I test on KEYCDN free tool. Too bad QUIC is currently disabled. So, is this replacing QUIC?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 07, 2022

Please note that at this point, only a portion of the websites support QUIC. While it is in our roadmap, we would prefer to postpone its implementation until it is stable enough for wider use by the public. Rest assured, we’ll keep working on adding more enhancements to our hosting plans for you and all other clients.

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author avatar

Kiran

Mar 28, 2022

Hello, Can we test this cdn on temporary domains?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Mar 29, 2022

Each temporary domain is with a separate Site Tools interface, thus you can enable the CDN for the temporary domains as well.

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author avatar

Rodrigo

Mar 30, 2022

What is the availability for Brazil?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 01, 2022

Clients can check the Beta CDN by activating it from within their Site Tools interface. The closest locations are Moncks Corner, SC, and Los Angeles, CA.

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author avatar

Jonathon

Mar 30, 2022

When this moves out of beta, will it be included in some hosting plans or will it be only available as an add-on feature?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 07, 2022

There will be two CDN versions, a free one, which will be included in our clients' hosting plans, and a paid one with additional features.

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author avatar

Tony

Apr 05, 2022

Hi Siteground team, - Just wondering, what would be the approx. cost of the basic CDN plan? - Is the premium CDN plan, $15.99 p/m per website?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 07, 2022

The basic CDN plan will be available for our clients for free. We are unable to disclose the pricing of the premium plan yet, but we'll keep you posted.

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author avatar

Hughw

Apr 06, 2022

Looks very interesting but I didn't see any disclosure of costs. Can you advise?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 07, 2022

We appreciate your interest! The CDN pricing will be disclosed once the service is live. Stay tuned!

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author avatar

darmitage

Apr 06, 2022

Have you made any decisions on pricing yet? I'd like to know whether the SG CDN is going to be more or less than Cloudflare before making the switch.

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 07, 2022

Thank you for your interest! The pricing will be announced once the SiteGround CDN is officially released. Once again, I would like to point out that all Beta testers will be eligible for three months of free service on the paid CDN plan afterward.

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author avatar

Miguel

Apr 07, 2022

Great solution. Understanding that you have studied it but within the continent, Spain and Portugal have a distance to The Netherlands and Germany practically similar to that of London... London does have its CDN but Spain does not... I am not an expert but I would say that for get good times with this CDN in Spain and Portugal there should be one in Madrid as Cloudflare has. I hope you can take it into account so that in the future you can offer a better service to customers in Western Europe. All the best.

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author avatar

Daniel Kanchev Siteground Team

Apr 08, 2022

Thanks for the feedback, Miguel. We are looking into adding more CDN locations and this is on the radar.

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author avatar

RB

Apr 11, 2022

I had tried Cloudfare (through SG) before and more than once it suffered service downtime, returning 503 errors. The negative impact of this kind of complete site downtime is worse than the performance gain, so I am wondering how stable your offering will be in comparison to Cloudfare?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 12, 2022

There are various reasons for getting 503 errors while using the CloudFlare CDN, which might be caused due to hosting misconfiguration or connection rate limit on the CloudFlare side. Generally, there should be no such issues when you activate our CDN. In the unlikely event you notice any discrepancies, please report them to our Support so we can check and assist you.

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author avatar

Teo

Apr 19, 2022

Hello there, Great to hear that we have available CDN beta, Id need to ask if this will cause problems with google bot crawls

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 21, 2022

There are no known issues within our CDN and Google crawlers. In the unlikely event you notice any discrepancies, please report them asap to our Support.

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author avatar

Jonathan

Apr 21, 2022

We have confirmed with SG Support there's no way to test SG CDN without cancelling our CF Premium Plan (which expires later this year), which does not work for us unless SG issues a refund for the remaining period of our CF contract. Any thoughts on this? Thank you.

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Apr 27, 2022

We were not able to identify your account to check who advised you incorrectly. Upon activation, Site Tools will show a warning disclaimer that the use of our CDN will override your CloudFlare settings, yet you do not need to cancel your prepaid CloudFlare Premium plan to test our Beta CDN.

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author avatar

Jonathan

Jun 09, 2022

Thank you, Gergana. Just read this. So, after we test SG CDN, how do we re-activate (or go back to) our Cloudflare Premium plan? (the one we purchased from SG).

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Jun 14, 2022

Activating our CDN would pause the Cloudflare Premium CDN temporarily without cancelling your CF subscription. You should be able to re-enable it from the Cloudflare section in Site Tools. If you need any help with that, please reach out to our Support directly.

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author avatar

Brett

Jun 07, 2022

Will there be Canadian servers added in the future (i.e. Toronto)? This is all very exciting regardless!

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Jun 08, 2022

We are excited as well! The list of CDN edge servers is not definite for sure - we are working on expanding the CDN network soon. I am unable to disclose any information yet, but all new locations will be announced on our blog. :)

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author avatar

Sean

Jun 11, 2022

How about Belgium (St. Ghislain) ? Apparently that was the first Google data centre outside the USA.

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author avatar

Hristo Pandjarov Siteground Team

Jun 13, 2022

At this point we don't plan on adding it but we will consider it when we plan spreading across more DCs. Meanwhile, the Netherlands DC is pretty close geographically and it's the most modern one so I doubt you will be able to feel any noticeable difference if we had one in Belgium.

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author avatar

Jay

Jun 15, 2022

Hi, What about Firewall features in your CDN? Can your prevent Denial of Service Attacks? Also, is there a way to import the blocked IP addresses from my Cloudflare account and export it to the Siteground CDN account?

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author avatar

Gergana Zhecheva Siteground Team

Jun 16, 2022

We were already doing that before the CDN release. We have integrated DDoS detection and protection mechanisms implemented in our hosting infrastructure, so we keep all our clients safe to the best of our abilities. As to the import of blocked IPs, the CDN does not support such functionality atm.

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