Amazon.com has grown from a popular online bookseller to a popular online store for just about everything imaginable. The company has, since 2006, been offering S3—an acronym for Simple Storage Service—hosting among its services, but those services couldn’t act as a host for an entire site in the past. Because of limitations on the capability of the storage technology, those who used this service were limited to storing images and other content on the site. The company has since expanded this service and customers will now be able to host their domains with the company.
The details are a bit technical, but those who have the service already will start by creating buckets to host the web addresses. From there on, the process is the same as it is with most other web hosting services. You upload your files, make them public and take care of the basic administration tasks that make them available to everyone who types the domain in their browser. The advance of this service in the past was that it allowed a significant amount of bandwidth every month at no cost. With these changes, that bandwidth can be applied to an entire site instead of just the image and other large content that makes up any site.
S3 will likely be popular with those who need storage more than anything else. Amazon has a generous free usage level that would prove sufficient for the traffic demands of most users. However, the solution that allows users to have their domains hosted at the site still doesn’t provide what most paid hosts provide in terms of service and flexibility. Amazon might be in the game, but other hosts still offer more in the way of services with this type of hosting.
A technical description of setting up the service and using it can be found at PCWorld.com. With plenty of space for storage and an ever-expanding bag of tricks, Amazon may have positioned itself to be a big competitor for the other web hosting companies out there. Those who still need a broader variety of services, however, may wish to have all of their content at a full-service webhost that offers a professional level hosting package.