If you operate a website, a massive wave of traffic can be a very appealing idea. However, such a wave can also knock your site offline, or leave it crawling at slow speeds.
To avoid such an issue, you can employ the use of a CDN, or Content Delivery Network. A CDN is a network of servers that sit in front of your site and cache pages to speed up your site and reduce the load on your servers. This tutorial will be covering how to set up a free CDN with Section, and configure it to work perfectly with your site.
This tutorial assumes that you already have the following:
- A hosted website
- A domain name pointing to that website
- Permission to change the DNS records for that domain
Signing up for an account
Before doing anything else, you should create an account on Section at https://www.section.io/sign-up/. It features a completely free 14 day trial, no credit card required.
After signing up, you will be directed through the “Bootcamp”. This will show you around the Section management dashboard and help you get an understanding of it. Afterwards, press the blue button labeled “Create application” to get started deploying your app on Section.
Configuring your domain for Section
Enter your domain name, and Section will automatically scan for existing DNS records and use them to set your origin address. However, if his fails you will need to manually insert an origin. An IP address or CNAME that you would normally point a domain towards works.
You will also be prompted to choose a reverse proxy. A reverse proxy is a server that takes requests from clients, and requests the data from your server. However, a Varnish Cache reverse proxy can be used for caching content so your server will not be queried every time. For most instances, we recommend using Varnish Cache v4.
For the final stage of deployment onto Section infrastructure, you need to point your domain at your Section app. This can be done one of two ways. Press the “Change DNS” button to get started.
We recommend changing your nameservers to utilize our hosted DNS. This allows you to use a bare domain (example.com rather than www.example.com) and also ensures stability and speed in site’s DNS. The methods for changing your DNS servers vary between domain registrars, so please refer to the documentation or customer support for your registrar if you encounter any difficulties.
The second method is to use a CNAME. Create a CNAME record on your domain and point it at the domain found in the DNS menu.
Congratulations! You are now running on the Section CDN. If you have any issues, feel free to contact our support team for help.