There are many reasons why you need to use an external storage service for your media files. Allocated bandwidth for most web hosting packages is limited, not to mention the problem of incessantly loading images from your main server. Amazon S3 image hosting platform is undoubtedly the best when it comes to speed, cost and security.
Using the Amazon S3 Image hosting service has been found to be less costly compared with other services on the web. S3 places no restriction on the amount of files you can store and neither does it imposes caps or restriction on data transfer. At $0.15 per GB for storage each month, and $0.20 per GB for data transfer, it is the perfect option for your website. We have compiled a quick guide to using this intriguing Image hosting service.
- Create an account at Amazon.com and register for the S3 image hosting service. If you already have a shopper’s account, you can as well use the details to register for the service.
- Login to your web hosting account and create a sub-domain that you will associate with the S3 service. For example the name can be images.specnet.co.uk. While still in your control panel, create a CNAME record. You should give it the same name with the sub-domain, and then input the value below into the provided field:
Images.specnet.co.uk.s3.amazonaws.com *you should replace “images.specnet.co.uk” with your own value.
By filling this value, you are creating a path for your images such that if you upload an image (for example ocean.jpg) – the direct path for the image will be:
- Although Amazon provides developer APIs to upload and manage files to S3 accounts, this process can be complex. There are many tools for managing your account on the web, some of which are S3Fox Organizer for Firefox, S3 Backup, Jungle Disk, and Transmit among others. The best and simplest tool to use is the S3Fox which we will explain below.
After installing S3 Fox, the next step is to associate your Amazon S3 with your S3 Fox account. You will need to generate toy secret Access Key ID in your Amazon S3 account. The link is found in the homepage of your account (Having trouble getting the link? Click Here).
- When that is done successfully, open the S3 Fox Add-on and create a new folder under the “Remote view” tab. Note that the folder MUST be given the same name as your sub-domain, in this case: images.specnet.co.uk. You can now upload all your files into this folder. The last step is to change the properties of the created folder and allow the public (User: Everyone) to read the contents. This can be done by right-clicking on the folder.
Amazon S3 Image Hosting Service is the best you can get and will increase your page loading speed. It helps to create a more professional website and offers more control over your image files.