Static Websites: Discount Hosting in the Cloud

Broadly speaking, when it comes to communicating on the web, there are static websites and dynamic websites.

A static website is one whose pages are stored on a server in the exact format that is sent to a client web browser. It is primarily coded in HTML. (For more details, you might like to take this Cloud Academy course on static website hosting.)

A dynamic website is one that changes or can be designed to be customized on the fly. Dynamic sites can be built using programming languages like PHP, Perl, Python, and Ruby.

In this first post, I’ll provide an example of how to set up a very simple static website, and show how surprisingly cheap it can be to host a static website on Amazon’s S3. Part two of this blog series will focus on the more complicated, demanding (and costly) dynamic websites.

Hosting a static website on AWS

  • The first thing that you will need to do is create an index.html file to use are your site’s main page. Let’s try this.
<HTML>
<HEAD>
<TITLE>
Cloud Academy static website example
</TITLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY>
<H1>Hi</H1>
<P>Cloud Academy is awesome!</P>
</BODY>
</HTML>
  • Now, using S3, I’ll create a bucket called cloudacademyblog and upload our index.html file to it. If you’re not sure how to do that, read Uploading Objects into Amazon S3 in the Amazon Simple Storage Service Console User Guide.
  • While viewing our bucket’s Static Website Hosting properties within the AWS S3 console, we’ll need to
    – enable website hosting
    – note our endpoint (mine is cloudacademyblog.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com) which will be our website address
    – set index.html as the Index Document as shown below
Static Website: Enabling website hosting
  • Also in Properties, under permissions, you’ll need to “add a bucket policy” like the one below (replacing your bucket name for cloudacademyblog is in this example):
{
    "Statement":[{
	"Sid":"PublicReadForGetBucketObjects",
        "Effect":"Allow",
	  "Principal": "*",
      "Action":["s3:GetObject"],
      "Resource":["arn:aws:s3:::cloudacademyblog/*"
      ]
    }
  ]
}

That’s it. Very simple. Very quick.

Let’s now check out our new website by going to cloudacademyblog.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com.

Here’s what we see:
Static website: Example
Not the greatest website ever built but certainly up there with the cheapest. You can, of course, add new pages, links, and images, but keep in mind that you should stick to HTML – as this is a static website. If your site requires fancy PHP (a WordPress, site, for example) you’ll need to come up with another solution. Or just read part two of this post.

Static websites: how much do they cost?

If you were to leave it at that and not worry about changing the domain name to something a little more user-friendly, then this site is virtually free. If you keep adding content – especially videos and image files, your costs are still going to be reasonably well contained as there are no set-up fees or commitments to begin using the service and you only pay for what you use.

Going static offers some terrific advantages:

  • A fast and efficient way to deliver content.
  • Does not require any code or backend databases, which can make content delivery more secure.
  • Uses simple, clean URLs for addresses.
  • Takes advantage of web caching systems, further boosting performance.
  • Is compatible with every type of web server technology.

But let’s not forget the disadvantages:

  • You won’t be able to incorporate any interactive functionality or e-commerce tools.
  • There’s no way to use popular CMS systems like WordPress.

One of the best things about AWS is that you can play around as much as you want and as long as you take some reasonable precautions you can’t get yourself into too much trouble. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself an AWS account if you haven’t already got one and build yourself a static website.

Look out for part two of this article when I will take you through the cheapest option on setting up a dynamic website on AWS.

Avatar

Written by

Michael Sheehy

I have been UNIX/Linux System Administrator for the past 15 years and am slowly moving those skills into the AWS Cloud arena. I am passionate about AWS and Cloud Technologies and the exciting future that it promises to bring.


