How to Create a Scaling WordPress Website on AWS
Many of our readers (and contributors) are undoubtedly familiar with the WordPress platform, considering that it runs some of the most popular websites in the world. One of the distinguishing features of WordPress is its amazing scalability. This is mainly thanks to its use of the Content Management System (CMS) and, to a lesser extent, its use of the Semantic Web.
If you’ve been following the WordPress news in recent months, you’ll know that it’s been experiencing something of a revival. From a small slice of the web in April 2018, WordPress is now the most popular website platform in the world, with a market share of roughly 26%. The next closest rival is Magento, at roughly 16%.
WordPress is also incredibly popular among businesses. While it initially started as a blogging platform, it has expanded significantly since then to become a full-fledged content management system, perfect for running a business or news website.
Considering the above, it’s an absolute must for any business or individual looking to create a WordPress website to consider doing so on the AWS platform. Not only is it the most scalable of the major public cloud providers, but it’s also one of the most secure. Let’s dive into how you can get started with WordPress on AWS.
Choose A Hosting Service
One of the first things you’ll need to do if you decide to deploy WordPress on the AWS platform is to choose a hosting service. There are a wide array of hosting providers for WordPress, each of which offering their unique spin on the web’s most prolific content management system. For instance, one of the most popular and reputable hosting providers for WordPress, Hootsuite, offers customers the scalability of AWS along with the security of their own data centers. If you decide to go with WP Engine, you’re getting the security of AWS along with the speed of a dedicated server.
Set Up The Website
Once you’ve picked a hosting provider, you can move onto the next step and setup your WordPress website. This step is fairly self-explanatory; you just have to follow the prompts to set up your WordPress site.
There are a few things you might want to consider though. The first is how much space you’re going to need. Depending on how much content you have, or how frequently you intend on making changes to your site, you might want to look into buying more than one site if you’re on a shared hosting plan. Additionally, you might want to consider the amount of bandwidth you need, considering that more than one website usually consumes more bandwidth than one would think. A good rule of thumb is to buy what you need, instead of what you might think you need. It’s always best to over-optimize instead of under-optimize.
WordPress is a freely available operating system that can be used to create a full-blown website with all the functionality you could ever need. It’s extremely easy to install and get started with. Simply follow the prompts to install the WordPress software and then browse to your WordPress dashboard to begin creating your website.
If you’re looking for a simple, yet effective, introduction to WordPress, check out this free sample website from Bluehost. It contains all the features you might need, such as a blog with the option to create and manage posts, a gallery, a contact form, and even a sales pitch.
Bluehost, one of the most popular hosting providers for WordPress, makes it incredibly easy to get started. All you need to do is select a domain and install the WordPress app on your device. From there, you can navigate to Dashboard and begin coding your website. If you’re looking for a no-brainer, this is the perfect solution.
Create Your Website
Once you’ve installed WordPress, it’s time to start creating your website using the CMS. As noted above, WordPress is an incredibly flexible content management system, allowing you to create a fully functioning website in a matter of minutes. It also provides you with the ability to quickly change the appearance of your site via CSS, a style sheet.
WordPress offers a handful of layouts, or website templates, which you can use to build your site. Each layout contains a pre-made set of blocks, or building elements, that you can use to create your website’s architecture. For instance, you can use the Hero layout to create a sleek, modern-looking blog with a large image on the front page, along with a few pieces of content.
If you decide that you don’t like the way your blog’s look, or if you simply want to experiment with different layouts, you can change your blog’s theme without having to worry about any of the work, or HTML, being destroyed. This is a critical step, as changing the theme of a WordPress site is, generally speaking, a major undertaking. If you decide that you don’t like the theme that Bluehost provided you with, for example, you’ll have to find a new hosting provider and install WordPress from scratch.
Manage Your Blog
WordPress’s content management system allows you to keep your content, such as posts, pages, and galleries, in a central location and manage them from any device. This means that you can edit and upload content from a computer, tablet, or mobile phone without having to worry about whether or not the software is supported on that particular device. When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see this content, as well as any new content you’ve recently uploaded, displayed in a series of lists, or tabs.
To create a new piece of content, or edit an existing one, simply click on the listed item and you’ll be brought to the post or page you’re editing. From there, you can make changes and, when you’re done, hit Update to have WordPress apply the changes to your site.
Enable User Comments
One of the things that make WordPress so flexible is the fact that it allows users to leave comments on individual posts and pages. This is a great way for users to leave feedback on your website and also for you to engage with your audience. You can choose to moderate or simply read comments as they come in, which is up to you.
To enable comments, simply visit your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Settings, and check the Allow Comments box.
If you decide that you want to encourage your users to leave a positive comment, or if you simply want to engage with them on your behalf, you can give them points for each comment they leave, or alternatively, give them rewards when they’ve left some really useful feedback.
Secure Your Website
Like many other content management systems, WordPress has adopted a multi-layered security approach in order to secure its customers’ websites against theft and vandalism. This approach allows WordPress to offer its customers a high level of security with a flexible content management system that can be used to create a wide range of websites, all without having to worry about whether or not their website is hackable.
To secure your WordPress website, or any other website for that matter, you need to use a security plugin. There are numerous free and premium-quality plugins that can be used to protect your website against hacking, or the intentional, unauthorized use of your site. If you decide to go with a premium plugin, you have the option of having the vendor monitor the activity on your website, as well as provide you with additional layers of security. The best security plugins provide an additional layer of protection alongside password authentication and the HTTPS protocol.
WordPress is undoubtedly one of the most popular content management systems in the world. Its amazing scalability and flexibility make it a perfect choice for business and individuals looking to build a website. It also provides you with the ability to quickly create a fully functioning website, whether you’re a seasoned web developer or simply looking to dip your toes into the world of internet publishing.
If you run a WordPress website, or are thinking about doing so, this article is for you. It provides you with the information you need to know about deploying WordPress on the AWS platform in a nutshell.