How to Use S3 for WordPress Image Hosting

WordPress is the world’s most popular blogging platform. It’s been around for some time and, even now, is used by over 1.7 million websites across the world. Naturally, as its popularity grows, so does its role as a repository for digital content.

If you’re looking to start a blog or know one that’s already online, you might wonder how to host your images. After all, with millions of websites using WordPress, it would be easy for a seasoned hacker to steal your images and post them to a different site. Although this is a genuine concern, it’s not a difficult one to address.

What is S3?

S3 stands for Simple Storage Service and is the simplest of the storage services offered by Amazon. It’s aimed at the average user who just wants to store and share files without dealing with complex server management.

S3 was launched in 2006 and since then several features have been added to make it even more user-friendly. For example, websites can use objects (a file type that can hold different types of data) to organize their content. This makes it much easier to find what they need when they need it. It also means they can scale their storage needs according to demand.

Additionally, Amazon offers S3 with a money-back guarantee if you meet the requirements. This means you can have peace of mind that you’re not paying for storage that you don’t need. Just make sure you back up your data regularly in case you do lose some of it due to a hardware malfunction or attack from a virus.

Why Should You Use S3 For WordPress Image Hosting?

There are several compelling reasons why you might want to host your images on S3 instead of your own servers.

One of the main reasons is security. Since your image files will be stored on a third party server, you don’t have direct control over them. This makes it much easier for a hacker to infiltrate your system and steal your images. The good news is this is one area where you can be sure Amazon is taking the requisite steps to ensure your data is highly secure.

How Secure Is S3?

There are numerous checks and precautions that Amazon goes through to ensure your data is as secure as possible when stored on S3. Let’s take a quick look at how they do this.

Firstly, all S3 users must set up a security key. This key is a unique 12-character alphanumeric code that you generate and can access anytime you need to log in to your account. This key is used to authenticate your identity during login and also when you upload new files to your account. If you forget or lose this key, you’ll be locked out of your account until you can get it reset by calling Amazon customer service.

Secondly, all S3 users must set up Amazon Web Services (AWS) security credentials (access keys and secret keys). AWS provides a wide range of security features that make it much easier for you to keep your data secure when using S3. You can use one set of keys for multiple sites or for signing up to different email accounts.

Thirdly, all S3 users must ensure that their data is stored in an Amazon region that is highly secure. Amazon uses a number of different regions around the world to provide the optimal level of data security. You can learn more about the regions here. When choosing a region for your data, make sure that it is a highly available location and that the cost of data transfer into and out of the region is reasonable.

Fourthly, all S3 users must update the AWS security software on their servers with the most current patches. This ensures that their servers are protected from the latest vulnerabilities. For example, if there’s a security flaw in how SHA-1 is handled, you might not want to use this as a security measure since it’s a weak form of hashing and easily cracked. However, applying patches ensures that you’re always using a safe and secure version of SHA-1.

Fifthly, all S3 users must set up daily backup routines to ensure their data is always safe and secure. You can use tools like Duplicati and Borg Backup to easily set up automated backups that occur daily.

Amazon goes through a rigorous testing process to ensure that all of their data centers function at their optimum capacity. This is so they can guarantee service levels and mitigate the impact of unexpected system or equipment failures. Additionally, all data centers are configured with multiple layers of security systems and armed guards. If you’re curious about how deep their data centers go, here’s a link to their Level of Protection page which breaks it down by location.

If you’re looking for a secure way to store and share your images, you might want to consider S3. Not only does it offer an amazing price point for its simplicity, but it also provides all of the necessary tools and security features to keep your data secure.