Documentation

Quick Start

We know you want to start without reading the entire documentation.
That’s why we created the Quick start.

What we cover

  • Setup WordPress
  • Create a new website
  • Connect WordPress with Simply CDN
  • Configure the Simply CDN Helper plugin
  • Run our static export with Simply Static
  • Preview the result and set a CNAME for a domain

Setup WordPress

For the purpose of this tutorial I created a simple WordPress website with LocalWP and the TwentyTwenty WordPress theme. Here is how it looks like:

Create a website

I switched to my Dashboard in Simply CDN and clicked on “New website”. I wanted to create a simple documentation website for Simply CDN so I filled out the fields like so:

Then I clicked on “Create Website”. After a couple of seconds I got the confirmation that the website was created successfully on Simply CDN.

Then I switched back to the dashboard and opened the new entry for my created static website:

I clicked on the new entry which opens the detailed view for that project. I copied the static URL and the security token from here and moved over to my WordPress installation.

Simply Static Setup

I installed the free Simply Static plugin from the admin area within plugins and activated it.

Then I downloaded the Simply CDN Helper plugin from Dashboard -> New Website, installed it and visited Simply Static -> Simply CDN from within the admin area of my WordPress installation.

I added my Security Token and the URL to my static website and saved the settings. I got the confirmation that my website was now successfully connected with Simply CDN.

Setting up forms

I like to use Contact Form 7 as my forms plugin, but you can use what ever you like with Simply CDN.

I moved to my Dashboard and copied the “Form Token” from the details view of my project.

I went back to my WordPress website and opened a contact form in Contact Form 7 and added a hidden field with the name attribute “form_token” and set the form token as the value like so:

Simply CDN will now automatically send each form submission to the configured Contact E-Mail you have set in your project.

I added my own e-mail address within the form and submitted it. A couple of seconds later I received the message in my inbox:

Tip: You can always change this e-mail adress by clicking on “Edit website”.

Static Export

I navigated to Simply Static -> Settings and selected “Simply CDN” within “Delivery Method” and saved the settings.

I navigated to Simply Static -> Generate and clicked the “Generate Static Files” button to start the static export of my WordPress website.

After a couple of seconds Simply Static created a static version of my website and pushed all files to Simply CDN.

I clicked on the “View static URL” link in the admin top bar and verified everything was exported successfully.

Adding a CNAME

Once I was happy with the result, it was time to map my domain to the current temporary URL.

I visited my Simply CDN dashboard again and copied the CNAME value from the project overview.

Adding CNAME entry within Cloudflare

I’m using Cloudflare to manage my domains. So this may differ a bit from the DNS settings your hosting provider has, but the only thing left is adding a CNAME entry to your DNS settings.

I decided to create a subdomain called documentation.simplycdn.io and added the CNAME entry to sshm-simplycdn-docs.b-cdn.net:

Updating the URL in Simply CDN

The last step was to let Simply CDN know that the URL has changed. I went back to my dashboard and opened the details view of the “Simply CDN Docs” project.

I clicked on the “Go Live?” button and pasted in my new URL https://documentation.simplycdn.io and clicked “Change live URL” to confirm the change.

After a couple of seconds I got the confirmation and my static website was available at https://documentation.simplycdn.io:

Account

The main component of SimplyCDN is the account area called Dashboard. Here you can create new websites, manage your existing once, you get an overview of your total usage and get access to support.

Login

We use a passwordless account system. An account is automatically created with the e-mail address you have used at the checkout. Add your e-mail here and you get a login link.

Dashboard

Once you logged in, you will see your dashboard. It gives you a general overview about your total usage, the number of websites created and the monthly bandwith.

It’s also the place where you can manage your existing websites. Delete projects, edit them, copy the security token and more.

Create Website

The first step with your new account will be most likely setting up your first website. In Dashboard -> New website you will find a form to create one.

This is also the place where you find the latest Simply CDN Helper plugin to download and connect your existing website with Simply CDN.

Website overview

Once you have created your first website, you find the website details within your dashboard. If you click on the name of your project you get all the details related to the static website like your Static URL, your Security Token and general statistics.

You will also find all Quick actions for this website here. You can change the URL of your project, modify the project details or delete the entire project.

Support

In Dashboard->Support you will find the support form where you can create new tickets. Once you created your first website it will automatically show you a selection for the website you need help with.

Billing

In Dashboard->Billing you will find a link to your Lemon Squeezy orders page. Here you can download invoices, manage your orders and subscriptions and change your payment details.

Simply CDN Helper Plugin

We built a little helper plugin that makes it easy to connect to Simply CDN and push your static website directly from within Simply Static instead of relying on FTP.

You can always download the latest version from Dashboard->Create Website. However, we also implemented an auto updater so that you can easily update to new versions from your WordPress dashboard.

Settings

The plugin comes with a little settings page where you can configure some basic settings for your static website. Let’s explain those settings one by one:

Once you installed and activated the plugin, you will find the settings in Simply Static -> Simply CDN.

Security Token

Each website has a unique security token which is used to authenticate your website with Simply CDN. You can copy that from Dashboard-> Your website.

Static URL

Adding the static URL gives you a nice little integration in your admin top bar where you can check the static version of the page/post you are currently editing. If you click it from a settings page, it will forward you to the homepage of your static website.

404 page

Each static website should have a 404 page. Create a page, give it a name and copy the slug of the URL in the settings field here.

An example:
  • Your website is located at myawesomewebsite.com.
  • You created a page called “404 Error” and the URL is myawesomewebsite.com/404-error
  • You add /404-error/ in the settings field.

Managing media

You will notice that Simply Static will export all of your media files each time you run a new static export. That can take quite a bit of time depending on how many images and other media files you use on your website.

That’s why we implemented the media settings. You can automatically replace the URL from your attachments and within the HTML of your website to replace it with the URL of your static website.

This way, Simply Static will skip those images, which can increase the performance of your static exports. You also prevent storing duplicate files as all of your images will be stored on the CDN and don’t need to be stored in WordPress anymore.

Good to know: when activated, all images uploaded from the media uploader will automatically be transferred to Simply CDN.

Caching

The cache is cleared automatically after each static export. However, sometimes you want to make sure the cache gets cleared, for example if you have uploaded something via FTP instead of the Simply CDN Helper plugin. Here you can do that with a click of a button.