How To Setup A WordPress Website On Amazon (AWS) Lightsail And Get Free Hosting For The First 3 Months!
WordPress is a widely used website builder that allows you to deploy a highly functional website in minutes! Back in the day it used to take a long period of time to build a website with functionalities such as a management dashboard, playing audio and video files, user account creation, a backend database, etc. However with wordpress it is much more easier and takes alot less time because of its ease of use and the thousands of plugins that you can use, on demand to add functionality to your website. According to wordpress.com,42% of the web is built on WordPress and people who use it include bloggers, small businesses, large corporations/ enterprises, non profit organizations, Fortune 500 companies and more. Learning how to deploy wordpress is a valuable skill and If you would like to set it up but you have no idea of how to do it, then this tutorial is just what you need. Below are detailed step by step instructions that will guide you on how to setup a wordpress website on Amazon (AWS) Lightsail. We will also show you how you can use AWS lightsail for FREE for the first 3 months!
In order to complete this tutorial successfull the following is a list of items that may be needed or required. Please ensure to have these iems available before taking implementation action on this tutorial:
1) An Amazon Web Services (aws) free tier account
2) A registered domain name (FQDN)
3) A desktop or laptop with a dual core processor, 4GB RAM and atleast 50GB of free disk space
4) A supported web browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge)
5) An AWS lightsail wordpress instance
1) Login to the AWS management console and register a domain name on AWS ROUTE53.
2) Open the Lightsail web application and create a new wordpress instance.
3) Set a static public IP address on the wordpress instance and set your ROUTE53 A record for your domain to point to the public IP address.
4) Login to the wordpress dashboard, create a new administrator user and remove the default user.
5) Install the following plugins: ALL IN ONE MIGRATION TOOL, ELEMENTOR, ASTRA theme and configure the WORDPRESS INSTANCE to permit large file uploads.
Step 1: Login To The AWS Management Console And Register A Domain Name On AWS ROUTE53
1) Click HERE to go to the AWS MANAGEMENT CONSOLE login page. Click on the IAM USER radio button. Enter your 12 digit ACCOUNT ID and click on NEXT.
2) Proceed by entering your IAM username and password and click on the SIGN IN button. Please ensure that your IAM user account is authorized to open the AWS LIGHTSAIL web application.
NB: If you do not have an AWS free tier account click HERE to sign up right now and if you would like to learn how to create an IAM user account, click HERE
3) Click on SERVICES > ROUTE53 to open the AWS DNS service. When registering a domain on ROUTE53, the first step is to check if your desired domain name is available for registration.
Search for the domain that you would like to register on the REGISTER DOMAIN search box and click on CHECK.
4) AWS ROUTE53 will return a list of domain names that you can register based on the your search query. Click on the ADD TO CART button next to the domain that you would like to register and click on CONTINUE
5) AWS ROUTE53 requires that you add your personal or company details whe registering a domain name. Enter your registrant, administrative and technical contact details on the spaces provided then click on CONTINUE.
6) On the CHECK YOUR DETAILS page, verify that the information that you have provided is accurate and click on the COMPLETE ORDER button to finish your domain purchase.
Step 2: Open The Lightsail Web Application And Create A New WordPress Instance.
7) Next, click on SERVICES on the top right corner of the AWS MANAGEMENT CONSOLE and click on LIGHTSAIL to open the LIGHTSAIL web application
7) Click on the CREATE INSTANCE button on the top right corner on the web app. On the CREATE AN INSTANCE page you will see the AWS region where your instance will be physically located. To change the instance location, click on the CHANGE AWS REGION AND AVAILABILITY ZONE link.
Proceed by PICKING YOUR INSTANCE IMAGE. On the SELECT A PLATFORM section click on the LINUX/UNIX option and on the SELECT BLUEPRINT section, click on the APPS + OS button and click on WORDPRESS.
8) Scrol down to the CHOOSE YOUR INSTANCE PLAN section, click on the PRICE PER MONTH tab and select any of the pricing plans that give your the FIRST 3 MONTHS FREE!
If you choose the $3.50 plan, you will get a wordpress instance that comes with 512MB of RAM, 1 virtual VPU, 20GB SSD storage and 512GB of data transfer allowance.
