Upload media directly to Amazon S3


First of all Im sorry for such a long message. I wanted to describe the problem in detail so you will understand the situation I am in.

I have a classified ad site. Its not a very big one yet, but I started some advertising and Im getting new users everyday.

My problem is some users upload very big image files (eg: single 1mb, 3mb image files). As my site currently hosted in Shared server, approx. after 30 secs, site freezes and shows a white blank page without any error message. When I asked for help (in Sitepoint actually) and searched for solution, members suggested that I should try changing the parameters of post_max_size, upload_max_filesize, max_execution_time in php.ini file. I didn’t have to do it because host already set higher parameters for them. Problem is still there.

Site like mine, users will always upload big files. Asking them to reduce size before uploading will never work. Also most likely my site traffic will increase and there could be traffic spikes. So I was looking for a permanent or at least durable solution for this.
I did some search in Google and found these resources (relating to Amazon S3).


This is how I understand Amazon S3 relating to my problem. Please tell me if Im wrong.
Right now when user uploads a image, it is transferred from advertiser PC to my shared hosting server (Hostgator server).
As my site is in Shared hostgator server, its possible that there are timeouts, max connection amount etc. (basically “limits”) So when a user transfer big file, Hostgator shared server can’t handle it.
But if I move to Amazon S3 (according to above mentioned resources), image will be transferred DIRECTLY from advertiser PC to Amazon servers. That means amazon server will take care of the timeouts, server loads etc.
This will give advertisers the ability to upload large images without any problem.

So following are my questions.

  • Am I right about understanding how Amazon S3 works?
  • Do you think making image uploads directly go to Amazon will solve my problem? Is It durable?
  • Do you think upgrading the server is better than Amazon S3?


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