Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?

If you want your WordPress website to be successful, you need to choose the right hosting provider! In this article, I'll walk you through the pros and cons of hosting WordPress on AWS. Then, I'll show you how to launch a website with Amazon Lightsail.

By choosing the right provider, you'll enjoy faster load times, better SEO, and less downtime, and you'll avoid many of the headaches associated with managing a high-performance WordPress site.

There are countless WordPress hosting providers out there, but in this article, we're going to focus on Lightsail from Amazon. We'll explore the pros and cons of choosing Amazon as your hosting provider, before showing you how to launch a website using Lightsail. Even if you have no prior experience with Amazon Web Services (AWS), by the end of this article, you will have configured and launched a WordPress website, using Amazon's Lightsail. 

Note that Lightsail is not the best option for everyone. If you want to compare with another WordPress hosting provider, check out our article on the 9 best cloud hosting Dynomoon.

And if our pros and cons section makes you doubt that Lightsail is really the best option for your website, we'll also look at another hosting provider.   

Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?

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What Are Amazon Web Services Used For?     

AWS is an on-demand cloud computing platform that provides access to large-scale cloud computing capacity, without requiring you to build your own physical server farm. 

While AWS is billed on a pay-as-you-go basis, subscription fees vary depending on the hardware, software, and networking features you choose, as well as your availability, security, and service requirements. 

AWS is an umbrella term for hundreds of cloud services. As of February 2020, Amazon offered more than 200 distinct AWS products, with more expected to be launched throughout the year.

While too numerous to cover in this article, some of the notable AWS products include: 

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Provides a computer data storage architecture that manages data as objects, making Amazon S3 ideal for backup and recovery, data archiving, and hybrid cloud storage. Amazon S3 uses the same scalable storage infrastructure as

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Provides access to a virtual cluster of computers delivered with pre-loaded application software, including databases and web servers.  

AWS Lambda. This is a serverless, event-driven computing platform designed to create on-demand applications that execute code in response to specific events. Lambda automatically manages the computing resources needed to run your code, making it an ideal solution for provisioning back-end services triggered in response to HTTP requests, and then automatically deprovisioning those resources when they are no longer needed. 

In this tutorial, we'll focus on one AWS product in particular - Amazon Lightsail.   

What Is Amazon Lightsail?  

Lightsail is a cloud-based platform that provides everything you need to deploy and host your WordPress website, including instances, managed databases, static IP addresses, and load balancers. While we focus on using Lightsail to launch your WordPress instance, you can also use Lightsail to deploy small-scale web applications, enterprise software, developer sandboxes, and test environments.

Lightsail is very popular among WordPress users, but it is not the only choice for hosting a WordPress website. Before we show you how to install WordPress and launch your website on Amazon Lightsail, let's make sure it's the right platform for you by looking at its strengths and weaknesses. 

WordPress AWS Cost  

Hosting a WordPress website on an AWS instance is very easy. In addition, you can host your WordPress website on an Amazon AWS web server for one year at no cost.

Note that even after one year, you can host your WordPress website on an AWS web server for the lowest cost.   

AWS Lightsail WordPress: The Pros  

Let's start with the positive, and look at the reasons why you might want to opt for Lightsail over other WordPress hosting services. It's the cloud hosting provider with the largest market share by far. AWS is such a successful platform that it accounts for half of Amazon's operating revenue, which translates into billions of dollars.

Tech giants like Netflix and Apple rely on AWS for their web services. So, if you decide to use this platform to host your WordPress website, you will be in good company.

1. A Beginner-Friendly Solution 

Lightsail is designed to help new users get familiar with AWS. 

Lightsail's management console provides easy access to all the basic AWS configuration options, so you can set up your server, static IP addresses, and DNS (Domain Name System) settings without the help of a specialist. If you are an individual or run a small business that does not have a system administrator, you can easily use Lightsail to create, deploy and maintain a self-hosted WordPress website.

Using Lightsail, you can usually get a host online in minutes, even if you have no prior experience with AWS. 