The $5 plan gets you a wordpress instance with 1GB of RAM, 1 virtual CPU, 40GB SSD storage space and 1TB of data transfer allowance
The $10 plan allows you to setup a wordpress instance with upto 2GB of RAM, 1 virtual CPU, 60GB SSD storage space and 1.5 tb of data transfer allowance
9) When the WORDPRESS INSTANCE is created a dynamic public IP address is allocated to it. and this dynamic IP address can change each time the instance starts or stop. However a wordpress website requires a static IP address that does not change from time to time.
A static IP address provides a permanent reference point that ensures that an online web resource such as a wordpress website is reachable at all times. Secondly if you choose to use a dynamic public IP address then you will manually have to update the DNS A record for your domain name (something which is very much undesirable)
To set a static IP address on the WORDPRESS INSTANCE, click on the HOME button, click on the menu button with three dots on the WORDPRESS instance then click on MANAGE.
10) Click on the NETWORKING tab and just below the currently allocated public IP address click on ATTACH STATIC IP.
11) You will notice that the static IPaddress will be located in the same AWS region and availability zone as the WORDPRESS instance. If you would like to change this, click on the CHANGE AWS REGION AND AVAILABILITY ZONE link.
Set a name for the STATIC IP ADDRESS on the IDENTIFY YOUR STATIC IP text box and click on CREATE
12) An A record is the most fundamental type of DNS record because it indicates the IP address of a given domain. When DNS servers around the world run a query on your domain name, they should get the static IP address that we have allocated to the WORDPRESS INSTANCE.
To configure the A record on your domain, open AWS ROUTE53 and click on HOSTED ZONES. Click on your domain name, select the DNS A record and click on EDIT RECORD.
13) On the VALUE field enter the static IP address of the WORDPRESS instance and click on SAVE.
14) To gain access to the wordpress dashboard for the WORDPRESS INSTANCE you need to know the default username and password.
The default username is USER and to get the password, open the LIGHTSAIL browser-based SSH client and run the following command:
Take note of the password and you will use it in the next step.
Step 4: Login To The WordPress Dashboard, Create A New Administrator User And Remove The Default User
15) Open a new web browser tab and enter the URL for the wordpress login page for your domain. The URL should be in the following format:
Enter the username and password on the appropriate spaces provided and click on LOGIN
16) To create a new user, click on USERS > ADD NEW. Enter your username, email address, first name, last name, website URL and password and the appropriate text input box, set the ROLE to ADMINISTRATOR and click on ADD NEW USER.
NB: Please ensure that you specify a valid email address that you always have access to, so that if you forget your password, you can recover it using this email.
17)Logout of the wordpress dashboard and log back in using the new user that you have created. Click on USERS, select USER and click on DELETE.
This action will remove the default user account that was created when wordpress was installed. We recommend that you do this for security reasons.
18) Click on the ATTRIBUTE ALL CONTENT TO radio button and select the new user account that you created then click on the CONFIRM DELETION button to complete the user deletion
Step 5: Install The Following Plugins: ALL IN ONE MIGRATION TOOL, ELEMENTOR, ASTRA Theme And Configure The WORDPRESS INSTANCE To Permit Large File Uploads
19) The are some basic essential wordpress plugins that you may need especially if you are deploying for use as a blog or coorporate site. You will need a good page builder, a good wordpress theme and a good plugin for creating backups.
The plugins that we recommend for new beginners are, the ELEMENTOR page builder, ASTRA THEME, and the ALL IN ONE MIGRATION TOOL for backups.
To install ELEMENTOR, click on PLUGINS > ADD NEW and search for ELEMENTOR. Click on INSTALL NOW and click on ACTIVATE.
20) Once the ELEMENTOR plugin installation is complete, search for and install the ALL IN MIGRATION MIGRATION TOOL plugin.
NB: THE ALL IN ONE MIGRATION TOOL can also be used to move a wordpress website from one host to another.
21) The final step is to install the ASTRA theme. To do this, click on APPEARANCE > THEME > ADD NEW.
Search for ASTRA on the search box then click on the INSTALL button on the ASTRA THEME search result
22) Click on ACTIVATE and click on GET STARTED.
23) Next, the ASTRA theme will ask you to select a page builder. Click on ELEMENTOR as the page builder to complete the plugin set up process.
You have reached the end of this tutorial and you have successfully registered a domain name on AWS ROUTE53, deploy a WORDPRESS instance on AWS LIGHTSAIL complete with a static PUBLIC IP ADDRESS and 3 months of free hosting.
NB: If you would like to learn how to use ELEMENTOR – click HERE