WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for blogging, basic site design and content development. However, it is also very effective when used with Amazon Web Services (AWS). At first, the process of hosting WordPress on AWS may seem overwhelming, but we've broken down the steps to help ensure your WordPress site is ready for hosting.
What Is AWS?
AWS stands for Amazon Web Services. Produced by Amazon, this is a powerful, cloud-based platform that enables users to reap the benefits of Amazon's powerful infrastructure. AWS is available on a pay-as-you-go basis. By installing WordPress on AWS, you can open the door to several additional opportunities for website and content development. This is just one of the benefits of hosting WordPress on AWS.
There are a few things you should know about AWS. First, because its web services is pay-as-you-go, you can be effected by traffic spikes. The result is that your hosting bill may show a large increase at some times. In some cases, it may be easier to use WordPress on AWS by using a managed WordPress hosting provider. Some of these include WP Engine and Pagely.
A Quick Overview of the Costs Involved
Your total cost will depend upon a wide vary of factors, such as your usage as well as the instance types you select. However, a simple default configuration will generally cost around $450 a month. This is what it will cost for hosting WordPress on AWS. It's the minimum you can expect because it engages only the 'lightest' load for production-ready WordPress.
Remember that this includes only one active web server. However, if you use Auto Scaling, which can increase the number of web server instances, you may see an additional charge of $75 a month. Remember that this fee is for each additional web server.
We highly recommend visiting the AWS site and reviewing their costs and carefully reading all details. Remember that traffic spikes can affect your overall pricing.
Getting Started With AWS as Your WordPress Platform
To get started in the process, you'll need a few things. First, you'll have to create an AWS account. This process can be somewhat technical and time-consuming. We suggest having the set of directions in front of you as you commence the process.
It's also important that you are familiar with WordPress and that you have a certain skill level with computers and WordPress in particular. You also need to be familiar with AWS and its variety of services.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Hosting WordPress on AWS
There are two different ways to implementing hosting WordPress on AWS. One is very time-consuming and technical. The other is simpler and more straight-forward. We'll start with the simpler of the two.
The Easy Way
The easiest way to host WordPress on AWS is to use some of the WordPress hosting providers we mentioned above. WP Engine still runs a part of their hosting platform on the AWS infrastructure. That means you won't have to worry about doing server management or site maintenance. Even better, you won't have to worry about the traffic spikes that can cause dramatic fluctuations in your pay-as-you-go structure.
Pagely is a WordPress hosting provider that is premium-managed. Like WP Engine, they offer an easy environment in which your business can thrive, and they also have their platform on AWS.
The More Technical, Manual Method of Hosting WordPress on AWS
Obviously, in order to begin you have to be registered with the AWS website. While you can create a free account, you will still need to enter your credit card information. In most cases, Amazon will send a $1 charge to your card in order to securely verify your identity before you actually pay for any programs.
After you have successfully verified your account, your next step is to login to and explore the extensive AWS console. Click on the Services menu.
After clicking on the Services menu, you need to go to the compute section, and under that section you should select EC2. EC2 is very important because it is the cloud computing platform of AWS. EC2 will allow you to create apps for hosting WordPress on AWS.
After opening EC2, click on the button labeled Launch Instance. This will send you to a window where you will need to configure your instance settings. When you are there, you should select an Amazon Machine image. This enables you to install a lot of software stacks with a simple click of your mouse.
Now that you are in the AWS Marketplace section, you need to select WordPress by Bitnami. This is a vital part of the step in hosting WordPress on AWS. A pricing pop-up will appear, but in this case, you only need to click Continue.
Select an Instance
Now you are at a point where you will need to select an instance type. Don't worry, we've taken the hassle out of it for you. Select td.micro free tier. Then you should click on the button labeled Configure Instance Details.
Naming Your Instance
Don't change anything on the next screen. Click on Next: Add Storage. Then click on Next: Add Tags Now that you have this instance, you need to enter a name for it. Click on the button labelled Add Tag and enter as key 'Name' and as value list 'MyWordPress.' Be sure to click on the Review and Launch button in order to proceed.
At this point, you'll see a useful overview. This is important because it's an overview of your EC2 instance configuration. In order to start your instance, click on Launch.
Next, the computer will ask you to select pair keys. Again, don't worry when you come to this step in the process. Merely select Proceed Without a Key Pair and then click on the Launch Instances button. This stores your settings and enables you to launch the EC2 instance.
If all has gone as planned, AWS will show you a success message. You are now one step closer to hosting WordPress on AWS. When you see the success message, click on View Instances. This button should be located at the bottom right corner of your screen.
Testing Your WordPress Site
At this point, you should test your WordPress site. In order to do this, you have to find its public IP address. This is listed under IPV4 Public IP. This column is located next to your instance.
The simplest way to proceed is to copy and paste this address into your address bar: just make sure you do it in a new browser tab! If all has gone well, you should see the WordPress site. Generally, it will show the default theme.
Now you need to visit the WordPress admin area. It's simple. At the end of your site's public IP address, add /wp-admin. This is the WordPress login page.
But how do you determine the username and password?
Finding the Username and Password
This is found under your EC2 Console. Go back to that console and click on Actions. Then click on Instance Settings > Get System Log. You should then see a log file with loads of text. Near the bottom search for a line that says '##Setting Bitnami user password to##' and you should see a default user name. This is not the username you have to use, it is merely the one that has been set up by the app.
Take this username and password and enter it into the login screen that has been launched in your other browser tab. This should take you to the 'back end' of the WordPress administration page. You can change the password later if you'd like.
You have successfully completed hosting WordPress on AWS. However, you need to be aware that it is still only accessible to the public by that IP address. If you have a certain domain name you'd like to use instead, you have to be sure this domain name 'points' to the IP address. That means you'll have to connect your domain name to AWS's DNS servers. When the domain name is registered, merely add it to your AWS.
There are several advantages to hosting your WordPress site on Amazon Webs Services (AWS). First, it allows you access to AWS's powerhouse web tools and it can be a great benefit to your business. However, when doing so, realize that it's important to carefully review the pricing structure, as spikes in traffic could cause your rate to increase: sometimes by more than $75 per month.
There are essentially two ways to accomplish hosting WordPress on AWS. One is an easier method by using WordPress hosting providers that work well with AWS. The other, more involved way to get it done is by manually installing WordPress using the directions listed above. Whichever you choose, good luck with your website ventures!