Steps to Host Your Website on Amazon AWS S3
It’s extremely easy to host a static website on Amazon S3, and it’s really (in my opinion) pretty cheap too!
Amazon provides a “limited use rate” for the first year and you don’t have to compensate for the GET and POST requests or storage space as long as you stay under a certain amount of use. The restrictions that change at any time, but here on Amazon’s site you can learn more about them.
If you’re searching for static web hosting (only HTML files, photos, etc.) than S3 could be one of the cheapest ways to do it, if you don’t have loads of traffic coming to your site. You can also host WordPress on Amazon, but it’s a little more expensive to set up as well as more effort. It’s super simple to get a static website operating on Amazon S3 and can be completed in minutes. This is how it is!
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Step 1: Create an Amazon AWS account
The first thing you need to do is create an account (if you haven’t already done so). You will be required for some regular details and a credit card because AWS is pay-as-you-go. At aws.amazon.com, you may sign up.
Step 2: Navigate to S3 from the services menu
Tons of different Amazon services are available, but you’ll want to use S3 for this tutorial and for hosting static content.
Step 3: Create a new bucket
Buckets are “containers” holding Amazon S3 files and folders. Make sure you call it the same as the website name when you build a bin. If your website has www in the URL, please make sure that it is included in the bin. And, for starters, if your website is www.cybersguards.com, that’s exactly what you would call your tank. You also need to pick an area where the data will be processed as you build a container. In general, picking an area nearest to your target users / visitors is easiest.
Step 4: Enable Static Website Hosting
Click on the name of the container and then on the tab “Properties” on the right side of the screen, then on the dropdown of “Static Website Hosting.” Choose the “Allow Static Website Hosting” method. In the “Index File” tab, select “index.html” (unless your index file is anything else), and save the changes.
Step 5: Uploading
Click the “Import” icon, drag and drop files into the bucket of your website. Then click “Download off.”
Step 6: Making Public
Right click on the file name or names and then press “Make Public.” You’ll need to do this if you add some data to S3 as they’re going to be secret by default and they need to be public in order to view them through a web browser. If you need to re-upload some files / folders, this can be annoying, but this is just how S3 is set up, at least for now.
Step 7: Creating CNAME
Build a CNAME at the registrar of your domain name leading to the origin of the S3 bin. When you click back on the bucket term, you will see the URL for the bucket endpoint again on the “Properties” page and again on “Static Website Hosting.” There are various ways to create CNAME records for each domain name registrar such as Namecheap, GoDaddy, etc. If at the registrar you need to learn how to do this, be sure to look at their assistance materials or call their service.
The picture below displays Namecheap’s Advanced DNS tab — your registrar can vary depending on who you use to register domain names.
Step 8: Test your website
When up to this point you have completed everything and the DNS has propagated (which can take 24-48 hours), the website can load properly!
Because S3 is a pay-as-you-go program, setting up a billing warning is a good idea to inform you if your account costs reach a certain point. If you don’t, you might get lots of tourists or someone might start spamming your web with 1000s of bots and blowing up your bill. There is currently no way to “switch off” AWS services at a defined level, but make sure that if you set up an alert you get it to an email address that you regularly track so that you can hop in and disable the services manually if you need it.
Note that S3 just enables the storing of static information, so no scripting on the server side. It means you can’t host PHP scripts, or anything else that requires action or execution on the server side.