Q: What is a static website?

A static website is delivered to the user exactly as stored, in contrast to dynamic web pages which are generated by a web application. Static websites are best for sites with few authors and relatively infrequent content changes. Common use cases for static websites are personal and simple marketing websites. Static websites simply deliver the HTML, JavaScript, images, video and other files as stored to your website visitors, and contain no application code.

Q: How are static websites different from dynamic websites?

Dynamic websites are distinguished by their use of web applications to generate the individual web pages on the site. There are two main types of dynamic websites: those built on Content Management Software (CMS) and those that are built from scratch. CMS-based websites rely on software such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal to provide website editors with features to make it easy to build and update a website. Dynamic websites built from the ground up deliver significantly more interactivity (e.g. book a flight, watch a streaming movie) and rely on application logic, such as PHP or Ruby scripts on a server to render a webpage.

Q: What is web site hosting?

The infrastructure environment used to enable end users to request, receive, and interact with your website is commonly referred to as “hosting.” With AWS, you build and maintain your own hosting environment. Other options include managed hosting and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). With managed hosting, a business will create and maintain the hosting environment for your site. If you’re interested in managed hosting, check out Acquia or our other certified partners. SaaS options bundle software (typically for creating and maintaining your site) with the infrastructure that is required to host your website. 

Q: Why should I use a static website hosting environment?

Static website hosting is the lowest cost and lowest maintenance option (for example, there are no servers to maintain) and it provides high levels of reliability and scale. If your content website has numerous authors and changes frequently, you’ll likely want to use a CMS-based website.

Q: How much will it cost to host my website?

The total cost of hosting your personal website on AWS will vary depending on your usage. Typically, it will cost $1-3/month if you are outside the AWS Free Tier limits. If you are eligible for AWS Free Tier and within the limits, hosting your personal website will cost around $0.50/month. To see a breakdown of the services used and their associated costs, see Services Used and Costs.

Q: How long will it take to deploy my website?

If you already have your site, or you just want to use a basic HTML page, it will take about 30 minute to follow and complete our implementation guide. Start the guide now.

Q: How much effort will it take to maintain my website on AWS?

Static websites don’t require you to maintain servers, and no ongoing maintance is required for the three services you’ll use to host your website: Amazon S3, Amazon Route 53, and Amazon CloudFront. The time you spend editing and deploying new content will depend on how frequently you change your website.

Q: I don’t have a website, how should I build it?

Most individuals use text editors or website design software (e.g. Dreamweaver) to build their websites. If you don’t have the skills or you’d rather not develop the site, you can hire an agency to build your site.

Q: Can I customize my website once it is hosted on AWS?

Yes. Once you website is up and running, there are multiple ways you can add additional AWS services and functionality to your site. For example, you can add search functionality to your website using Amazon CloudSearch.