Using Amazon S3 Bucket to offload site images

Offloading the entire uploads directory into an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket helps to speed up a site and can also be essential if you have an especially large uploads folder which is preventing other processes from completing – for example: spinning up a staging environment.


Saves money on hosting all the images, as s3 buckets are cheaper than server space.

It’s also an effective way to backup your uploads.

Makes it easier to quickly clone the site, minus the large uploads directory, which makes development and future improvements much faster.

Example from the wild

Here is an example printout of the difference on a client site where the uploads directory has been offloaded to Amazon S3.


Total space used on server:

70% is used

Steps Taken

  • All files in uploads directory synced over to AWS S3 bucket
  • Rewritten file names
  • Permissions set to only show images (etc) if view came from the client website, or the CDN or Google (i.e. cannot hotlink the pics from s3 or download them directly)
  • Backup full file system
  • Remove uploads directory from server


Total space now used on server:

13% is used

Get an S3 bucket for images and uploads

(There is a free tier.)

Book Silicon Dales to help

Get assistance from experienced developers through Silicon Dales to sync your uploads to Amazon S3 for ease, speed and cost efficiency – get in touch today.

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