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Quic.cloud Review: A New WordPress Performance CDN & More


Quic.cloud is a fantastic service that acts as an excellent component to building the fastest WordPress websites you can — and even better if your web host uses the Litespeed web server.

In this guide, I’m just gonna do a quick review of what I like about this service, and then go in-depth on each of the components that make up Quic.cloud.

What I ❤️ About Quic.cloud

First, the service is created by the same team that brought us the Litespeed web server. Which is one of the best, fastest web servers available on the web today.

So you could say they know a thing or two about web performance — and they saw a need for a few key services to help make websites faster.

I will go through each service in more detail below, but these services are a very common sense approach to help you with some often time-consuming tasks.

And that is what I like the most about Quic.cloud — it makes your life easier.

Now let’s go through everything in depth, step-by-step.

In-Depth Guide

Quic.cloud is made up of four services:

  • CDN
  • Image optimization
  • Critical CSS
  • Low-quality image placeholder

All are fantastic, however, I use only the image optimization service in my ultimate performance build, and I’ll explain why later.

quic.cloud list of services

You could easily take advantage of all of them, or any combination of them, for your needs.

Notice in the image above all my quota’s are zero. It just so happens I took this image on August 1st when I haven’t used anything yet. :]

CDN

This is the content delivery network offered by Quic.cloud. It’s a lot like Cloudflare’s CDN service — where it’s a reverse proxy that caches your content (including HTML when possible).

This has a couple of benefits, but also a drawback (which is why I can’t use it in the ultimate performance build — as much as I wish I could).

The ability to cache dynamic content.

This is special because most CDN services cache only static resources. This means things like images, CSS files, and script files.

Here HTML can be cached and served to your visitors from the nearest POP (Point of Presence) — aka, the Quic.cloud CDN server nearest the visitor.

This will provide impressive performance for your readers — no matter where they are in the world (assuming there is a POP nearby them).

But… unfortunately, this CDN service is currently in beta and that means you can’t rely on it for production websites (yet).

I am testing this on another site to see if I can swap it into my performance build. If it passes I’ll update this guide.

Image Optimization

This is the service that I do use with my ultimate performance build. In fact, this is my favorite service of Quic.cloud, because it can save a lot of time.

This takes the images you upload to WordPress and performs image optimization on them. But it doesn’t do this on your server, saving hosting resources.

Instead, your images are sent to the Quic.cloud platform, optimized and delivered back to your site.

This all happens pretty much in the background with no added input from you, once all the settings are in place.

This time-saving feature is precisely why I use Quic.cloud. It allows me to edit the image, export it, and upload it immediately — with peace of mind it will be optimized for me.

Otherwise I would have to optimize the image before uploading it and I enjoy the extra time to work on more content for you.

Critical CSS

Put simply, critical CSS are the styles necessary to render the initial view of your page when the reader first arrives. I cover this in a bit more depth in my lazy loading article.

To produce the fastest possible initial load you would want to only send the critical CSS to the reader’s browser. The rest can be sent later after the initial view has been rendered.

The problem is creating the critical CSS can be a challenge. Luckily this service will do it for you. They will do it for every page of your site.

  • You turn this setting on in the Litespeed Cache plugin within your WordPress admin area. Go to LiteSpeed Cache > Page Optimizations
    • Turn on Load CSS Asynchronously, Generate Critical CSS, and Generate Critical CSS In Background
    • As long as you are connected to Quic.cloud it will begin generating the critical CSS
    • More on how to connect Quic.cloud to your site below

Low-Quality Image Placeholder

This is an interesting service. Honestly, I’d consider it more of an “extra” or bonus feature.

It will replace your image with a very blurry version that is ultra-compressed so it loads quickly. Then when your real image finishes loading they are swapped.

It actually is a rather cool effect, but if you optimize your images well and follow good practices, I feel this adds complexity where it isn’t needed.

Very cool concept though.

How to setup Quic.cloud

I wish Quic.cloud was easier to set up for non-tech types, but unfortunately, it involves editing your DNS record if you want to take advantage of the CDN (if you don’t want to use CDN, you won’t need to touch DNS though).

Here is a quick checklist to follow to set up Quic.cloud. It’s relatively easy (minus the DNS stuff).

  • Create a Quic.cloud account
  • Log into your WP dashboard and go to Litespeed Cache plugin > general
  • Get a domain key to connect your site to Quic.cloud
  • Go to Litespeed > CDN
  • Turn on Quic.cloud CDN
  • Copy the CNAME record address
  • Log into Cloudflare > DNS
  • Add a CNAME record using the URL you copied from Quic.cloud
  • Go back to Quic.cloud and wait for them to verify the record
  • Done — all services will now work

One thing to keep in mind, especially if you’re using Perfmatters, you must have the REST API enabled for Quic.cloud to work.

For more in-depth help, Quic.cloud has an excellent onboarding document.

Another reason to use Quic.cloud

If you’re using a host such as Closte, which has enterprise Litespeed web servers, you’ll get an amazing deal on Quic.cloud.

You will have about 10X the number of resources as the basic free tier — across every service Quic.cloud offers.

You can’t beat that value. On small, or new, sites you’ll never break the free threshold.

For example, I use Closte and can optimize 10,000 images a month for free!

Pricing

Given all these features and what seems like an on-going resource requirement, I bet you think this would cost a lot.

It doesn’t.

But their pricing is a bit tricky because it is based on credits. Much like a mobile gain where you pay for credits with real money and spend credits on the service.

There are three ways to get credits (more, free, ways coming soon).

  • Free tier — these are given to you for being a member. As I mentioned above, if your host uses the Litespeed web server you’ll get more resources to use for free.
  • Subscription — you can set up a recurring payment that will “charge” your credit bank, and then you can spend the credits on the services you want. Each month you’ll get more credits.
  • Pay-as-You-Go, aka PAYG — this is a one-time payment to buy credits. It is not automatically recurring and you will have to manually purchase more credits when you need them

It gets more interesting though, becuase you can use all three in combination. It flows like this:

  • Your free resources are used first
  • When free is gone your subscription resources are used
  • If there are no subscription resources, or they’re spent, your PAYG resources will be used

It’s actually a useful way of charging, but I fear the complexity may cause some to avoid this service.

Quic.cloud vs Cloudflare

You may already know about Cloudflare’s free CDN. Why would you use Quic.cloud when Cloudflare offers a CDN for free?

The answer is because there is a key difference.

Quic.cloud integrates with the Litespeed Cache plugin and has the capability of caching dynamic content.

Cloudflare can only cache the static content on the free tier. If you pay $20/mo you can gain access to features that will enable a dynamic cache, but you’ll have to set them up manually.

With Quic.cloud, once DNS is setup, you’re “done.” It will just work after you have connected your site with the service.

Summary

In this review I mentioned why I enjoy the Quic.cloud service. The simple fact it is an excellent extension of the impressive Litespeed web server speaks volumes.

In the guide, I explained the services Quic.cloud offers. While there is room for improvement, I think it is an excellent start. Can’t wait to see what else the team comes up with.

Take care,

🐹, ✌️+❤️