Hosting a static website on Amazon S3 (AWS howto)


Hello everyone! In this video I’m going to
show you how you can host static websites on Amazon S3. But before we do that, let’s
first take a look at what S3 is. Well S3 is a cloud storage service, built by Amazon,
that allows you to store an unlimited amount of files in the cloud. And being the cloud,
you of course only pay for what you use. So why would you use S3 instead of a regular
webhost? Well first of all S3 has great performance. It’s also very secure since you don’t have
PHP or a MySQL database running that can be compromised. It’s low cost in the sense that
you only pay for what you use and it can scale very well. It can scale from 1 request per
second to dozens of requests per second. So what’s next in this tutorial? I’m going to
show you how you can create a bucket. We’re going to enable the static website hosting
feature, we’re going to set a bucket policy allowing all our files to be accessed through
a browser. And than we’re going to test our website and see if it actually works. So let’s begin. So for the purpose of this video, I’ve created
a simple website that I’m going to host on S3, called “My awesome website”. And this
is what it looks like. It’s basically two simple pages with “Hello world, this is my
awesome website’s homepage. There’s even a second page which you check out here”. And
you can click and than it navigates to page2.html and than you can back if you want, back to
the homepage. Okay so let’s now host our static website
on Amazon. Let’s go to the AWS management console, which is at console.aws.amazon.com.
And I’m going to open up the S3 management console here. As you can see I have a lot
of buckets where I can store files. And for my website I’m going to create a new bucket.
I’m going to click “Create Bucket” and I’m going to call it “www.myawesomewebsite.com”.
I’m going to leave the region by default, Ireland. I live in Europe so this is a very
good region. I’m not going to set up logging, so I’m just going to go for “Create”. And Amazon is now creating my bucket and boom,
there you have it. My bucket has been created. So the first thing that we’re going to do
is enable static website hosting for this bucket. So I’m going to click on “Static website
hosting” and I’m going to click “Enable” and now Amazon wants to know what our index and
error documents are. So my index document is very traditional, it’s called “index.html”
and my error document is called “404.html”. These are two files that should be in this
bucket, for the website to work. So I’m going to click “Save” and right now my bucket and
my website is accessible through this URL. So it’s called [reads URL]. So if I click
on it, I see “403 forbidden”. That’s pretty logical because there’s nothing in the bucket
yet. So let’s go into the bucket, let’s click on the name. And I’m going to upload some
files, so here I’m going to say “Add files” and I’m going to select all my files here,
my HTML files. You can’t actually upload folders to this but we’re going to do that manually.
Okay, so there are my files. Now I’m going to create a folder “CSS” and in that folder
I’m going to upload my stylesheet. And there you have it, my website is completely uploaded
to Amazon S3. Now let’s take a look if that website is already
up and running. So let’s go to my website and hit refresh. No, I still got “403 forbidden”.
Why is that? Well, Amazon makes sure that all the files that you upload are not publicly
accessible straight away. This is a security feature. You have two choices: either you
can make every file public – which you can do, you click on a file, open it’s properties
and than you can set the permissions and you can allow anyone to get your object OR you
can do this instantly for all files in your bucket. I think that’s a much nicer solution,
so let’s go for that! So to do that, let’s click on your bucket name and let’s go the
properties – which is by default selected – and we’re going to select “Permissions”.
We’re going to add a bucket policy. So now Amazon asks you which policy I have to add.
Well I have already created a policy here, which is stored on my desktop. And this is
the policy that you need to make all files in your bucket publicly accessible. I will
share this in the video’s description. So basically what you’re saying is that we’re
allowing anyone to read or get an S3 object, and we’re going to allow it for all files
in this bucket, which is the name of my bucket. So let’s save that and let’s save here as
well. And now if I’m gonna go back to my website and I hit refresh, sure enough there is my
website! Hello World! I can navigate to the other page and I can navigate back and all
is very well. Now let’s also test our error document. So here we navigate to “index.html”.
Let’s say I want to go to “blabla.html” which is a file that does not exist. If I hit enter,
Amazon automatically redirects me to my error document. I created this file: “404, oops,
page gone missing”. And so that’s it! We hosted our static website on Amazon S3. I hope you
enjoyed this video! Thanks for watching!

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