Related Posts

Albert Qian
Albert Qian
— November 13, 2019

Microservices Architecture: Advantages and Drawbacks

What are microservices? Let's start our discussion by setting a foundation of what microservices are. Microservices are a way of breaking large software projects into loosely coupled modules, which communicate with each other through simple Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Docker
  • Kubernetes
  • Microservices
Nisar Ahmad
Nisar Ahmad
— November 12, 2019

Kubernetes Services: AWS vs. Azure vs. Google Cloud

Kubernetes is a popular open-source container orchestration platform that allows us to deploy and manage multi-container applications at scale. Businesses are rapidly adopting this revolutionary technology to modernize their applications. Cloud service providers — such as Amazon Web Ser...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud
  • Kubernetes
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 31, 2019

AWS Internet of Things (IoT): The 3 Services You Need to Know

The Internet of Things (IoT) embeds technology into any physical thing to enable never-before-seen levels of connectivity. IoT is revolutionizing industries and creating many new market opportunities. Cloud services play an important role in enabling deployment of IoT solutions that min...

Read more
  • AWS
  • AWS IoT Events
  • AWS IoT SiteWise
  • AWS IoT Things Graph
  • IoT
Avatar
Cloud Academy Team
— October 23, 2019

Which Certifications Should I Get?

As we mentioned in an earlier post, the old AWS slogan, “Cloud is the new normal” is indeed a reality today. Really, cloud has been the new normal for a while now and getting credentials has become an increasingly effective way to quickly showcase your abilities to recruiters and compan...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Certifications
  • Cloud Computing
  • Google Cloud Platform
Valery Calderón Briz
Valery Calderón Briz
— October 22, 2019

How to Go Serverless Like a Pro

So, no servers? Yeah, I checked and there are definitely no servers. Well...the cloud service providers do need servers to host and run the code, but we don’t have to worry about it. Which operating system to use, how and when to run the instances, the scalability, and all the arch...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Lambda
  • Serverless
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 16, 2019

AWS Security: Bastion Hosts, NAT instances and VPC Peering

Effective security requires close control over your data and resources. Bastion hosts, NAT instances, and VPC peering can help you secure your AWS infrastructure. Welcome to part four of my AWS Security overview. In part three, we looked at network security at the subnet level. This ti...

Read more
  • AWS
Avatar
Sudhi Seshachala
— October 9, 2019

Top 13 Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Best Practices

Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) brings a host of advantages to the table, including static private IP addresses, Elastic Network Interfaces, secure bastion host setup, DHCP options, Advanced Network Access Control, predictable internal IP ranges, VPN connectivity, movement of interna...

Read more
  • AWS
  • best practices
  • VPC
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— October 2, 2019

Big Changes to the AWS Certification Exams

With AWS re:Invent 2019 just around the corner, we can expect some early announcements to trickle through with upcoming features and services. However, AWS has just announced some big changes to their certification exams. So what’s changing and what’s new? There is a brand NEW ...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Certifications
Alisha Reyes
Alisha Reyes
— October 1, 2019

New on Cloud Academy: ITIL® 4, Microsoft 365 Tenant, Jenkins, TOGAF® 9.1, and more

At Cloud Academy, we're always striving to make improvements to our training platform. Based on your feedback, we released some new features to help make it easier for you to continue studying. These new features allow you to: Remove content from “Continue Studying” section Disc...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • ITIL® 4
  • Jenkins
  • Microsoft 365 Tenant
  • New content
  • Product Feature
  • Python programming
  • TOGAF® 9.1
Avatar
Stuart Scott
— September 27, 2019

AWS Security Groups: Instance Level Security

Instance security requires that you fully understand AWS security groups, along with patching responsibility, key pairs, and various tenancy options. As a precursor to this post, you should have a thorough understanding of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model before moving onto discussi...

Read more
  • AWS
  • instance security
  • Security
  • security groups
Avatar
Jeremy Cook
— September 17, 2019

Cloud Migration Risks & Benefits

If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations dri...

Read more
  • AWS
  • Azure
  • Cloud Migration
Joe Nemer
Joe Nemer
— September 12, 2019

Real-Time Application Monitoring with Amazon Kinesis

Amazon Kinesis is a real-time data streaming service that makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze data so you can get quick insights and react as fast as possible to new information.  With Amazon Kinesis you can ingest real-time data such as application logs, website clickstre...

Read more
  • amazon kinesis
  • AWS
  • Stream Analytics
  • Streaming data