What is S3 Static Website Hosting? A Beginner’s Complete Guide

An image illustrating What is S3 Static Website Hosting?
What is S3 Static Website Hosting/PHOTO: Files

The internet is full of websites, but not all websites are created equal.

There are two main types: static websites and dynamic websites.

Static websites consist of unchanging web pages built with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Dynamic websites, on the other hand, rely on server-side scripting to generate content on the fly.

Amazon S3, short for Simple Storage Service, is a cloud storage solution offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS).

It’s simply a giant online storage locker where you can keep all sorts of data, from photos and videos to website files.

But did you know S3 can also be used to host websites? That’s where S3 static website hosting comes in.

S3 static website hosting allows you to serve your static website directly from an S3 bucket.

This means your website’s HTML, CSS, JavaScript files, and any images are stored in S3, and users can access them through a web browser.

What can you host on S3 Static Website Hosting?

S3 Static Website Hosting is ideal for websites with content that doesn’t change frequently.

These websites include:

  1. Personal portfolios
  2. Landing pages
  3. Simple business websites
  4. Blogs (with content written beforehand)

However, it’s important to note that S3 cannot execute server-side scripts like PHP or ASP.NET.

This means functionalities like user logins, shopping carts, or content generated on the fly won’t work with it.

Why Choose S3 Static Website Hosting?

Several reasons might make S3 a good fit for you.

Among the advantages are:

  1. Cost-effectiveness: For low-traffic websites, S3 can be a very economical option. You only pay for the storage you use and the data transferred when visitors access your website.
  2. Scalability: S3 can handle sudden spikes in traffic with ease. Your website automatically provisions additional resources as needed because it consists of just files in a bucket.
  3. Security: S3 is built on a robust and secure AWS infrastructure, giving you peace of mind about your website’s safety.
  4. Easy to set up and manage: Compared to traditional web hosting, it is relatively straightforward
what is s3 static website hosting

How Does It Work?

Think of an S3 bucket as a digital folder where you store all the files that make up your website(your HTML pages, CSS styles, JavaScript files, and any images).

When you enable S3 static website hosting for your bucket, AWS makes those files publicly accessible over the internet.

Users will type your domain name into their browser to access your website.

This domain name points to your S3 bucket behind the scenes, and the browser retrieves the website files to display the webpage.

How to Set Up an S3 Static Website Hosting

This involves a few key steps:

  1. Create an S3 bucket¬†where you’ll store all your website files.
  2. Enable website hosting: This tells S3 to serve your website files from the bucket.
  3. Configure permissions so that the public can access your website files.

Step-by-Step Guide

These are the steps to set up your S3 static website hosting:

  1. Log in to your AWS Management Console and navigate to the S3 service.
  2. Click on “Create bucket” and choose a unique name for your bucket (remember, this might become part of your website address if you don’t use a custom domain).
  3. Go to the bucket’s Properties tab.
  4. Under Static website hosting, click Edit.
  5. Select “Use this bucket to host a website“.
  6. In the Index document field, specify the name of your main HTML file (usually “index.html”).
  7. In the Error document field, specify the name of an error page to display if users try to access non-existent files.

What are the Limitations of this Kind of Hosting?

  1. No server-side scripting: S3 doesn’t support languages like PHP or ASP.NET. This means features that rely on server-side processing won’t work.
  2. No HTTPS by default: S3 websites are served over HTTP, which is not encrypted. For a secure connection (HTTPS), you’ll need to integrate AWS services like CloudFront.

However, AWS offers EC2 instances and Elastic Beanstalk.

Websites that require server-side scripting or HTTPS by default can use these.

Was this article impressive? Follow for more on this blog as sampled below:

Leave a Comment