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Using Dropbox CDN on a WordPress Blog May 30, 2011

Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Wordpress - 3.

A CDN (content delivery network )  basically stores static files ( pictures , js ,css ) and media files  ( video’s , pod-casts , MP3 ‘s ) on mirror servers all around the world in order to serve data to users from locations closest to them. This speeds up the connection process noticeably. In its simplest form a content delivery network is nothing more than additional servers that are also serving the data necessary to access the website. WordPress does not have build in support for CDN, however plugins and third party tools can be used to enable that functionality.

W3 Total Cache   is probably the best  plugin available for WordPress, with lots of options that other caching solutions – such as WP Super Cache – do not offer. This plugin adds CDN support to the WordPress blog. The support is disabled by default but can be activated and configured relatively easily .W3 Total Cache supports Amazon S3 , Amazon Cloudfront , self hosted and other CDN distributions such as VPS.net, Akamai, MaxCDN and Rackspace. These solutions cost money, and the price can range from $0,10 to $0,25 per gigabyte of traffic served .

For low budget websites there is an alternative FREE solution . How? There’s a new WordPress plugin in town that can help you effortlessly deploy all the static files associated with your WordPress theme to Dropbox . It works something like this. You create a sub-folder in your Dropbox Public folder and replicate your WordPress theme folder structure in that folder . Next grab the URL of this public folder, pass it to the Dropbox CDN plugin and it takes care* of everything else .

Steps to follow :

  • With a browser Log-in your  dropbox account and navigate to the public folder , now create a new folder inside it  and Upload all the .js, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .css files from your theme inside that folder ,  keeping the same folder structure . Click arrow next to the folder that contains you uploaded files to get the public link . Copy the highlighted section of the public link box . The link includes also your user ID .
  • Install the plugin on your WordPress account  and activate it .Here comes the final step of the customization ==>> open “Dropbox CDN” page from the wordpress Settings list. Enter the Dropbox folder public URL (that we copied before) in the “URL to Public folder” box and save the plugin. Now the plugin will take care of rest of the work . Simple Free solution .

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