AWS Lightsail is the latest product in the Amazon’s Web services portfolio. It is targeted for users looking for low-cost and reliable VPS. The services starting from just $3.50/month, users can fire up the VPS server in very less time without any complexity of the set ups going in the background.
With the launch of Lightsail Amazon is targeting Digital Ocean users or other similar VPS providers. Moreover, Lightsail plans are similar to the Digital Ocean plans, plus they are offering the first month free on their basic plan. Though, there are many other competitive VPS provider’s like Digital Ocean, Linode which offer simple VPS solutions for novice users and on other side AWS is known for its superior support and reliability. Many fortune companies rely on AWS for their services and there is no doubt that Lightsail will become more stable, secured and competitive in future.
Migrating WordPress website to Lightsail:
Now lets know how we can migrate WordPress blog in easy way from current host to Amazon Lightsail. I assume you have an account with AWS if not you can create your account and after verification you’ll land on below page.
After you land on the above page in the screenshot, click on create an instance and then select WordPress under Apps + OS. Right now Lightsail offers ten pre-configured applications & stacks like WordPress, Joomla, Magento, Node.Js, Drupal, etc. or you can select two Operating systems either Ubuntu or Amazon Linux. Lightsail has five pre-defined bundles that include compute, storage, memory and bandwidth. You just need to select according to your requirement and you’re ready to go.
Select pre-configured App or Stack:
Select Lightsail Monthly Plan
AWS Lightsail is currently available only at one location, i.e North Virginia with five availability zones. Select the plan and any zone out of five, choose a name for your instance and click create. All Lightsail plans come with Static IP address, SSH terminal access, DNS management, SSH key management, Server monitoring, web based management console and Access to AWS services.
Get WordPress Admin Password
It will take less than five minutes to set up the server and after that you can easily login to a WordPress blog. Click on 3 dots and then click on connect to launch SSH to know the WordPress admin password.
It will launch SSH terminal when you click connect where you just have typed below:
And it will show your password, though it is recommended to change your password after login. To access to WordPress website you need to use the VPS IP, in my case it is 22.214.171.124.
Enter https://(instance IP)/wp-admin in browser URL, here ‘Instance IP’ will be your public instance IP so in my case login URL was http://126.96.36.199/wp-admin.
You can also create a static IP in the networking section and assign to your instance. Your instance IP may change when you reboot your instance. By having static IP you can you don’t need to update the network settings again and again.
Set up DNS Records:
Now at this stage your Lightsail hosted site will work partially as you’ve not configured DNS records. It will only be accessible via public IP. You can perform this step later as well. Go to Lightsail Homepage > Networking > Create DNS Zone.
Now you also have the option to create load balancer in lightsail for your apps, as well as extra storage space when needed.
After you select Create a DNS Zone, type your current domain name and click create DNS Zone.
On the next page enter A, CNAME, MX and TXT records of your domain. You can get the same details from your current domain registrar account.
At last, update all records correctly in a Lightsail DNS Zone. Now just copy the name server records generated and update the name servers with your domain registrar. It may take up to 24-48 hours to propagate name servers globally.
Though, it’s just importing and exporting of files, but taking backup of your site is not a bad idea. Once you login to WordPress admin panel go to plugins. Look for All-in-One WP Migration by Servmask and activate it, it comes pre-installed with WordPress installation on Lightsail(Please update the plugin if update is available). Now login to your current WordPress host and install the same plugin. After installing and activating go to export option and click on ‘EXPORT TO’ where you will see different options like File, FTP, Dropbox etc. where all other options are paid except ‘FILE’ option. Select file option and it will archive the all files in a single file. Download that file by clicking Download button.
Now before you import the downloaded file, please use the same Permalinks settings as you were using on your current host. Now go back to WordPress installed on Lightsail and click on import option under All-in-One WP migration. Follow the same process, Click on Import From > File > Select Downloaded File and viola, site import is complete.
So far during my test performance was good and which can be enhanced by using Memcached or Redis cache. Though I’m in North America and ping/response time was good as servers are in North Virginia, but it may vary according to your location. So please check response time according to your location.
Moreover, you can check yourself as this website is hosted on AWS Lightsail with Cloudflare as CDN.