What is AWS Hosting?  |  COMPUTER PRO

What is AWS Hosting? | COMPUTER PRO

What is Amazon Web Services (AWS)?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most adopted cloud platform in the world; it is made up of over 200 different cloud data services using data centers around the world. AWS offers three main products: EC2, Glacier (a virtual machine service), and S3, Amazon’s low-cost storage system. AWS accounts for approximately 13% of total Amazon revenue and is used by companies such as Netflix, LinkedIn, and Facebook/Meta.

AWS: An Introduction

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is something you may not be aware of; not everyone knows how important this is for the modern internet.

Most of the top web hosting services rely on AWS at least to some degree, and many of them are essentially just resellers of AWS services. In this article, we’ll take a look at what AWS is and take a deeper look at AWS Hosting, one of the types of services offered by AWS.

What is cloud computing?

Early Internet services basically ran on stand-alone servers. Remote computers would directly contact a single server to request a web page, for example. But this type of system scaled poorly, with servers often overloaded if many people tried to use a service at the same time.

The technology quickly evolved into server farms, where the load is balanced across multiple servers, allowing for more concurrent users. A single company running its own farm can be said to be running a private cloud, with the best cloud storage and the best cloud hosting in just two areas where cloud computing is used in this way.

Cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are public clouds. They also have massive server farms and data centers, but they provide a way for individuals, businesses, and even governments to rent a small portion of those resources on a pay-as-you-go basis. Public cloud computing platforms are often referred to collectively as “the cloud.”

What are the benefits of using cloud computing?

Cloud computing offers incredible benefits to businesses.

  • It’s significantly cheaper than creating and maintaining your own server farms
  • You can deploy applications quickly
  • It’s easy to scale up (and down) as your needs grow
  • There is high reliability, thanks to the massive infrastructure
  • You can leverage pre-existing systems for backups, databases, virtualization, etc., instead of reinventing the wheel
  • You don’t have to worry about how it works behind the scenes

Learn more about Amazon Web Services (AWS)

AWS logo on black background

AWS is Amazon’s cloud computing platform and the largest cloud infrastructure in the world. Canalys reports that AWS accounted for 32% of global cloud infrastructure in Q1 2021, with Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud accounting for 19% and 7% each, respectively.

AWS is a sprawling and complex mix of over 200 distinct services. For example, Amazon S3 is the primary AWS service for storing, downloading, and retrieving data. It’s very versatile, but the most popular use for S3 is for scalable, inexpensive, high-speed file storage.

Amazon EC2 provides scalable computing. You can use EC2 to create virtual servers as needed or run large-scale computations on your enterprise data.

Another popular AWS service is Amazon Glacier, which is an online web storage service for long-term data archiving. With Glacier, you can store information for months, years, or even decades, all at an extremely low cost.

Many big names on the web use AWS services, including Netflix, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Baidu, Reddit, and Adobe.

What is AWS Hosting?

When we talk about hosting, we usually mean website hosting. But while that’s certainly something AWS can do, it’s worth noting that AWS offers other types of hosting as well.

Application hosting, for example, involves leveraging AWS’s many services to build an application. You can then use this application in your business or sell it as a service to other businesses through a software as a service (SaaS) model.

If you have many large files, you can also consider file hosting on AWS to reduce data transfer and storage costs. Or you can use database hosting on AWS just for your company’s databases if you need to be able to access them globally, for example.

There are also other types of hosting available through AWS. For example, Amazon GameLift can be used to deploy, operate, and scale cloud servers for online multiplayer games.

AWS for Web Hosting

A corner screenshot of an AWS S3 web page

When we explore web hosting specifically, AWS again gives you a wealth of options.

For very simple one-page static websites, you can use AWS Amplify. It costs 12p per GB served and 0.02 pence per GB storedso a webpage with 10,000 users per day would cost around £60 per month. Amazon S3 object storage can also be used in the same way to serve low-cost static pages or files.

Simple websites can be hosted using Amazon Lightsail, which is basically a VPS service. Lightsail includes all the infrastructure you need to build a website that can handle low to medium traffic. You get a virtual machine, SSD storage, static IP address, DNS management, and a set amount of data transfer, all for a price starting at £2.85 per month.

If you plan on needing five or more servers, you’ll need something bigger. Enterprise-grade web hosting on AWS typically uses Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing (EC2). With EC2, you rent multiple web servers, usually located in several separate data centers around the world. Coursera and Lamborghini are two examples of companies using EC2 for their web hosting infrastructure.

Cloud Hosting Providers That Use AWS

Despite the potential benefits, most SMBs don’t host their websites directly with AWS. A company usually goes to web hosting providers such as Bluehost, HostGator, Hostinger or DreamHost. These services provide a more accessible way to create, manage and maintain a website.

But many of these services, under the hood, run on Amazon’s cloud infrastructure. So even when you’re not buying your web services directly from Amazon, you’re often using AWS nonetheless.

WP Engine, which provides managed WordPress hosting, is an example of a web hosting company that uses AWS for all the hosting it sells. There are also companies like Cloudways that explicitly offer managed AWS hosting, simplifying the process of using AWS for web hosting and adding a layer of technical support for end users.


AWS is the world’s largest cloud computing platform, with millions of servers running in hundreds of data centers around the world. As a public cloud provider, it offers over 200 web services that businesses can leverage on a pay-as-you-go basis.

More often than not, renting services from AWS is significantly cheaper than implementing the service yourself, due to the substantial cost of physical hardware. Scalability and reliability are other obvious benefits of using cloud services.

AWS offers various hosting services. For website hosting, you can create basic sites with AWS Amplify or Amazon S3, dynamic sites with Amazon Lightsail, or enterprise sites with Amazon EC2.

Whether they mention it explicitly or not, many web hosting companies use large cloud services like AWS for all or part of their infrastructure. Through resale, they provide easy access to the benefits of large-scale cloud computing while shielding customers from much of the complexity.

AWS has therefore long been a central part of the Internet as we know it and seems destined to remain relevant for decades.

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