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How to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services

Recently, one of our readers asked us to explain how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Often reserved for larger projects, Amazon Web Services is a powerful cloud computing platform that allows anyone to harness the power of Amazon's superior infrastructure on a pay-as-you-go basis. In this article, we will show you how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services.

Note: If you're starting a website, we recommend using one of the simpler solutions from our how to install WordPress guide.

We have divided this article into two methods. The first method is a manual process that is very technical and complicated. The second method is an easier solution for beginners because it allows you to use the AWS infrastructure over and above a preferred, managed WordPress hosting solution.

  1. Manually install WordPress on AWS
  2. Install WordPress on AWS via Managed Hosting Solution

Method 1. Create a custom WordPress installation on AWS

The first thing you need to do is visit the Amazon Web Services website. You can create a free account, but you will need to enter credit card information. Amazon will verify your identity by sending a $1 charge to your card.

Once your account is verified, you need to log in to your AWS console and click on the 'Services' menu. In the compute section, you must select EC2 to continue.

EC2 is the AWS cloud computing platform that allows you to create virtual machines and run web applications like WordPress. For more details on what a virtual machine is, read our guide on what a VPS is and if you need one.

Next, click the 'Launch Instance' button to launch and configure your instance settings.

You will need to select an Amazon machine image. These are preconfigured software stacks that you can install with a single click.

Under 'AWS Marketplace' look for WordPress and then select 'WordPress by Bitnami'.

You will now see a pricing popup where you simply need to click the Continue button.

On the next screen, you will be prompted to choose an instance type. You can go ahead and select the free tier of td.micro and then click the 'Configure Instance Details' button.

On the next screen, you don't need to change anything. Simply click 'Next:Add Storage' and then click the 'Next:Add Tags' buttons.

We are now going to enter a name for this instance as a label. Click the Add Tag button and enter 'Name' as the key and 'MyWordPress' as the value.

Click the 'Review and Launch' button to continue.

You will now be presented with a summary of your EC2 instance configuration. Click the 'Start' button to start your instance.

You will then be prompted to select pair keys. You need to select 'Continue without a key pair' and then check the box below it.

After that, click the launch instances button to store your settings and launch your EC2 instance.

AWS will now display a success message. Click the 'View Instances' button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

You will now be able to see your WordPress instance running.

To test your WordPress site, you need to locate its public IP address. You can find it in the IPV4 Public IP column next to your instance.

You can now copy this IP address and enter it in the address bar of a new browser tab to view your website. You will be able to see your WordPress site with the default theme.

To visit the WordPress admin area, simply add /wp-admin/ next to your site's public IP address, like this:

You will now see the default WordPress login page.

However, you will need to know the username and password to access the administration area.

You can get it by going back to your EC2 console and clicking the 'Actions' button and then selecting Instance Settings »Get System Log .

This will open a log file in a text-heavy popup. You'll need to scroll down towards the bottom, and you'll find a line with "Setting Bitnami User Password To" surrounded by ## signs. You will also see the default username set by the app.

You can now copy the username/password and enter it on the login screen of your WordPress site.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed WordPress on Amazon Web Services. However, their website can only be accessed using the IP address.

If you want to point a domain name to your AWS WordPress installation, then you will need to connect your domain name to the AWS DNS servers.

See our step-by-step guide on how to register a domain name.

Once you've registered your domain name, you're ready to add it to your AWS instance.

Add a domain name to your WordPress site on Amazon Web Services

First, go to the EC2 Instance Dashboard, and then from the left column, click on 'Elastic IPS' under the 'Network and Security' section.

Then click the 'Assign New Address' button to continue.

You will be asked how you want to use the IP address. Simply click the Assign button to continue.

AWS will now create a new Elastic IP for your WordPress EC2 instance. You will see your IP address in a table. Simply select the IP address row and then select 'Associate Address' under the 'Actions' button.

On the next screen, select your WordPress instance from the dropdown menu and click the Associate button.

You will now see your Elastic IP in the table. Go ahead and copy the IP address and paste it into a text editor like Notepad. We will need it in the next step.

Next, you need to click on the 'Services' menu at the top and search for 'Route53'. This is the Amazon Web Services DNS management service that allows you to route traffic to your EC2 instance.

On the next page, click the 'Get Started Now' button in the DNS management section.

This will take you to the hosted zones section. Go ahead and click the 'Create Hosted Zone' button.

Next, you need to add your domain name and click the create button to add it to a hosted zone.

Once you have added your domain to a hosted zone, click the 'Create Record Set' button. Now you need to enter www next to the 'Name' field. Enter the Elastic IP you copied earlier in the 'Value' field and then click the create button.

The A record will now be added to your hosted zone along with your domain name. From the left column, you need to copy the lines into the NS field. These are the nameserver addresses you will need in the next step.

Now you need to go to your domain name registration website and edit your domain name settings. The screenshots below may vary from your provider, but the basic instructions are similar for each provider.

In your domain's DNS nameservers settings, enter the nameserver addresses you copied earlier.

Don't forget to save your changes. You can now visit the domain name you added and it will take you to your Amazon Web Services WordPress site.

Note:DNS changes may take some time to take effect.

Method 2. Using Amazon Web Services Through Managed WordPress Hosting

As you may have noticed, setting up a custom WordPress installation on Amazon Web Services is a very technical and complicated process.

The cloud computing infrastructure provided by Amazon Web Services is a pay-as-you-go solution. This means that spikes in traffic will significantly increase your hosting bill. Not to mention, you'll still be responsible for managing your own services, which is just additional work.

An easier way to use WordPress on Amazon Web Services without any hassle is by using a managed WordPress hosting provider.

We recommend using the WP engine. They run part of their hosting platform on AWS infrastructure, and you don't have to worry about spikes in traffic, server management, or WordPress maintenance.

Another great alternative is Pagely, a premium managed WordPress hosting provider. They also run their platform on Amazon Web Services and offer a hassle-free WordPress environment to grow your business.

We hope this article helped you learn how to install WordPress on Amazon Web Services. You can also check out our ultimate guide to improve WordPress speed and performance with step-by-step instructions.

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