KeyCDN Review – The Best MaxCDN Alternative for Bloggers

keycdn review

KeyCDN Review

So I have been using MaxCDN for myself and my clients for years and it has always worked great, except for the indexing of images problem in SERPs, which my workaround fixes. I am always on the hunt for better products and tools and so I decided to look to see what else was available. After comparing a couple newer CDN services I decided to go with KeyCDN. And boy am I glad I did.

Here is a quick comparison of Key CDN’s major features.

KeyCDNMaxCDN
Price: $0.04 per GBPrice: $9 a month minimum (100GB)
Zones: 5 IncludedZones: 2 Included
# of POPs: 25# of POPs: 12 (Additional $15/zone/month extra)
SSL: Free Shared + Let's EncryptSSL: Free Shared + Custom Option
Secure Token (Free)Secure Token ($99/month)
Origin Shield: (Free)Origin Shield: $200 a month
HTTP/2 Support: (Free)HTTP/1.1 + SPDY/3.1
Block Bad BotsNA
Brotli SupportNA

And of course they both include real-time reporting, purging, individual URL purging, etc.

But just by comparing the most important features KeyCDN wins in almost every scenario.

I Saved Over 50% By Migrating to KeyCDN

I have 11 websites that were running on MaxCDN under a custom plan for 250GB of bandwidth at $24.00 a month. I was then paying an additional $9 per month for the 9 zones I had to add on. So I was paying MaxCDN $33.00 per month.

If you do the math on KeyCDN at 250GB it comes out to $10.00. Add on another $6 per month for my additional zones and the total per month with KeyCDN comes out to $16.00.

MaxCDN cost me $33/month for 12 POPs, KeyCDN costs me $16/month for 25 POPs. Less than half!

KeyCDN Features

Account Overview

The first time you log in to KeyCDN you will see the dashboard, which is beautiful, responsive, and fast! I have been with MaxCDN through a couple UI revisions but it is still pretty clunky in my opinion. This felt modern and fresh right from the beginning.

keycdn dashboard
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Analytics

keycdn analytics
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Geolocation Stats

keycdn geolocation
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Top Files

keycdn top files
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Real-time Logs

keycdn real-time logs
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Real-Time Stats

keycdn real-time stats
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Zones

The zones screen is simple and gives you just what you need. From the manage drop-down you can edit your zones, purge your cache, and purge individual URLs.

keycdn zones
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Edit Your Zone

From the Edit Zone screen there are a lot of advanced features you can enable such as Secure Token, SSL, Origin Shield, Canonical Header, blocking bad bots, etc.

keycdn edit zone
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Purge Individual Files

This is a very important feature for me. When writing blog posts I am always updating images and tweaking things. I don’t want to wait for the cache to expire to see the changes. So I will input the path to the image and purge it, refresh the page and then I can see the updates on my blog.

keycdn purge URL
Click to view larger version

Zonealiases

I always use a CNAME for my CDN URL so that my images show up with my domain in them, such as cdn.brianjackson.io. You can setup a CNAME free of charge with your domain registrar or DNS provider. I literally updated my CNAME from the MaxCDN address to KeyCDN and it propagated everywhere in a few minutes. KeyCDN even has a cool DNS lookup tool now you can use to check where your CNAME is resolving to.

keycdn zonealiases
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Zonereferrers

keycdn zonereferrers
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Additional Features

  • Two-factor authentication
  • Account Access Rules (restrict access to CDN account by IP Address)
  • Security Notifications

KeyCDN Knowledge Base

KeyCDN has a great knowledge base that they regularly keep updated. They have pretty much every CMS integration guide that you can imagine.

[one_half]

  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Joomla
  • Typo3
  • PrestaShop
  • Magento
  • Craft
  • Kirby
  • OpenCart
  • vBulletin
  • PyroCMS[/one_half][one_half_last]
  • b2evolution
  • Perch
  • IPBoard
  • SocialEngine
  • Xenforo
  • Odoo
  • X-Cart
  • Github pages
  • concrete5
  • MODX
  • Kentico[/one_half_last]

Impressive! These guys love their documentation which is always helpful. It means less support tickets and less going back and forth.

KeyCDN Load Times

I didn’t have Asia or Australia POPs with MaxCDN because I didn’t want to pay extra for them. But now I do with KeyCDN! It’s like icing on the cake. I saw some huge increases in those countries. Also within the U.S. I can’t really argue with these load times.

Pingdom Test without KeyCDN Enabled

Without KeyCDN enabled I was averaging right around 1.49s. I always run my tests 3-4 times and then pick the average one. I use the free CDN Enabler plugin to configure the CDN if you were curious. I don’t use any of WP Rocket’s other features because my WordPress host, Kinsta, has its own built in caching system.

pingdom test with keycdn disabled

Pingdom Test with KeyCDN Enabled

With KeyCDN enabled, my load times dropped to 646ms! That is a decrease in load times by 56.64%!

pingdom test with keycdn enabled

CDN Resources

This is what I like to see.

cdn load times

 

Let’s Encrypt Integration

let's encrypt

As of December 14th, 2015 KeyCDN now has Let’s Encrypt integration. Basically, this means you can now have a custom SSL certificate for free! I have a Let’s Encrypt certificate running on this blog.

