I have a question – beginning with this year, I’m going to add a lot of visuals to each of my posts, and that certainly will eat up a lot of my online space. I don’t want to change my server yet, because my traffic isn’t THAT high so my current account can easily handle it.
Now I have heard somewhere that people keep their shared server while storing their images/guides/videos on big-ass server systems like Amazon S3 etc.
Does this work ? Is this useful, and if yes, would you recommend that approach instead of switching my whole side to a new server ?
Mars – www.marsdorian.com
This question is a great one, and as more and more people use large graphics like infographics and video on their websites, they are going to run up against it.
First, a distinction. You’re not likely to run out of “space” hosts these days should be providing you unlimited “space” … you’re worried about “bandwidth” … how much traffic your web host can handle before things start to get slow, crash, and not work right.
There’s no hard fast rule that once you hit a certain level of traffic, or use certain types of content, you should outsource your media files to Amazon S3, which does make the most sense, but also costs on a “per-use” basis. It’s not expensive, but that all depends on your traffic.
The quick answer is, yes it works, and is useful, so being prepared for it won’t hurt, but unless you’re experiencing website crashes due to traffic, which on any half decent host likely means thousands and thousands of hits a day, you’ll probably be just fine.
You should sign up for an Amazon S3 account, and look at these WordPress plugins to prepare for when the time comes.
Amazon S3 for WordPress with CloudFront
This plugin gives you variable options for moving media (pictures, audio, video) to Amazon S3
S3 Video Plugin
This plugin creates functionality to load only video to Amazon S3
This plugin handles transitioning your entire WordPress site, pages, posts, and all media OR just certain elements to Amazon S3
As with any plugins, their quality can wax and wane, but they’ve all been at this point reviewed positively and fit different situations.
An alternative tactic would be to switch hosts completely vs offloading some traffic to Amazon S3. It’s a more aggressive move, likely increasing your monthly bill and requiring the technical know how to switch hosts. Higher quality hosting plans can safeguard against intense traffic. I recommend WPEngine.