2. It has a fixed monthly limit

With Lightsail, you pay an hourly rate for the resources you consume, up to a pre-set maximum monthly cost. 

At the time of this writing, Lightsail subscriptions ranged from $3.50 to $240 per month, although plans that include a Windows Server license are significantly higher than comparable plans for Linux and UNIX. In addition, any outbound data transfer that exceeds your plan's data transfer limit will be subject to additional charges.

3. A flexible solution 

What happens if your website exceeds its Lightscale subscription? If you need more resources, you can increase your RAM and storage capacity at any time by migrating to a new Lightsail instance. Alternatively, if you need to cut costs or save resources, you can upgrade to a smaller Lightsail instance. 

While migrations are supported, Lightsail does not offer one-click migration. If you upgrade your Lightsail plan to a larger instance, you will need to take a snapshot and create a larger instance from that snapshot. If you're migrating to a smaller instance, you'll need to back up your data to an alternative AWS service, start a smaller Lightsail instance, and then manually migrate all of your data to that new instance.   

AWS Lightsail WordPress: The Cons   

While Lightsail has many positives, there are a few drawbacks that make it unsuitable for some use cases.

Could another hosting platform be a better fit for your WordPress website? 

In this section, we will explore some of the disadvantages of opting for Amazon's Lightsail platform.

1. It's not self-scaling

While you can upgrade to a larger Lightscale instance at any time, Lightscale doesn't create additional instances when certain criteria are met, and it doesn't scale down resources when they are no longer needed.

If you're building a personal website or your site isn't business-critical, this lack of agility may not be a big problem, but it makes Lightscale unsuitable for businesses or websites with fluctuating workloads. 

If you need an enterprise-ready platform that automatically adapts to your website's demands and can handle large fluctuations in traffic, you may want to look for an Amazon Lightsail alternative.

2. You have to pay extra for technical support

By default, all Lightsail users are entitled to the basic support package, which provides access to official AWS documentation, white papers, and supports forms. This basic support package also includes 24/7 customer service, but it's important to note that this is not technical support.

If you need technical support, you will need to purchase a separate support package, which at the time of writing ranged from $29 to $15,000 per month. 

Lightsail is simple to set up and maintain, so it's unlikely that you'll need technical support, but if you do run into a problem, you'll either need to purchase a dedicated support package or resolve the issue yourself. 

If your WordPress website is critical to your business or if you plan to implement advanced or complex features, you should plan to purchase an additional support package or opt for another Amazon Lightsail alternative that provides technical support as standard.  

Buying A Domain Name 

The first step in launching a successful website is to register a domain name. 

As a general rule, you should choose a domain name that is easy to spell, pronounce and remember, includes keywords related to the content of your website, and does not include numbers or hyphens. 

There are countless domain name registrars, but the most popular are:

Hosting WordPress On AWS 

In this section, we will launch and configure a WordPress instance using Lightsail. By the end of this tutorial, your Lightsail instance and your WordPress website will be online and ready to go.

Lightsail WordPress Tutorial

Signing Up for Amazon Web Services

To follow this Lightsail WordPress tutorial, you will need an AWS account. If you don't have an AWS account, you can sign up for 12 months of Free Tier access, which includes a free 30-day trial of Amazon Lightsail.   

Creating your WordPress instance
To begin, we need to create a WordPress instance in Lightsail:
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
  • Lightsail should automatically detect your AWS region and availability zone, but you can change these values, if necessary.  
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
  • Under Choose your instance image, choose Linux / Unix.
  • Under Select a blueprint, choose WordPress.
  • Under Choose an instance blueprint, select the blueprint you want to use. At the time of this writing, you can try Lightsail for free for 30 days.
  • Give your Lightsail instance a unique name.
  • Click Create Instance.
AWS will now create your Lightsail instance.

Amazon SSH Client: Recovering Your WordPress Password

In this section, you will connect to your instance using the browser-based SSH client that is included in the Lightsail console. We will then use this client to retrieve the password that you will use to log into your WordPress account:
  • In the Lightsail console, select the Instances tab.
  • Find the instance you just created and click on the SSH quick login icon that comes with it. The browser-based SSH client will now launch in a new window.   
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?

