In a nutshell, you can use Amazon Simple Storage service (Amazon S3 (Aws3)) to store your backups of your entire blog/website and allows your site visitors to view your “heavy duty” images and videos via your web pages.
As there are no monthly fees involved, it is a very inexpensive way to store and retrieve files as you only pay for what you use – see their pricing. Furthermore, it is a highly reliable and secure storage service as it is run by Amazon.com
If your site bandwidth usage is very high (high traffic with lots of images and videos), you may want to consider using Amazon s3 to store your files and enable your site visitors to view them. This will definitely take a lot of load off your hosting server. Secondly, why do you want to pay a high and fixed monthly fee for a VPS or dedicated hosting account when you do not really fully use the capacity allotted to you?
How to Get Started
1. Sign Up For an Amazon AWS Account:
Firstly, you need to go to aws.amazon.com to sign up for a free Amazon Web Service Account.
2. Sign Up For an Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3):
Once you have signed up for the Amazon AWS account, you will be shown a page that confirmed that your account has been created. Proceed to look for and click the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) hyperlink to sign up for the service.
Proceed to sign up for the service by clicking the signup button. You would need to provide your credit card details for their future billings. Follow the rest of the instructions to complete the sign up.
Once you have completed the signup process, you will be shown your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key. These are the Access ID keys that you will use for some third-party applications (e.g. Automatic WordPress Backup plugin or Firefox plugin – “S3 Fox Organizer“) to enable them to access your Amazon S3 files. If you want to access the Access ID keys later, you would need to login to your AWS Account and go to your Account/Security Credentials/Access Credentials.
How to Use Amazon S3
To access your Amazon S3, go to AWS Management Console and login into your AWS Account and you will see your Amazon S3 screen. Before you can start any uploading of your files, you would need to create a “Bucket”. In Amazon S3 terminology, it is actually your main storage folder. You can create multiple buckets and each bucket will store your storage files or your sub-folders etc.
Once you have created your bucket or sub-folders, you can start your file uploads by clicking the ‘Upload” button. For the stored files, you can set the permission to “open or download” by right-mouse click the file concerned and select “Properties” and “Permissions”.
Similarly, if you intend to link your web pages to Amazon S3 to retrieve the image or video files, you would need to get the full URL link. To do this, just right-mouse click the file concerned and select ‘Properties” / “Details” and the URL link will be displayed. Lastly, copy the URL link and paste it to your webpage.
As you can see, it is very easy to use Amazon S3 and it is a great tool that you can use to backup your site, store and retrieve your files.