KeyCDN Support

I put in a ticket to request an increase of zones at 11:42am, and I got an email back at 11:44am saying they had increased my limit. :) Can’t really get much better than a 2 minute response time. Again, very impressed.

keycdn support

I am super happy with my migration over to KeyCDN. My only regret is not making it sooner!

It’s cheaper, I get more POPs, meaning faster load times for people around the world, and their interface is better. I can now take the money I am saving each month and invest it elsewhere.

Hopefully this KeyCDN review was helpful. If you are looking for a top notch CDN provider with excellent prices, then do yourself a favor and give KeyCDN a try. They even have a free trial! Use the link below and you will get $10 in free KeyCDN credits.

Visit KeyCDN

As always feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear your feedback or maybe a personal experience you have had with a CDN provider.

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KeyCDN
  • Speed
  • Customer Support
  • Features Included
  • Price
5

Summary

KeyCDN is a kick-ass CDN provider. When compared to MaxCDN it provides 10 more POPs at less than half the price!

27 thoughts on “KeyCDN Review – The Best MaxCDN Alternative for Bloggers

  1. I wish I had happened onto this post before signing up with Amazon’s web service. I haven’t received my first full month bill for the S3 bucket or cloudfront, yet, and I’m scared of what it might be. I’m glad to know there’s a good option out there if I choose to leave AWS.

  2. Want to share my very peculiar experience with KeyCDN. After joining on a 30 day free trial, I was trying to figure out how to get things up and running on my WP Multisite install using W3 Total Cache. I first emailed them asking for help. They emailed back telling me to submit a support request. I tried that but it was restricted to “paying customers” and I was on Day 1 of the trial. I read through all their “how to” posts and manuals, but nothing explained what I needed to know. So, I joined their “community” site. It said “Everyone is welcome to participate in the community. It doesn’t matter your background, your level of expertise, or whether you are a current KeyCDN customer or not. There will be KeyCDN employees actively participating (including the founders of KeyCDN) in the community and answering any questions you might have about web performance, optimization, and website acceleration.”

    Finding no previous threads addressing my questions, I created my own. I posted some very detailed info on what I had done so far and the error I was getting. The next day, I tried to view my post and it had been deleted! I then tried to log into my account and it too was deleted! I tried to create a new account and it said my IP address had been banned!!! Assuming maybe it was some sort of technical glitch, I joined again from my phone, made another post asking why that had happened and, sure enough, it was also deleted, along with my new account. Yes, they also banned my phone’s IP! I’ve tried repeatedly to reach them to see what the heck was going on and as of the time of this post, I’ve had no reply from anyone – and I’ve tried e-mail, twitter, and facebook.

    So I’m just posting this to make others aware of the service they may expect. Granted, I wasn’t a “paying customer” yet, but I made it very clear that I certainly would be once everything was set up and working properly. I mean, their prices were pretty attractive, so it seemed like a no brainer. I guess you get what you pay for. I would honestly run away from any company that would treat potential customers like this. And I’m doing just that. Too scary to think of what they’d do once I did have all my sites’ content in their hands! Truly a very strange experience to say the least.

    • Hey Josh, thanks for your comment, but this is definitely not the typical experience. I used to work at KeyCDN. I don’t work there anymore so I can’t attest to your experience or what happened in your situation. I am still a paid KeyCDN customer now and use it on all my sites. Haven’t logged into dashboard for over 6 months because nothing ever goes wrong with it.

    • I had the exact same experience. Tried to ask a question and they wanted me to pay first to ask questions. They get an “F” in sales and support. You don’t ask prospective customers for money to answer their sales questions.

    • Yes, actually that has been in place for quite some time now. I will update the post above. If you do the math that comes to only $4 a month, so still the best solution out there. I know for a fact that other competitors like CDN77 have $99 minimum.

  3. Awesome issues here. I’m very happy to peer your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m looking ahead to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

  4. This article is fine and came in at a good time for me!
    What is easiest way to set up key CDN whereas I am also using Siteground shared hosting and Cache Enabler ( best so far on my site)!
    Should I have them do it all and move to SSL or is it manageable myself ( total novice)?
    Thanks
    Howard

  5. Tried to test keycdn and encountered a problem setting up my Zones. Couldn’t contact support because you have to have a premium account for that option to be available ( pay minumum $49 in credits ). Posted to they forum about my problem and they closed my account there.

    100% shady in my opinion

    So you may pay for what you consume but be aware the minimum amount after the trial period expires is $49

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