A CDN, or content delivery network, is a network of strategically placed servers located around the world used for the purpose of delivering files faster to users. A traditional CDN will allow you to accelerate your website’s images, CSS files, JS files, and any other piece of static content. This allows website owners to accelerate all of their own content as well as provide them with additional features and configuration options. These premium services typically require payment based on the amount of bandwidth a project uses.
However, if your project doesn’t justify the cost of implementing a traditional CDN, the use of an open source CDN may be more suitable. Typically, these types of CDNs allow you to link to popular web-based libraries (CSS/JS frameworks, for example), which are then delivered to your web visitors from the free CDN’s servers. Although CDN services for open source libraries do not allow you to upload your own content to their servers, they can help you accelerate libraries globally and improve your website’s redundancy.
Let’s explore four popular CDN services for open source libraries.
JsDelivr is an open source CDN provider that uses the networks of premium CDN providers (KeyCDN, Stackpath, and Cloudflare) to deliver open source project assets. A few highlights of jsDelivr include:
- Search from over 2,100 libraries
- 110 POP locations
- CDN is accessible in Asia and China
- API support
- No traffic limits
- Full HTTPS support
All snippets start off with the custom jsDelivr URL https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/, and are then followed by the name of the project, version number, etc. You can also configure jsDelivr to generate the URL with the script tags and enable SRI (subresource Integrity) for added security.
- Search from over 2,900 libraries
- Used by over 1 million websites
- Supports HTTP/2
- Supports HTTPS
Similar to jsDelivr, with cdnjs you also have the option to simply copy the asset URL with or without the script tag and SRI.
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