Sailing Quickly on a Cloud

WordPress-based website owners seeking faster content delivery to a global audience can now play with the big boys — thanks to a plugin allowing for the selective use of Amazon’s S3 CloudFront hosting service.

A variant of Tan Tan Noodle’s plugin, Amazon S3 for WordPress with CloudFront (wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tantan-s3-cloudfront) uploads WordPress attachments to an AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) bucket, with an option for CloudFront distribution.

Amazon S3 for WordPress with CloudFront uploads WordPress attachments to an AWS Simple Storage Service

With this method, the site’s pages and files are hosted normally, but media such as thumbnail and full size images, audio, video and other large files and attachments are sent to the cloud for distribution via AWS’ global network of edge locations.

“Requests for your objects are automatically routed to the nearest edge location, so content is delivered with the best possible performance,” states an Amazon rep. “There are no contracts or monthly commitments for using Amazon CloudFront — you pay only for as much or as little content as you actually deliver through the service.”

According to the plugin publisher, Amazon S3 is a cost effective way to scale a site to handle spikes in traffic without the expense of setting up a new content delivery network. The plugin transparently integrates with WordPress to automatically send uploaded files (including thumbnails used for posts) to an Amazon S3 bucket. Once saved, those files are delivered by Amazon, instead of the site’s regular web host. An “Amazon S3” tab will appear next to the regular “Upload” tab, so files can be easily browsed and managed.

For high traffic sites, Amazon S3 for WordPress with CloudFront is worth a look.

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