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Set up Amazon CloudFront with WordPress site - Do it now

This article covers how to set up Amazon CloudFront with WordPress site. WordPress performs reasonably well out of the box, but there is room for improvement—the number of WordPress plugins that address performance is evidence of this.  However, the easiest way to improve the user experience is to accelerate one's entire WordPress website by using CloudFront. 

Doing this will not only improve your site's responsiveness, but it may also reduce the overall cost of operating your WordPress infrastructure, as reducing the load on your web servers may help you scale down the required infrastructure. 

In fact, CloudFront can significantly help your site cope with an unexpected load when your site gets popular.


How does CloudFront help?

Many AWS customers have users spread across the globe that they want to reach. However, what once required an immense engineering effort can now be easily built using AWS Regions and Edge locations, which allow you to serve content from the locations closest to those users.

Data transfers on the internet depend largely on global networks of fiber optic cables, allowing very high bandwidth data transfers. 


As the speed of light is proving a difficult challenge to overcome, Amazon CloudFront improves the experience for users accessing your websites in several other ways, including:

1. Anycast DNS ensures your customers are routed to the nearest edge location.

2. Cached content, when available, is delivered to your users from the edge location.

3. When data needs to be fetched from your site CloudFront optimizes network throughput by managing the transfers between Edge Locations and your website.  This traffic runs over the Amazon Global Backbone, where optimized TCP configuration ensures more bytes are in-flight on the network, improving throughput, while TCP connection re-use eliminates much of the latency associated with establishing connections.   In this way, whether content is cached or not, it will be accelerated by delivery over optimized network paths.

4. Finally, negotiating and offloading Transport Layer Security (TLS) at the CloudFront Edge further improves performance, reducing connection setup latency, and further supporting back-end connection re-use.

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