Increase Your Website Performance by Hosting jQuery with a CDN

In the following screencast I will demonstrate how to speed up your website by using a Content Delivery Network (CDN). Specifically, I will be swamping out a local copy of jQuery with one hosted by Google. You can host a variety of files (example: jQuery, jQuery UI, Prototype, script.aculo.us, MooTools, Dojo, SWFObject, YUI, etc...) with a CDN as well, but the following screencast only shows jQuery being hosted.

First of all, you might be wondering "What is a CDN and why do I need to use one?". If so, you are in luck because Encosia wrote a great blog post concerning this question and here is what he came up with. A CDN provides...

  1. Decreased Latency
  2. Increased Parallelism
  3. Better Caching

For a detailed explanation of the above 3 concept please read his detailed blog post. Now without further ado, here is the screencast.

In the above screencast, I showed how you can replace your local reference of jQuery (see line 4 below) with a version of jQuery that is hosted on a CDN (such as line 5 from Google or line 6 from Microsoft).


Test Page





It is worth to not that even after updating your update to use Google or Microsoft as your CDN, YSlow will still not recognize those files as being hosted on a CDN. YSlow only recognizes itself, Yahoo, as a known CDN. The good news is that you can register other CDNs (such as Google &| Microsoft) deep inside of Firefox's configuration. In order to update this setting you can follow these instructions…

  1. Type in 'about:config' into the Firefox's navigation TextBox
  2. Filter for the 'extensions.yslow.cdnHostnames' Preference Name
  3. Double-Click & enter 'ajax.googleapis.com,ajax.microsoft.com' into the dialog box
  4. Restart Firefox and re-run YSlow
    As I mentioned above, there are many files on CDNs that are available for you to reference in your project. The two CDNs that I highlighted in the above screencast are…