Our WordPress Website Hosted in the Amazon (Lightsail) Cloud

Our website is running in the Amazon cloud, specifically, we are using an offering called Lightsail.

We have written a blog about Amazon Lightsail in 2017, calling it “WordPress in the cloud for the non-techie”. The relaunch of our website a few months back was the perfect project to take Amazon Lightsail to the test. For a few months now our agency website and blog runs in the Amazon cloud.

If you are also thinking about moving your WordPress site from a shared hosting to Amazon Lightsail, this post is for you.

Why did Amazon create this offering?

If you are not an engineer you will be overwhelmed with the sheer amount of services Amazon offers.

This is the default dropdown menu you get when signing in to your account.

Amazon Lightsail makes it easier to run web apps like WordPress in the cloud. It offers fewer features and is aimed at users looking for a simple entry point into the Amazon cloud.

Amazon Lightsail dashboard: A clean and easy to use interface

How is it different from a shared hosting?

With the migration of our site to Amazon, we are also moving away from a shared hosting plan at GoDaddy. While being on a shared hosting plan hasn’t caused any problems running our own instance of a server with WordPress gives us more flexibility in customizing it to our needs.

Side note: It seems GoDaddy is moving their infrastructure to Amazon themselves (we will end up with 2 big cloud providers at some point.

Plus: You have your own machine. You do not share your server with other users. Running WordPress on Amazon Lightsail gives you a dedicated instance/machine with DEDICATED resources.

You can easily set up instances with a few clicks. This provides flexibility for the future to not only run WordPress but other services in the Amazon cloud (or PHP based apps).

On a shared hosting plan, if somebody else on your machine has a lot of traffic also the performance of your own site will go down.

Minus: You have to take care of it. As a technology marketer you have to be prepared to be no longer able to manage every aspect of your site alone.

For example, you have to regularly run updates and patches on your instance to keep the machine secure.

We rely on the services of Johannes, a seasoned full stack developer who helped us with all technical aspects of the migration.

How is our site configured?

We just use the Linux/Unix + Nginx stack. A preconfigured OS with default Bitnami nginx images. It comes with MySQL and phpMyAdmin already installed. On top of it, WordPress is installed. There is a quite easy installer for that.

Nginx image on Lightsail

What about SSL?

We are using a free SSL certificate from Let’s encrypt. The certificates are renewed automatically every month.

How much does it cost?

One of the areas where the Lightsail offering is different to other Amazon cloud services is its fixed pricing. No surprises at the end of the month!

Your WordPress site running in the Amazon cloud cost as little as 3,5$ a month, very comparable to cheap shared hosting plans.

Amazhon Lightsail Pricing

Are we happy with the decision migrating to Lightsail? Yes, absolutely. Our site runs faster, on a more professional setting, at the same cost. The name “Lightsail” suggests smooth sailing into the Amazon cloud. For us, it worked out this way!

If you wanna check out Lightsail, the first month of an instance is free. You can also check our blog from 2017 with more info on how to get started.

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9 Responses

  1. Thanks for the post. However, you only spoke of the hosting plan. What about the managed databases that has two plans – Standard plan and High Availability plan not to mention the load balancer that is $18 per month. For my site that is a multi vendor site, I need at least 2 Core 4 GB which is $20 on the lightsail. When you add the databases plan which is $120 for 2 Core 4 GB, High Availability, the total cost per month becomes $158. Do you call that cheap?

    You guys are just promoting the Amazon lightsail without presenting the full details.

    1. Hi Bobby, thanks for your comment. We present the details of our configuration in this post. We still pay about 13 EUR per month to run freshvanroot.com on Amazon (WordPress + MySQL). It seems you have very different needs compared to us!

  2. Great article! I’ve been thinking of moving some WordPress sites to Lightsail. Does a WordPress site on Lightsail also require a managed database, or just the basic hosting? Trying to understand if I can really run a basic WordPress site (with minimal traffic) for $3.50 or if it will be more.

    1. Lightsail has no hidden costs – starting at 3.50 you have your own instance running. Launching your virutal machine takes a minute. figuring out how to start customizing a bit longer. You can use a readymade image from bitnami, so you do not need to worry about setting up wordpress and mysql db all by yourself. You can use it for free for 30 days, enough to get a feeling if its right for you. We have no regrets in moving to Amazon, but of course it is more techy then running it on shared hosting plan,..

  3. Hidden additional costs are:
    1. Updates which you need to run
    2. Your expert on line, in case something goes wrong

    These will double the cost, but I agree to pay that for VPS instead of shared hosting

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