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I am studying web dvp, and one of my classes is project-based. We have to build a functional site that demonstrate our understanding of:

  • HTML,
  • CSS,
  • Javascript,
  • php,
  • MySQL,
  • And potentially Ajax or some other web component.

For the project, we can use a local server using WampServer and basically build the site entirely on our laptop. If I have time, I would like to create a real site, and I thought it would be a good way to familiarize myself with Amazon's AWS services. So if I purchase a domain name, can I rely on AWS to host the site from A-to-Z? I understand I can use AWS to host content, the database, and do the background computations, if needed. What else do I need and what are the parts that AWS cannot help me with?

Second, is there good documentation for a beginner to navigate AWS and learn how to use it (either on Amazon, or some 3rd party sites, or even a good book, as long as is up to date). The ideal documentation would be a tutorial on creating a web site from a-to-z on AWS, as detailed as possible.

As you can guess, I have limited understanding of the IT issues. I have 0 Linux or sysadmin experience, but this is a good opportunity to change that. I hope you can help me.

Thank you,


PS: Please keep the answers AWS-specific. At this point, I am only interested in alternative services to the extent that they plug a hole in Amazon's offering.

share|improve this question
the first flaw in your plan for a "real" site is relying on amazon - ec2 isn't reliable for a "real" site but should be fine for a class project – Jim B May 5 '10 at 15:20
I totally disagree with Jim B's comment. EC2 is being used for some some very large production web sites; see – gareth_bowles May 5 '10 at 15:42
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can treat an EC2 instance just like a physical server; you get full root access to the instance and can install and configure it however you like. Apart from registering your domain name with a DNS provider, you'll be able to do all the rest of your site set-up using AWS.

The EC2 getting started guide is a nice introduction and should get you up and running. Post a comment here if you have more questions, and good luck !

share|improve this answer
Thanks Gareth. I'll have more questions later on for sure. – JDelage May 5 '10 at 15:58

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