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Ahmad Raza
Ahmad Raza

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Is CDN Right for Your Rails App? and good for large scale applications?

As websites have become more complex and content-heavy, page load time has become a critical factor in user experience. One solution to speed up page load times is to use a Content Delivery Network (CDN). In this blog post, we'll discuss what a CDN is, why it's important, and whether you should use one in your Rails application.

What is a CDN?

A CDN is a network of servers distributed around the world that store cached versions of your website's static assets, such as images, JavaScript, and CSS files. When a user requests a webpage from your application, the CDN will serve the assets from the server that is closest to the user, reducing the time it takes for the content to be delivered.

Why use a CDN?

There are several benefits to using a CDN:

Faster Page Load Times

By serving content from a server that is closer to the user, CDNs can dramatically reduce the time it takes for your website to load. This is especially important for users who are located far away from your application's server.

Reduced Server Load

When you use a CDN, your application's server doesn't have to serve static assets, which can help reduce server load and improve overall performance.

Increased Availability

CDNs are designed to handle high volumes of traffic, so they can help ensure that your website remains available during periods of high demand.

Improved Security

Many CDNs offer additional security features, such as DDoS protection and SSL certificates, that can help protect your website from attacks.

Should You Use a CDN in Rails?

Whether you should use a CDN in your Rails 7 application depends on a few factors:

Size of Your Application
If your application is relatively small and doesn't have a lot of static assets, a CDN might not provide much benefit.

Geographical Distribution of Your Users
If your application has users located all over the world, a CDN can help ensure that your website loads quickly for everyone.

CDNs can be expensive, especially for smaller applications. Be sure to weigh the cost of a CDN against the potential benefits before making a decision.

If security is a concern, a CDN can offer additional protection for your website.

How to Use a CDN in Rails

If you decide to use a CDN in your Rails 7 application, you can do so by configuring your web server to serve your static assets from the CDN's server. You'll need to provide the CDN with the URL for your assets, and the CDN will handle the rest.

Configuring the Asset Host

In your config/application.rb file, you can set the config.asset_host variable to the URL for your CDN. For example:

config.asset_host = ''
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This will cause all of your asset tags to use the CDN's URL.

Configuring Rails to Serve Assets

If you're using the default Rails asset pipeline, you'll need to modify your web server's configuration to serve your assets from the CDN's server. If you're using a web server like Nginx or Apache, you can configure it to serve assets from the CDN by adding the following configuration:

location ~ ^/assets/ {
  expires 1y;
  add_header Cache-Control public;

  # Set the CDN as the asset host
  proxy_set_header Host;

  # Serve assets from the CDN
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In conclusion, using a CDN in Rails 7 can be a great way to improve the performance of your web application. However, it's important to consider the potential downsides (such as additional complexity and cost) before making a decision.

Top comments (4)

ahmadraza profile image
Ahmad Raza

Hy devs!
Did you find this blog helpful?

kanani_nirav profile image
Kanani Nirav

I think It is generated by ChatGPT. Have you implemented it with the Ruby On Rails Application?

ahmadraza profile image
Ahmad Raza

Hey @kanani_nirav!
Thanks for reading the blog 🙂
Yes I have implemented it. Actually, this blog is backed by the official documentation of rails. And why do you think it is generated by ChatGPT?

ahmadraza profile image
Ahmad Raza

Hy @kanani_nirav !

Waiting for your reply 🙂