Amazon S3 for static web hosting?

I’ve got a new domain where I would like to create a professional landing page. Nothing too fancy and no blog. I am getting rid of my dreamhost account because frankly I just don’t use it enough to be worth the cost. So I was looking around trying to figure out a cheap alternative.  Well, I can get a web host for something like $50/year, which is nice. However, I got to thinking, “do I really need all this?”. I don’t need all the e-commerce stuff, I don’t need domain registration (I’ve already got one), email, or a thousand different PHP apps. All I want is to cheaply host my files and a static website. I then came across news that Amazon S3 could be used host static websites! I found a good review of the cost and how to make S3 do the hosting. If it actually works I could probably host my landing site for < $0.50/month.

My lazyweb question for all of you is, have you tried hosting a static website from Amazon S3? If so, what did you think of it?

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14 thoughts on “Amazon S3 for static web hosting?

    • Very interesting idea. I bought the domain I want to do it through Google Apps. It might make sense to use GAE to host it.

  1. I went with Google Sites for this because it was free. The only problem I can see with Sites is its online editing. There is no easy way to upload pre-existing content in bulk. This wasn’t a problem for me because I was creating new content.

    Using S3 is a great idea. I’ll keep it in mind.

  2. I use S3 a lot for backup as well as EC2 at times.

    I have quite a few sites hosted on S3 and it’s brilliant. I’m thinking about setting up a blog sometime soon and using Jekyll or something like that for it.

    Even though it’s not free, I think that the small cost is worth it.

    • Yeah, I’ve used Hyde (Jekyll for python) and nanoc in the past and really like them. Is it easy to deploy a site with S3?

  3. Yes you can host S3 website in a very easy manner, My very own tool Bucket Explorer will help and provide you an easy interface to intract with Amazon S3..Bucket Explorer make your hosting much easier…..
    S3 Website is ultimate service started by Amazon S3 to host your static website on S3 Bucket. This is faster and economic option in comparative to there options.
    It is also reliable.You can host your static website by just mentioning index and error page only. and your website will ready to use. if you don’t want to visible to publicly that from where it is hosting, then you can make cname entry in your dns settings.
    http://www.bucketexplorer.com/documentation/amazon-s3–how-to-host-website-from-amazon-s3.html

  4. Is the S3 price to host a single domain or for multiple domains ? I heard it is cheaper to host on normal webhost if you have 10+ domains. Don’t know if it has changed now.

  5. Also using Jekyl on Github Pages ( totally free ) and is backed by a CDN. Very Very solid. Been using it as well in addition to the things above for like small team websites and such but there are plenty of blogs there too and it supports custom domains as well free.

    Github.com ( links to the GH Pages at the bottom )

    • I’ve been thinking about using github pages too. It seems like a little bit of a hack for hosting a personal webpage but there’s no doubt it’s tempting.

      • Nah, not a hack, its common if not encouraged, even the guy at github behind Jekyll has his personal domain+blog there ( thats actually why he wrote jekyll ) and its also refered to in the Github Pages documentation.

        https://github.com/mojombo/mojombo.github.com

        Another good example is cdnjs.com and cdncss.com are both github hosted domains 🙂 I think the only reason they are used more wide spread is because they are static and most ppl just are used to that or think its worse somehow. Silly people 🙂

  6. FYI, in case you’re still looking for a good solution, you might want to try my startup: Site44 (http://www.site44.com).

    We do static website hosting connected to Dropbox. This really simplifies the publishing/editing experience, and we’re specifically designed for websites. (We support custom domains, redirects, gzip compression, etc.) I think you’ll find us a better solution than S3 or GitHub Pages.

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