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WordPress on S3: WP2Cloud plugin version 1.0.3 is released

OblakSoft is pleased to announce the release of the 1.0.3 version of the WP2Cloud WordPress plugin.  This release addresses media handling issues reported by our early adopters.  Thank you all for your feedback!

This release fixes the following nuisances:

  • Images don’t show correctly in the visual editor
  • Header images don’t show correctly
  • Background images don’t show correctly
  • Edited images don’t show correctly

The WordPress on S3 / Yapixx AMI is updated and tested with the latest releases of software.

Technical details

The WP2Cloud plugin is responsible for storing media files in Amazon S3.  WP2Cloud uses the Weblob feature of the Cloud Storage Engine for MySQL (ClouSE), and it is the last piece in the puzzle of moving the whole WordPress site to Amazon S3.

WP2Cloud uses Amazon S3 as the primary storage for media files.  Media files are immediately uploaded to Amazon S3 and don’t require a master copy stored on the webserver’s file system, making the webserver stateless.  In contrast, some other similar plugins asynchronously replicate media files to Amazon S3 just for content distribution, leaving the master files on the webserver.

The original WP2Cloud implementation worked well with media files that were inserted into posts and pages, however it had problems with images that were used for website configuration (e.g. header, background).  The problems happened because WordPress core engine has assumptions about media file URL generation scheme that are not necessarily true when media files are stored in the cloud.

To make cloud URLs compatible with WordPress core engine, WP2Cloud introduced an alternative way to access cloud storage files: media file redirector URLs.  The redirector URLs take the form of /wp-content/plugins/wp2cloud/wp2cloud.php?weblob_id=42/foo.jpg where 42/foo.jpg is unique identifier of the cloud media file.  When the redirector URL is accessed, WP2Cloud redirects it to the cloud storage URL.

The media file redirector URL format looks a lot like file-based format that WordPress is designed for, so WordPress works well with them.  And when the web page or post is shown to the user, WP2Cloud transparently substitutes redirector URLs with direct cloud storage URLs to avoid extra redirects.

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