Testing CDN for media files and changes to DNS provider

For the past weeks, I have been thinking of implementing a CDN solution for Masto.host shared hosting media files. This could speed up image/video loading on countries that are far from Europe and could also reduce the requests/downloads from OVH Object Storage. As I pay per GB downloaded having a CDN (cheaper than OVH) and that could speed up the loading of media files would be a win-win.

Also, up until today I have been using a server from Nuvens.pt (the other hosting service I provide in Portugal) as the DNS provider for Masto.host website and subdomains. This was the solution that I implemented when I first started Masto.host because it was the one that required less work and never gave it a second thought. Now that things have scaled up, I wanted to offer a more resilient solution since this server could go down and all DNS queries for instances using Masto.host subdomains would stop working.

With these two things in mind and after looking at all the providers I could think of, I have decided to create a Pro CloudFlare plan and give it a try.

I don’t love this solution and it was not an easy decision because I was fully aware of the CloudFlare/Switter ban (although the way I will be using them is different) and several other issues that I had with CloudFlare in the past. Still, after evaluating all the options available and talking to other people, I had to think of what would be the best for the current Masto.host stage.

My thought process ended up being, there is a high probability that CloudFlare will not ban my account, I have no reason to believe their service is less focused on privacy than it’s competitors and it’s the most cost effective way of implementing both DNS and CDN for media files. The money I can save here, will allow me to implement other improvements that I want to bring to Masto.host.

To be clear, this is an initial test that I will be gradually implementing for all instances on shared hosting but I can stop it or revert it at any time if I feel that it’s not working.

What will change in your instance?
Hopefully the speed at which images are loaded and the domain name used in the URL of the images. The domain will go from storage.gra3.cloud.ovh.net to cf.masto.host (the rest of the URL continues the same). The old domain/URL will continue to work.

The CDN will only be used on media files, no other Masto.host service will be using the CDN. Plus, if you don’t want me to use CloudFlare CDN for the media files of your instance, just let me know and I will not implement the change.

You should expect this change to happen during the next days and only a downtime of less than 30 second will be necessary to reload the new configuration of your instance.

Any questions, opinions or suggestions, let me know.