This is part of my series of try some alternative hosting options. I left Amazon until last at they’re the big gorilla in this market. Amazon Web Services (AWS) have been around since 2006 and hold significant market share. As such they’ve been used for a great many things, including hosting static sites.
Simple Storage Service (or S3 to use its more common name) is designed to store files (and there are options about how often they’ll be accessed), but can also be used to host static sites.
Obviously you need any account, and Amazon generously offers a free tier that includes access to all of its products for 12 months. You get the option to select if it’s a company or personal account. Despite the free tier you still have to enter a credit card. You also have to enter a phone number that it will call with a PIN number to verify.
Then you get the option to pick the support plan you want, from Basic (free) to Developer ($49/month) all the way up to Enterprise ($15,000/month!). That’s it, all done.
Amazon have a handy article to run you through hosting a static site. So I started by creating two buckets for my domain (one for the naked domain, one for www). I selected my closest Region (data center) to host it.
Next came uploading my files, which is where most services fall down. The default upload dialog doesn’t support folders, but there is the option to enable the Enhanced Uploader (Beta), which uses Java. It takes (up to) a couple of minutes to enable it, but I thought I would give it a try. It never actually got installed, probably because I don’t have Java enabled in my browser (it never actually gave an error, just sat spinning).
(note: I missed the glaringly obvious message that says I could drop folders on the upload box.)
There are a number of other options to upload files, depending on your OS. Amazon provides an API and there are a number of command line tools that make use of it, as well as GUI applications. I opted to install s3cmd. Continue reading…