Spreading the load

If you expect your site to be extremely popular, you may need to spread the load across multiple servers. A simple way to do so is to move frequently accessed files such as images and CSS files to a separate server. The Amazon S3 service is an inexpensive way to do this.

Amazon's S3 service is a "pay as you go" hosting service for static files. You pay only for what you use—a nominal amount per request and a small amount per GB of traffic, with different charges for uploads and downloads. There's no minimum fee, so the service is useful even for sites with lower amounts of traffic.

Amazon S3 is useful for sites that are coming close to the bandwidth allowances of their normal hosting, as it will often work out cheaper in such cases to pay for what you're using on S3 rather than upgrade your hosting account.

If you don't think that you need separate hosting with S3 for your site just yet, you can still speed up the loading of your page for your visitors by emulating the use of different hosts by placing frequently requested images on different subdomains.

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