MetaCDN Sponsors Magento Imagine Conference

MetaCDN is pleased to announce we are Silver Sponsors of the upcoming Magento Imagine eCommerce Conference, held on MAY 12TH – 14TH at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.

MetaCDN are Silver Sponsors of Magento's Imagine Conference.

MetaCDN are Silver Sponsors of Magento’s Imagine Conference.

Imagine is the premier eCommerce event,  bringing together more than 1,700 merchants, partners, developers, digital industry experts and open source enthusiasts, from over 35 countries, for three days of networking, collaboration, cutting-edge sessions and, of course, imagination!

MetaCDN have a limited number of Discounted Registration Passes available which will enable you to register for the discounted price of $1045, saving you $350 off the normal registration price. This offer is for existing or new MetaCDN customers or agencies that use our Website Accelerator with their Magento-powered store. Offer ends March 31, 2014.

Not an existing MetaCDN customer? It’s easy to get started and access this offer:

  1. Start your 14 day complimentary trial of the MetaCDN Website Accelerator.
  2. Set up our Magento CDN integration by following our setup guide to enable MetaCDN on your (or your client’s) website.
  3. Contact us with the URL of your Magento-powered website.

As the only dedicated Magento CDN solution provider at the event, we look forward to interacting with merchants and ISVs about our passions, website performance and content delivery. If you are planning on being there please drop us a line!

Time is money! This classic slogan especially applies to website load times. If your Magento powered store is not loading super-fast, then you could be losing sales without even realizing it! Come and talk to us at the conference and we can work with you to help address those pesky issues that are slowing their website performance down.

At MetaCDN we intelligently leverage our worldwide CDN infrastructure to speed up your website load times. With over 76 strategic points of presence across the globe, we have you covered! Quickly & easily speed up your Magento-powered store today with the MetaCDN website accelerator.

MetaCDN 2.2 – Simplified Website Acceleration and Live Streaming plans

Overview

We are very pleased to announce the 2.2 release of the MetaCDN platform, available immediately. As part of this release, we are thrilled to announce some exciting new plans for Website Accelerator and Live Streaming customers. Super-charging your online presence has never been more affordable or powerful, allowing you to reach a global audience with confidence and ease.

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MetaCDN: Simplified global website acceleration and live streaming.

Website Acceleration

We have created new, more flexible Website Acceleration plans. These new plans combine all functions and benefits of the old Standard, Advanced and Advanced-S website accelerators into one affordable package, including:

  • 100% Guaranteed Uptime via multiple active CDNs
  • 66 active points of presence (PoPs)
  • Automatic Failover
  • Static and dynamic acceleration
  • Secure Shared SSL

There will only be one “type” of website accelerator going forward, which is available on all plan levels. Each plan allows you to accelerate multiple websites, as well as including a generous allocation of data credit.

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Accelerate your website from $39/month

Live Streaming

Not to be left out – our Live Streaming service has some fantastic new plans available also. Each plan includes multiple live streaming channels (which can be broadcast to simultaneously!), with each channel available at multiple qualities. Plans also include a generous allocation of data credit. Our Pro plan and above takes you to the next level – allowing you to stream up to 6 different quality levels per channel, letting you target a greater number of devices and bandwidth levels. Each plan includes all the features you know and love from our existing Live Streaming service, including:

  • Ad free service
  • Add your own branding
  • Multi-channel broadcasting
  • Local publish points
  • Embed on any website
  • Stream to mobile devices (including HLS support)
  • In-line Facebook playback
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Broadcast live video from $39/month

Simple pricing. No nasty surprises.

Each plan includes generous service and data credit inclusions, and are available at an affordable and easy to understand price. Your data usage can vary from month to month, so instead of rigid data caps (e.g. in gigabytes or data requests), we have introduced flexible data credits as part of your plan, which you can use as your needs change.

Generous discounts of over 20% are also available if you subscribe to a yearly pre-paid plan.

Existing customer?

If you are an existing customer on an old Website Acceleration (Standard, Advanced or Advanced-S) or Live Streaming subscription, you will be contacted over the coming weeks to discuss your migration options. We think you will love the new plans!

