Free to be S3: Cost-Effective Site Hosting
Joel Tanzi | TrustRadius Reviewer
Updated March 22, 2017

Free to be S3: Cost-Effective Site Hosting

Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
Review Source

Overall Satisfaction with Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service)

I use Amazon S3 to host websites for myself and clients I build them for. I've used other web hosting services but have found S3 to offer the best combination of ease of use, cost controls, and reliability. S3 buckets have been a lifesaver for me in allowing me to manage multiple sites in the easiest manner available while keeping my site hosting expenses to a minimum.
  • Cost reduction is a major factor in my selection of Amazon S3 for hosting websites. When you host your site on S3 you are billed for the traffic you use, not based on a flat-rate. As a result it is far easier to keep site hosting expenses low, and scale up when you need to.
  • S3 buckets are managed through a very simple and easy interface that is extremely well-documented and can be set up with a few clicks. I can deploy a site in under five minutes, so the time-saving aspects of this are hard to overstate.
  • AWS is known for reliability and you can be confident that your site or data hosted on an S3 bucket will be available when you or your clients need it. As anyone knows, site reliability is a major factor in driving business decisions on whom to select as a host, and you can't get much better than AWS.
  • Learning curve can be a bit steep for some of the more advanced features for the service.
  • Could be a bit more accessible for non-technical or lower-technical users such as small business owners and non-tech professionals.
  • Bucket policies can be daunting to work with (although some example baseline policies are available).
  • I've been hosting a blog on S3 for a while now and it has been a big factor in driving my branding initiative forward, as the S3 workflow made it possible to push through the daunting task of getting it launched.
  • It's made me aware that there are indeed cost-effective ways to host your site online and as a web developer being able to offer options that don't require a flat monthly fee is an important part of being able to deliver value to my clients.
The main reason I selected Amazon S3 was the fact that I could pay only for the traffic I actually use for my blog, the operating costs of which I want to keep as low as possible. Squaresapce, HostGator and Wix all charge monthly rates that while reasonable do not take low traffic or low use into account.
S3 is an excellent service for website and web application hosting for those willing to take the time to learn the complexities of AWS and want complete control over content, implementation and security. It also does well as a backup and storage mechanism, and hosting software files to be available to download. If what you are after is a quick and easy way to get a site up and running and you are not about to write the code for that site yourself, then you are probably looking for another solution that includes site-building tools, such as Squarespace.