How to Host a WordPress Site on AWS
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a platform as a service (PaaS) that makes it easy to set up and run a web site or app. The service provides everything needed to get a website or app up and running including secure and public servers, as well as backing services like database replication and monitoring. AWS has just about every feature a web host needs, making it the perfect option for beginners who want to get up and running quickly with a business website or blog.
Why Host a WordPress Site on AWS?
WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) powering millions of websites across the globe. With a fully-featured free version and a robust, yet easy to use premium version, WordPress is the perfect blogging platform for beginners and experienced bloggers who want to quickly set up a website to share their experiences and stories. Plus, with the right plugins and add-ons, WordPress can be transformed into a full-fledged content marketing platform.
Given its popularity, you may be wondering whether or not to host a WordPress site on AWS. If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about deploying a WordPress site on AWS including steps to set up your AWS account, purchase necessary gear, and install WordPress.
Steps to Host a WordPress Site on AWS
Since the AWS platform provides a fully-functioning web server and a host of other useful tools to make setting up a website quick and easy, it makes sense to use it to host your WordPress site. But, before you begin, you should take a few moments to familiarize yourself with AWS. Begin by signing up for a free account at aws.amazon.com and following the on-screen instructions. Once you complete the sign-up process, you will be able to log in to your AWS Console and begin exploring the interface.
Like many other web hosts, AWS provides visitors with a login page as soon as they visit your site. On this page, you can choose a secure connection using a private key or a memorable password. If you’re new to web security, using a memorable password is highly recommended as it makes remembering complex passwords a thing of the past. After you log in, you will see a landing page that gives you a general idea of the tools available to you on the host:
- Overview: This link leads you to a general overview of AWS including its origins and services
- My Account: This link will take you to your dashboard where you can manage your AWS account settings
- Services: This link will take you to a page listing all of AWS’ services including web hosting, database management, application deployment, and more
- Prices: This link will take you to a page displaying all of AWS’ pricing plans
From the landing page, you can access any number of the host’s resources such as its servers, security credentials, or databases. Each of these items can be accessed via a short link called a “resource” in the services section of the dashboard. You can click the resource to view the item’s page with detailed information about its configuration and usage. For example, if you want to access the host’s databases, you would click on the database resource to view its page with information about the database (e.g., name, username, password) and its tables:
- Overview: This link leads you to a general overview of the database
- Status: This link shows the current status of the database including tables and any errors encountered while establishing the connection
- Username: This is the username used to access the database
- Password: This is the password used to access the database
Another useful link in the services section of the dashboard is called the “API Gateway”. This link takes you to a page displaying AWS’ API (application program interface) which enables third-party applications and services to access AWS’ resources via a standard HTTP request. For example, if you want to integrate your website with MailChimp, you would create a short link (e.g., https://abcdefghi01.api.mailchimp.com/2.0) and visit this link when the MailChimp application wants to access AWS resources to send a mail to a selected group of people.
Once you’ve signed up for AWS and logged in to your dashboard, you should take a few moments to review the platform’s pricing plan. AWS offers three separate pricing plans; the free tier, the basic plan, and the standard plan. Each plan includes different quotas and restrictions. For example, you can’t store more than 500 MB of data in the free tier. The standard plan includes a 1-month free trial as well as the ability to store up to 2 TB of data and offers unfettered access to all AWS services including application deployment, databases, and so on.
Pricing Plan Comparison
It’s a good idea to compare AWS’ pricing plans before making a purchase decision. The price of the service varies depending on the specific offerings (e.g., storage space, region, and web servers), as well as several other factors. These factors include whether or not you want a free trial or a paid plan as well as whether or not you want to limit the number of transactions (e.g., for a credit card processor) or not (e.g., for a business that wants to process many transactions).
After you’ve made a purchase decision, you should wait for Amazon to confirm your credit card information before using AWS. Once your account is verified, you can log in to your dashboard to begin setting up the service as we discussed above.