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Dealing with Traffic - Part 1: Media files

Mike Peters, 04-21-2008
Getting quality traffic to your website is one of the biggest challenges you'll face as an online marketer.

Sure, knowing how to convert traffic to paying customers is super important too. But without traffic, there are no leads, no customers and no business to run...

As part of this 3 part post, I would like to touch on the other side of the traffic equation - "Having more traffic than you can handle".

Some say it's a good problem to have.

Most ignore it until it's too late.

But the sad truth is: a single digg submission, media mention, or a link from a prominent site, can easily drive more traffic than your website can handle, bringing your server down.

Think loss of business and damaging your site's reputation.

Here's how to avoid it -

Part 1: Media Files

Every static image, PDF file, video, mp3 or other media file which can be accessed by visitors to your website, should be stored on Amazon S3.

Amazon S3 is a robust unlimited remote storage solution, that can scale well beyond your needs.

Blue Origin is one small company with a big idea that successfully scaled its web site using Amazon S3. On January 2, 2007, the company posted information and videos on its web site about a test launch for a new vertical take-off, vertical-landing vehicle.

Within the next day, the news was covered by both SlashDot and Boing Boing, sending a tremendous amount of traffic to its web site. With its media files stored in Amazon S3, it was able to instantly scale and handle the 3.5 million requests and 758 GBs in bandwidth in a single day.

Here at Software Projects, we have been beta testing Amazon solutions for over two years now. These days S3 is sufficiently stable and scalable, to a point where we roll out "all media stored on S3" with every new client.

Storing a file on S3 is as easy as calling three php lines:

= new S3();
$s3svc->putBucket( 'jherr_video' );
$out = $s3svc->putObject( $_FILES['file']['name'], $contents);

Amazon generates a unique URL where your file will be stored forever (until you delete it).

You are charged based on the total storage volume and bandwidth.

Rates are dirt cheap, allowing you to store 20GB for around $3 a month.

We've tested all popular hosting platforms, including grid hosting, multi homed hosting and Akamai. Nothing comes close in terms of ease of use, scalability and affordability.

You have no business storing a single video file on your server if you ever expect to get decent traffic. A typical webserver will start crawling once you have more than 50 users per second streaming video/audio.

Signup for Amazon S3 today and start migrating all your media over. This is one decision you'll be happy about when the next big wave of traffic hits your site.


Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3.

fields marshall, 04-21-2008
Thanks for the Review .. I just signed up .. Not that Im expecting a ton of visitors but I have seen video loaded with Amazon S3 and it looks a lot more professional

Mike Peters, 09-30-2008
Update: There is a great plugin for FireFox that lets you manage S3 files (upload / delete etc) as if you're working with an FTP client.

If you're looking to use S3 to store media files and you don't need API integration, definitely download the FireFox plugin.

You can download this plugin here
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