AWS S3 Setup for WordPress

Add AWS S3 storage integration to a WordPress site on Pantheon.

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This section provides information on how to integrate Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 storage with your WordPress Pantheon site.

AWS offers Simple Storage Service (S3) for scalable storage and content distribution that you can integrate with sites running on Pantheon. Pantheon already offers content distribution through our Global CDN, but S3 is a good option for addressing issues with highly populated directories or serving large files.

Before You Begin

Be sure that you have:


This process uses Terminus commands. Set the variable $site in your terminal session to match your site name before you begin:

export site=yoursitename
export env=dev

Configure S3 within the AWS Console

You must configure the service within your AWS Management Console before integrating S3 with your Pantheon site.

Create a New AWS S3 Bucket

Create a bucket if you do not already have one for your site.

  1. Open your AWS Console and click S3.

  2. Click Create Bucket.

  3. Enter a bucket name. The bucket name you choose must be unique across all existing bucket names in Amazon S3. You can not change the name after you create a bucket. Note that the bucket name you choose is visible in the URL that points to the objects stored in the bucket.

  4. Select a region and click Create.

  5. Configure the Set properties section and click Next when complete. You can configure these options now, or wait and configure later.

  6. Open the Permissions tab, select the boxes for Read and Write access for both Objects and Permissions, then click Next.

  7. Review your settings, and then click Create bucket.

Integrate S3 with WordPress

You must install a plugin such as S3 Uploads or WP Offload Media.

WP Offload Media requires a paid license but is configurable in the WordPress admin UI and offers a number of options and features, including multisite support. S3 Uploads is open-source but does not include an admin UI and requires Terminus and WP-CLI for setup and migration.

Install and Deploy S3 Uploads


This plugin has known multisite issues. Consider WP Offload Media if you need an alternative plugin with premium support and a multisite version.

  1. Download the latest plugin release from Github and extract it to wp-content/plugins/. Note that our documentation has been tested for version 2.0.0.


    Do not add the plugin as a Git submodule. Git submodules are not supported on the platform. Refer to the Git guide for more information.

  2. Rename the extracted folder to remove the version number. For example:

    mv S3-Uploads-2.0.0/ S3-Uploads
  3. Create and/or copy your Access Key ID and Secret Access Key from the My security credentials section of your AWS account to a text editor on your local computer.


    Consider creating a unique user with limited permissions covering this S3 bucket to authenticate the plugin as a standard security measure.

  4. Add the credentials to wp-config.php, as described in the plugin's README file. For increased security, we recommend a service like Lockr or the Terminus Secrets plugin to store and retrieve these credentials securely.

  5. Commit and push the new plugin and your wp-config.php file updates to the Dev environment, then switch to SFTP mode and activate the plugin:

    terminus wp $ plugin activate S3-Uploads
  6. Use WP-CLI to verify your AWS setup.

    terminus wp $ s3-uploads verify

Migrate existing media with S3 Uploads and WP-CLI

You can migrate existing media files to S3 with the following command:

terminus wp $ -- s3-uploads migrate-attachments

Optionally, add the --delete-local flag to remove the local copies of the media files.

This command will also provide a search/replace command for your database to update references to the newly-migrated files when completed. Note that you must run this on all Pantheon environments (Dev, Test, and Live).

Multisite Compatibility

WP Offload Media plugin is supported.

Refer to the WP Offload Media documentation for more information.

Additional Configuration

Check out the plugin's README file for information on advanced configuration, such as cache control, URL rewriting, and offline development.

Install and Deploy WP Offload Media

Follow documentation from DeliciousBrains to install and deploy WP Offload Media. No specialized configuration is required for this plugin to run on Pantheon.

More Resources