Full Changelog since Version 2.0:

  • New MetaCDN Website and Live Streaming plans are available. [2.2]
  • Create new, flexible Site Acceleration that merges all functions of the old Standard, Advanced and Advanced-S website accelerators. There will only be one “type” of website accelerator going forward, which is available on all plan levels. [2.2]
  • Shared SSL is available over all MetaCDN products and services. [2.2]
  • Add support for more than 3 quality levels for live streams for customers on the Pro plan or higher. [2.2]
  • Updated on-demand and live media streaming service to support mandatory forced SSL/HTTPS for on-demand and live media sharing on Facebook. [2.1]
  • Improve reliability, compatibility and performance of Live Streaming product [2.1]
  • Customisable Splash screens (“posters”) now available on Live Streams [2.1]
  • Further compatibility improvements to Live Stream service to allow playback on additional devices such as Internet TVs [2.1]
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Live Streaming Platform Update

The MetaCDN Live Streaming platform recently received an update to allow us to deliver an even better live streaming experience for your users.  This upgrade involved migration of all existing live streams to a new, more efficient and robust design. So, what has changed? The following improvements are immediately available to all Live Streaming customers:

New MetaCDN “recommended” live streaming profiles

New MetaCDN “recommended” streaming profiles are provided for 16:9 (widescreen) and 4:3 (standard) content. These have been proven to work well for Flash and mobile (HLS) targeted streams, and align with Apple’s best practice guidelines for targeting iOS devices.

Finer grained live streaming control

Finer grained stream control allowing you to publish audio only or video only streams. This is great if you want to broadcast your own internet radio show, or utilise a video only stream (e.g. for an office webcam or security camera).

Helpful ‘best practice’ insights

Helpful insights are provided to give you advice on best practice configuration depending on your settings. We tell you what audio and video codecs work well together for the devices you wish to target.

Bandwidth guidelines for live streaming

Bandwidth guidelines are provided to make sure you have sufficient bandwidth to publish a given Live Streaming configuration. We help you make sure you have enough bandwidth to publish at the qualities you wish to reach.

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A screenshot from the new Live Streaming configuration settings.

We’re confident you’ll love our upgraded Live Streaming service.

As always, we’d love to hear your questions or feedback.

Speed up your OpenX Source ad server and banner ads

One of the great things about OpenX Source is that you have complete control of how you want to serve your own ads.  Though, one of the challenges that you have is that you don’t have the massive infrastructure that is placed behind OpenX Enterprise.  As many publishers have discovered, a slow ad server can cause a fast loading site to slow down dramatically.  I’m going to share with you how to make your OpenX Source install run as fast as OpenX Enterprise and the other big ad serving solutions.

There are two areas of OpenX Source that we want to speed up; the OpenX Source GUI and the delivery of your ad assets.The great thing is that you can speed up both of these with one simple setup using MetaCDN.

To speed up your OpenX Source install, you will first need to follow these site acceleration instructions to accelerate the domain that you installed OpenX Source onto.  It is recommended that you use MetaCDN’s Advanced-S solution as it was built for delivering high volumes of small files, like banner ads, though you can use any of MetaCDN’s acceleration solutions.  It is also recommended that when you create your origin that you use an origin domain like ORIGIN.MYADSERVER.COM.  Contact support if you have any questions.

Once you have your site acceleration setup, your OpenX installation will now be accelerated!  If you have pointed (CNAMEd) the www of your domain to your MetaCDN acceleration link, then you just need to go to WWW.MYADSERVER.COM and login to your OpenX installation.  You should now notice that interacting with your OpenX installation is faster.  Though, the more important part is that you make sure your ad assets are accelerated.

I have found the easiest way to do this is create a directory on my server for banner ads.  For example, it could be www.myadserver.com/banners.  Once you have created your directory, this is where you store your banner ads. When you add a new banner in OpenX, you will want to use the “URL – Link an external url” option or “HTML – OpenX Generic HTML banner” option and makes sure the link to your banner ad contains the WWW portion of the URL so that the banner ad gets served through MetaCDN.

By serving your banners through MetaCDN, you will notice that your site never slows down due to the delivery of ads.  Note – This only applies to banners that you host.  If you are serving Google Adsense ads or banners that are hosted elsewhere, this will not improve the delivery of those ads.  For affiliate banners, if they are hosted by the affiliate network and they are loading slowly, then you could download the banners and upload them to your server.  Just check to make sure this doesn’t violate any terms of being an affiliate.

There are more advanced ways that you can setup OpenX Source to automatically serve banners through MetaCDN, but the above approach is the easiest way to do it.

Live Streaming Official Release

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With the release of MetaCDN 2.0, Live Streaming has moved out of preview and has been officially released. If you haven’t tried our Live Streaming service before, sign up for your 28 day free trial to get started.

