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Twitter Bootstrap: How to Load Sites Faster With BootstrapCDN

Posted by | Tutorial, Twitter Bootstrap | 3 Comments

Hello and welcome again to our ongoing series focusing on Twitter Bootstrap. By now we have covered in detail what Bootstrap is as well as how to design a unique and responsive homepage using the front end framework.

Today, let’s take some time to talk about a great new way to access bootstrap for any of your projects. Content Delivery Networks play an important role for the global web. Instead of downloading website files from a single hosted location, a CDN allows for users to quickly access site files from a large distributed system of servers deployed across multiple data centers around the world. This type of distribution leads provides for easier access to common files, increased security for your site as well as speed.

Twitter Bootstrap is already a great front end framework and it is increasing in popularity among web developers and designers. So it starts to make sense that we begin treating bootstrap like some of its CDN hosted bretheren like jQuery, jQuery UI, Dojo and more. So the very cool people at NetDNA decided to do us all a favor and provide a Twitter BootstrapCDN platform.

Using BootstrapCDN developers and designers can access the vital Bootstrap CSS, JavaScript and image files over a high-powered CDN that even includes SSL access.

To get going, simply link up your CSS files in the same way you normally would in the hea of your document like this.

It is a good idea to link up a local stylesheet after the BootstrapCDN link in order to provide a semantic method of modifying incoming bootstrap styles.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="" />

Then, in the foot of your document simply link up the JavaScript portion of bootstrap like this.

<script src=""></script>

Now that we have successfully linked the CDN files to our head and foot areas of a webpage. Let’s discuss a bit more about why it is a good idea to obtain common files from a Content Delivery Network like NetDNA or Cloudflare.

The advantage of using files hosted on a CDN include:

  1. It increases the parallelism available.
    (Most browsers will only download 3 or 4 files at a time from any given site.)
  2. It increases the chance that there will be a cache-hit.
    (As more sites follow this practice, more users already have the file ready.)
  3. It ensures that the payload will be as small as possible.
    (CDN providers can pre-compress the file in a wide array of formats (like GZIP or DEFLATE). This makes the time-to-download very small, because it is super compressed and it isn’t compressed on the fly.)
  4. It reduces the amount of bandwidth used by your server.
    (CDN providers are basically offering free bandwidth.)
  5. It ensures that the user will get a geographically close response.
    (CDN providers have servers all over the world, further decreasing the latency.)
  6. (Optional) They will automatically keep your scripts up to date.
    (If you like to “fly by the seat of your pants,” you can always use the latest version of any script that they offer. These could fix security holes, but generally just break your stuff.)

Credit: John Gietzan

Start getting that extra little performance boost by using the CDN versions of Bootstrap and other common files.

Go Faster: How To Speed Up Your Website With CloudFlare CDN

Posted by | WordPress | 2 Comments

Are you using a shared hosting server? Maybe you have wanted your site to run a whole lot faster, but you’re not quite ready to take the financial plunge of VPS or a dedicated server. Well, we have great news! There is a free way to significantly speed up your website or blog without having to dig deep into your wallet. Let’s get going!

What is Cloudflare?

CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through their intelligent global network. CloudFlare automatically optimizes the delivery of webpages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. They also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.”

On average, a website on CloudFlare loads twice as fast for its visitors, sees 65% fewer requests and saves 60% of bandwidth. That is a pretty big improvement over simply relying on your shared host to serve up your content. And guess what, the baseline plan that CloudFlare provides is absolutely FREE… (As in Free beer Free (cool huh?))

Set up your new CloudFlare account:

Getting going with Cloudflare is easy, but first things first. Head over to the Cloudflare website and click Sign Up in the top navigation menu. Next, fill out your account details. After you fill out your details we are ready to put the pedal down to the floor! Once you create your account you will be led to the next screen wherein you can add your first web site (or as many as you would like… go nuts!).

After you add your website, Cloudflare will begin the scanning process by gathering the appropriate DNS records. Check through the list that is displayed and make sure that your records are correct.

Next, you will configure your individual domain settings. Here, select your Cloudflare plan, choose your performance settings and adjust the security. Now this is the part that I can’t quite tell you exactly what to do as your mileage may vary depending on your site’s requirements.

You’re All Done! (For Now)

Once you have successfully set up your domain on Cloudflare there is not much more to do than just sit back and watch as day after day your content is served up to more visitors, faster than ever!

Why Speed Matters

According to national surveys done by, if your website is slow to load you may be losing revenue and possibly customer loyalty. A recent study found that 78% of online consumers went to a competitor’s site due to poor performance at peak times. According to the study, nearly half of web users expect a site to load up in a matter of two seconds or less. If the site does not load quickly, visitors are statistically more likely to navigate elsewhere after three seconds. Moreover, according the the survey, 79% of web shoppers who have trouble with web site performance say they won’t return to the site to buy again and around 44% of them would tell a friend if they had a poor experience shopping online. Speed matters.

With CloudFlare CDN, you can make a significant speed improvement on the cheap. In a future post we will show you how to integrate the super speed of CloudFlare and power it up even more by pairing it with one of our favorite WordPress plugins.

Start planning your project today. Get Started