How To:Setting up a free CDN for your website with Dropbox.
The purpose of this tutorial is to exploit the possibilities of Dropbox and a wordpress plugin to built a free CDN for a wordpress site of average size. This tutorial will let you know how to optimize the overall response time of their websites and save bandwidth using Dropbox.
CDN stands for Content Delivery Network: you can see it as a network of data centers spread across the planet, and that each data center offers one or more replications of the content of others. It is a collection of web servers distributed across multiple locations to deliver content more efficiently to users.
- Step 1: Sign up for a Dropbox Account (it’s free for 2GB of storage).
- Step 2: Install the Dropbox software to your computer. This will create a folder in your My Documents (Windows) or Home Folder (Mac/Linux) called ‘Dropbox’. Within this there will be a few default folders and one named ‘Public’.
- Step 3: Create a folder within the ‘Public’ folder with a unique name, like your domain name (without the .com). As an example, if your domain was mywebsite.com, the folder name would be mywebsite.
- Step 4: Upload all of the .js, .jpg, .gif, .png, and .css files from your theme (only files in wp-content/themes/yourtheme/), into this new folder. Be sure to preserve any folder structure.
- Step 5: Login to your Dropbox account at dropbox.com, navigate to Public->mywebsite (or the name of your folder) and click on the arrow next to one of the files you uploaded to get the public link.
- Step 6: Copy only the highlighted section of the Public URL (see the image below) into the option ‘URL to public folder’, including the string of numbers (this is your user folder). I’ve hidden mine in the image.
- Step 7: Install Dropbox CDN wordpress plugin and enter the URL to the public folder.
Update: DropBox CDN plugin now supports ‘stylesheet_url’ based wordpress themes.