What’s Changed

Preview access to the Live Streaming service was included as part of MetaCDN Version 1.8, released in March 2013. As announced, our plan was to use the preview to finalize three things – pricing, reporting and mobile device compatibility. During the preview we received some fantastic feedback, added detailed reporting on live stream usage and improved mobile device compatibility. We’re now confident we’ve built the live streaming service you’ve been looking for:

  • Affordable at just $49/month per active stream (i.e. channel).
  • Full Reporting to help you understand exactly when, where, how and by who your live streams were viewed.
  • Mobile Device Compatibility to allow perfect presentation on any device. The HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol is fully supported (seamlessly alongside existing delivery for desktop), allowing live streams to be played on iOS and Android.
  • 100% Brandable with support for your own customized video players.

We’re confident you’ll love the new Live Streaming service but see how we stack up against the competition.

Why Live Streaming?

Video is the most powerful and engaging content you can deliver online. By offering Live Streaming you are allowing your fans, followers and customers to participate in any event you run from anywhere in the world. Here’s just a few uses people have found for Live Streaming:

  • Conferences and tradeshows
  • Music gigs, concerts and performances
  • Lectures, seminars and workshops
  • Church services and weddings
  • Sporting events
  • Fashion shows
  • Product launches

Got an event coming up? Start your 28 day free trial and start streaming.

Are You Ready For MetaCDN 2.0?

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We are very pleased to announce the release of MetaCDN 2.0. 2.0 is the culmination of months of design, development and dedication by the whole MetaCDN team and we think you’ll be impressed.  So what’s new you ask? Well for starters we’ve added Multiple Users, RSS/SMIL, Social MetaData and HTTPS Embedding. Live streaming has also now come out of preview mode and had some major updates as part of the 2.0 release. Ready to give 2.0 a spin? If you’re an existing customer simply login to your account. If you’re new to MetaCDN, signup for your 28 day free trial to get started.

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Multiple Users

MetaCDN is being used more and more by large teams. Managing 10 websites, 100 videos and 20 live streams with a single user login was a pain though to say the least. That’s where the new multi-user feature comes into play. For starters you can add extra users that will have permissions to deploy content in your account. Allowing you add things like multiple departments that each need to publish video content. In future we’ll be extending this with permissions levels and user roles. 

RSS/SMIL Feeds

We’re still amazed at the uses people find for our video encoding service. We noticed that some customers were trying to incorporate their videos with other content such as ads or intro animations. Now that is super simple to do with the new RSS/SMIL Feed option. Simply select any player to display your videos along with any other content by setting up an RSS or SMIL Feed.

Social MetaData

Why create amazing video and audio content? So people share it right? Well adding social metadata is a sure fire way to improve content sharing on places like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Embed the supplied meta tags along with your content wherever you post it, encouraging users to share and make your content go viral.

HTTPS embedding

This one is a big improvement for anyone running secure websites with SSL. Previously embedding content into a secure site could display browser warning messages to your users. Now you can just embed the content with HTTPS and rest assured every user will get a perfect experience. 

Live Streaming

The MetaCDN Live Streaming service has moved out of preview and is now officially released as part of MetaCDN Version 2.0. Live Streaming is now just $49/month per active stream (i.e. channel). 

We know it’s a lot to take in. Fear not we’ll be deep diving into all these new features over the coming weeks. For now jump in and take a look by logging into your existing account or starting your 28 day free trial. We’d love to hear what you think of the new release.

 

Accelerate your Simple Machines Forum (SMF) with MetaCDN

As your forum grows your members will create more strain on your web server and it’s resources.  While a forum is fairly lightweight, your webserver could have trouble keeping up with the demand on it’s resources, especially if you use a shared hosting plan from many of the popular hosting companies.  This is where using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) like MetaCDN helps.

To reduce the strain on your webserver and to boost the performance of your forum you can use MeatCDN’s website acceleration services.  MetaCDN makes it easy to implement their acceleration services and speed up your forum.

Log in to the MetaCDN portal

Log into the MetaCDN portal at http://www.metacdn.com. You will be taken to the dashboard, which gives you an at-a-glance view of all of your important account activity. On the top right-hand side, click on the blue button labelled ‘Accelerate a site’.

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Tell us where your website is

Simply tell us your website origin domain (e.g. mysite.com). Leave out any additional information such as protocol (e.g. http://) or path (e.g. /index.html) or port (e.g. :1234). In CDN terminology, we refer to your website as the origin – we automatically pull your content from your site and store (cache) it across the globe where and when it is needed, taking the stress off your website and ensuring your customers get blazingly fast load speeds every time they visit your website. Give your site a short name (which we will use to create an accelerated url such as mysite.sa.metacdn.com) and a description.