In the SSH window, type the following command and press Enter.

1 cat $HOME/bitnami_application_password

The SSH client will now display the password you will need to connect to your WordPress dashboard; make a note of this password, as you will need it shortly.
Log in to the WordPress Administration Dashboard

To access WordPress, you will need the public IP address of your WordPress instance. 

In the Lightsail console, select the Instances tab; you should see a map representing your WordPress instance.

The public IP address will be displayed in the lower right corner of the map. 

In a new tab, enter the following URL, making sure to replace the public IP with the public IP address you retrieved from the Lightsail console:


You should now see the standard WordPress login screen.

Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
You can now log into your account using the email address associated with your AWS account and the password you retrieved from the SSH client. 
Create a static IP address

By default, the public IP attached to your Lightsail instance will change every time you shut down and restart your instance, which means you'll have to constantly update your domain's DNS records.  

In this section, I'll show you how to create a static IP address and attach it to your WordPress instance, so you don't have to worry about updating your DNS records: 
  • In the Lightsail console, select your WordPress instance. 
  • Select the Networking tab.  
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
  • Select Create Static IP.
  • Open the Attach to Instance drop-down list and select the WordPress instance you created earlier.  
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
  • In Identify your static IP, give your static IP address a unique name.
  • Click on Create.  
Adding a record to your DNS

Next, we need to map a domain name to our Amazon Lightsail instance:

  • In the Lightsail console, select the Networking tab.
Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
  • Select Create DNS Zone.
  • Find Enter the domain you have registered, and enter your domain name.
  • Select Create DNS Zone.
    The Lightsail console now displays several name server addresses. 
      To transfer the management of your DNS records to Lightsail, you will need to add these name server addresses to your domain name registrar, so make a note of these addresses or leave this page open in a separate tab.
      Switch to Lightsail name servers 

      Now you need to connect to your DNS hosting provider's website and change the default name servers to Lightsail's name servers. 

      This procedure may vary, so check your provider's official documentation or blog for more information. To give you an idea of the steps involved, here's how I changed the name servers for my GoDaddy account: 
      Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
      • Choose Manage DNS  
      Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
      • In the Nameservers section, select Change.
      • Check the box I'll use my own nameservers.
      • Remove all default GoDaddy name servers.  
      • Select Add Name Server.
      • Copy/paste the Lightsail nameservers into the GoDaddy console and click Save.

      Mapping the root of your domain

      Now you need to map your domain root to your Lightsail instance:
      • If the networking screen is not already open, navigate to the Lightsail > Networking console and select your WordPress instance. 
      • In the DNS records section, click on Add Record. 
      Is AWS Good For WordPress Hosting?
      • In the Subdomain box, enter the @ character, as this means that you are mapping the root of your domain, not a subdomain. 
      • Select the Resolves to box, and from the next drop-down list, choose the static IP address you have attached to this instance of WordPress.
      • Save your changes by clicking on the green checkmark.
      You may have to wait for the name server to propagate through the Internet DNS, so this change may not be instantaneous. However, in the Instances tab of the Lightsail console, there should now be a blue pin next to the IP address of your instance, indicating that it is now a static IP address.  

      You are ready to create your WordPress website! 

      Now go to the domain name you purchased earlier, and you should see the standard Hello World WordPress site.  

      To start working on your site, enter your domain with a wp-login.php suffix. For example, if you purchased the domain name, you would use the following:

      You can now log into your account using your email address and password, and start working on your WordPress site.  


      In this article, we've looked at the pros and cons of hosting your website with Lightsail. We also saw exactly how to install, configure, and launch a WordPress website using Amazon's cloud platform. 

      Using Lightsail, you can create a website even if you have no prior experience with AWS. However, there is no one-size-fits-all hosting provider, and there are some drawbacks that mean Lightsail may not be the best choice for your website.    
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