Sunday, December 28, 2014

Amazon S3 Fully Integrated aka How To Integrate S3

Today I was able to fully integrate us with Amazon S3 hosting.

We had already created a bucket a few weeks ago that we were pushing all the new images to.  The last step was to make it so we start pulling from that bucket instead of our local hosting.

First thing to do is decide what your domain name for hosting images will be.  Ours is going to be  We'll get into why this is important in a few.

Next thing to do was create a Cloudfront Distribution based off of our bucket.  This is done through your Amazon AWS control panel.  Since most of our users are located in the USA, we selected just US and European servers as opposed to the full blown worldwide distribution.  Besides that, we used most of the default settings.  For Alternate Domain Names, you will want to enter the domain you previously selected (ex.  Once you go through that process, you will be redirected to your Cloudfront Distributions summary page.  In there you will see a few columns, most important ones being Domain Name and State.  State will probably be Processing or something along those lines.  When it says Enabled, you will be ready to go.  This took ~10 minutes for me.  The value in Domain Name is what we will use in the next step.

While that's working, let's create your CNAME.  The CNAME will allow us to point the domain you selected (or in our case, to your new Cloudfront Distribution.  Unfortunately this part is going to greatly depend on who you have your domain with.  I use MediaTemple for hosting all of that, so in their DNS editor I added a new dns entry.

Name is:
Type is: CNAME
Data is: The value in Domain Name.  It's probably something like

Add that record.  Most DNS updates go through pretty quickly, but I've heard of them taking 24 hours at times.

At this point, I started refreshing the Cloudfront Distributions summary page at AmazonAWS.  After about 10 minutes, mine went from Processing to Enabled.  I then went to and sure enough, it redirected me to my bucket.

I then went through all the spots on my site that pull from my local jeep directory and switched them over to the i. subdomain.  Fortunately the way our site is set up, it was a pretty straight forward update.

This information wasn't super easy to find, so hopefully this'll help anyone else trying to figure out how to set up Amazon S3 with their own subdomain.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Latest Updates

Although we've definitely been enjoying the holidays, we've also been busy at work adding and updating features on the site.

The latest feature we've added is Amazon S3 integration.  What does this mean for you?  Faster image downloads and better backups.  For the most part, it should be transparent.  Eventually you will see the URLs for your hosted image change over, but all the old images will stay where they are.

We've also streamlined registration.  We only ask for what we need now, which is basically a username and password!  If you want to enter your email address in your settings page, it will allow us to send you notifications when people like your images or post comments.

We're also in the process of designing a new layout for the site.  The new one will be easier to use and hopefully better looking!

Lastly, development on our Android app has begun.  The app is going to have some new features that's going to make being on the trail a lot more fun, but most importantly it will also make it even easier to upload images to JeepParking and link them on your favorite forums!