My learning journey to be an AWS Solutions Architect

A friend is running a small offline business and having a website helps him to generate leads. I was curious on how he built his site and hosted it. I also went on to explore the features that the current service provider offers. Upon further inquiry on the price he is paying, I was shocked. For that price, he deserves more; or inversely, he should fork out less for the same set of services.

And since I am a couple of months into learning AWS, I thought, why not?

Architecture Diagram

The design topology I proposed for the static website, using AWS cloud solutions

Overview of my approach to reconstruct the architecture:

1. Needs Analysis - what is essential for the website

2. Plan - what AWS services can be utilized

3. Proof of Concept and Testing

1. Needs Analysis — what is essential for the website

main features and functionalities needed:

· Several webpages

· a blog page

· a contact-me form

· a chatbot

2. Plan — what AWS services can be utilized

For web hosting, the direction is generally either static-content hosting, or dynamic-content hosting. The latter is a tad more expensive, as they require large scale content management system with databases (think sites like TechCrunch). Thus for our use case, static-content hosting is definitely sufficient. Let us relook at the features needed again:

· Several webpages (static)

· a blog page (dynamic)

· a contact-me form (dynamic)

· a chatbot (dynamic)

So, you may ask, how to embed the dynamic contents in the static pages?

You are exactly right in thinking along that line. The answer is, we can use widgets and embed them in. Let us look at the features needed once more:

· a blog page (embed a Medium widget through ‘pixel point’)

· a contact-me form (embed a Google form or SurveyMonkey etc.)

· a chatbot (to be explored next time ha-ha)

My Sample Medium Widget Embedded in the website

3. Proof of Concept and Testing

Offline client options — Dreamweaver (paid), Open Element (free). In this simple trial, I chose Open Element based on the price point. It is reasonably easy to pick up as well. Just select a template, drop in the content through its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) interface, and paste in the widget scripts.

After that, we can follow the 7-step implementation guide from AWS. I found it easy to follow and well documented to cover any potential queries you may have along the way.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

I showed the sample site to my business owner friend as the deliverable at this point in time and also for further discussion. As his business expands, he may operate on more platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and he can simply add in more widgets. The website does a unifying role and provides a more centralized presence for his outreach. Also, with new services introduced ever so quickly from AWS and various partners, there will be more services that can cater to his future needs.

Typically seen messing around with AWS