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Select your Accelerator level

MetaCDN offers three levels of Site Acceleration – Standard, Advanced and Advanced-S. All levels offer acceleration for your entire website – handling both static (e.g. files) and dynamic (e.g. php, asp, jsp, etc) content. Details of each plan is available here. For forums we recommend the Advanced-S plan.

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Confirm your settings and go!

Once you have confirmed your settings, hit the Accelerate button. Your website will be prepared for acceleration, which can take up to 2 hours. Once complete, we will email you an accelerated URL to use throughout your website. 

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Integrate your accelerated URL into your forum

To integrate your accelerated URL into your forum takes just a few clicks of the mouse and your forum will get the boost you’re looking for.

Copy your accelerated url – mysite.sa.metacdn.com – and paste into the following fields:

For SMF 2.X

Go to ADMIN > CONFIGURATION > CURRENT THEME and paste into the highlighted fields.

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For SMF 1.X

Go to ADMIN > CURRENT THEME and paste the accelerated URL into the highlighted fields:

Click SAVE and your SMF forum is now accelerated!

The Great Drupal Battle Winners Are…

We were inundated with entries for The Great Drupal Battle held recently for DrupalCon Portland. It’s taken a while to sort through the entries but the results are in. The winners for each division were:

Lightweight – alldata.com

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Winner: Ben Shell
Company: Digital Deployment
Website: alldata.com
Load time: 2.4 seconds

Weighing in at just 389 kbs, alldata.com took out the lightweight division with a load time of 2.4 seconds. It was only the sites Asia Pacific load time of 3.4 seconds that held it back from stellar speeds.

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Middleweight – nof.org

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Winner: Josh Fischer
Company: Artsmith Media
Website: not.org
Load time: 3.7 seconds

Weighing in at 950 kbs, nof.org came out ahead in the middleweight division at 3.7 seconds. Once again it was the site’s Asia Pacific load time of 5.3 seconds that held things back a little.

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Heavyweight – dmt.it.ubc.ca

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Winner: Jan Carter
Company: UBC
Website: dmt.it.ubc.ca
Load time: 3.7 seconds

Weighing in at 1.85 mbs, UBC’s site easily took out the heavyweight divisions at 3.7 seconds. Not a bad effort for this multimedia rich contender.

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A big thanks to everyone that entered, we were amazed at the diversity of Drupal sites submitted. Each of the winners above have a Ferrari on the way. Don’t forget if you need to speed up your website you can trial the MetaCDN Website Accelerator FREE for 28 days.

DrupalCon Day 3 – The Final Sprint

We were certainly feeling the effects of a few big days and nights today but gave it all we had for the final day of DrupalCon Portland.

More Amazing Speakers

Another full day of amazing speakers, but we particularly enjoyed the keynote presentation by Michael Lopp titled: ‘The Engineer, The Designer, and the Dictator’. There’s a great summary of his presentation here. If you ever get a chance to see Michael talk, you won’t be disappointed.

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Pinball Pub Crawl

It makes so much sense to combine two of our favorite pastimes. The guys from Opensourcery scored serious brownie points by organising a pinball pub crawl. 

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James’ Presentation Uploaded

For those that missed James’ presentation yesterday on Drupal Performance you can now access it here.

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Next Stop Prague?

We had such a blast at DrupalCon Portland – the logical question is should we head to DrupalCon Prague in September? Not sure if we’ll fit that one in the schedule at this stage, but if you’re in Europe I’d highly recommend it.

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DrupalCon Day 2 – The Party Continues

After a massive first day, DrupalCon seemed even bigger today. It was a cold and rainy day in Portland, but that certainly didn’t stop everyone getting into the swing of things.

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Another Busy Booth Day

We have talked to more Drupal developers in the last few days than we have all year. If you haven’t stopped by booth #334 yet, you’ve got one more day to stop in for a chat or to enter The Great Drupal Battle

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James Talks Drupal Performance

Our founder James Broberg delivered his talk titled “Turbo Charge Your Drupal Website”. Website performance certainly seems to be a hot topic this year so hopefully you got to hear it. Stop into booth #334 if you want to get some one on one performance advice.

Party Time

I don’t know if it is a Drupal community thing but there is a serious amount of partying going on this week. The good guys from Pantheon & New Relic held a party tonight complete with Korean food, DJ and an open bar. No better way to unwind after a day on your feet.

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