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for services like wordpress and joomla, I remember kind of just dropping project files on an FTP when I was doing static websites.

Now Amazon S3 buckets reminds me of that, and it can be used for static websites. My question is would that work for wordpress and joomla installations?

Just googling "wordpress on s3" reveals some solutions to complications that people experience, but don't really address what the issues were. Same for Joomla, I believe this requires write permissions to a relational database but I assume its all self contained

Is there any reason that I couldn't just have an entire wordpress site on S3 with all the essential wordpress files nested in the folders underneath the top level directory?

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Sorry but no, you can't. WordPress is entirely scripted in PHP. If you host a copy of a WordPress installation on a S3 bucket you will be lacking the PHP interpreter and the mySQL engine.

The whole deal with EC2 is having a virtual machine so you can run services like a mysql server or a php instance.

Anyway, with some elbow grease you could host a static cache of a WordPress site (W3 total Cache to the rescue) on a S3 bucket. That is basically staict HTMl and images, so you should be fine.

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