Cloud-based solutions are in vogue today. And one big name that goes synonymous with cloud computing technologies is Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has been leveraged by many technology stalwarts for its salient features like enhanced scalability, better security, and continuous uptime.
WordPress is a popular open-source blogging technology with a CMS. Hosting and deploying WordPress on AWS is sure to benefit both ways – enhance the cost-effectiveness of implementation and offer a superlative user experience. The implementation of AWS for WordPress can enhance the site’s speed, security, and performance.
Before we plunge into the details of hosting and deploying WordPress in AWS, let us understand the basics of both technologies.
WordPress – An Introduction
- WordPress powers 14.7% of the world’s top websites.
- 500+ sites are built each day using WordPress.
- WordPress has a 60.8% market share in the CMS market.
- The WordPress Plugin Directory features 55,000+ plugins
WordPress is a CMS written in PHP, introduced in 2003. It has proven to be a software that is meant for everyone – focussing on availability, performance, ease of usage and security. Understanding WordPress is easy, and its scalable features are competent enough to offer the best of services.
Here are certain salient features of WordPress:
- Simple to use, easily adaptable
- Focus on accessibility and security
- Publishing and managing content with ease
- Quick media management
- Fully compliant with standards
AWS – An Introduction
- AWS dominates the public cloud market by 41.5%
- AWS is comprised of 61 availability zones across 20 geographic regions worldwide
- AWS has over 1 million active users in 190 countries
- AWS has 5x more deployed cloud infrastructure as their next 14 competitors combined
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a popular on-demand cloud computing technology, powered by Amazon. It was founded in the year 2006 and there is no looking back. It offers computing power, database storage, content delivery, and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. It delivers a wholesome approach that secures and hardens your infrastructure.
Here are certain salient features of AWS:
- Scalable and flexible
- Shared security responsibility
- Identity and access management
- Data encryption and AWS Cloud Trail
- Experienced, cost-effective, and mobile-friendly access
How to Host WordPress Website on AWS?
There are basically two methods by which a WordPress website can be hosted on AWS:
- Install A Customized WordPress Manually on AWS
Installing manually has its own set of technical challenges and needs a lot of expertise at both ends. If the proper infrastructure is not available, users can always take it up, but it is better to go through the below-mentioned technique. In this, users must visit the official AWS site and create a free account.
- Install WordPress on AWS via Managed Hosting Solution
This method is easy for novices since it lets you leverage the AWS set up by using a managed WordPress hosting solution like WP Engine. This managed service executes a part of the hosting platform on the AWS environment. This helps in managing the traffic spikes and manage the server effectively.
There must be an EC2 instance created over AWS to host the WordPress website. EC2 sometimes turns out to be complex but does help as we move ahead.
Why Is AWS Ideal for WordPress?
- AWS offers a fast and enhanced user experience and since it is managed by Amazon, there is complete support all over the globe. This leads to quick loading and lesser latency, offering users a great experience.
- AWS gives complete access to its components – storage, database, servers, and app services. Users can take complete control over the server except for the hardware that executes the AWS.
- The AWS cloud offers quick and simple accessibility to a wide technology stack, making it easy for teams to revolutionize technical part better.
- Scaling up and down as per needs is quite easy with AWS and hence while building a WordPress site, scalability is never an issue.
- The cloud surely brings in savings in terms of cost, resources, and efforts. Amazon handles all the infrastructure costs and hence there is less burden on the users to manage the cost factors.
Best Practices for Hosting WordPress on AWS
- Utilize Scalability & Simple/Elastic Implementation Model As Required
In cases where there is less burden of requirements, it is better to go in for a simple deployment model. A single server could be used in cases where more than resilience, the speed of execution and costs matter. There are different ways of hosting your WordPress site on AWS and that can be chosen depending upon the project requirements. You could choose Amazon LightSail, Amazon EC2, or AWS Marketplace. Amazon LightSail focuses on the scalability required. If the traffic is low, it can be used else users may need to migrate to the other options. AWS Load Balancer helps in planning for horizontal scaling of servers while adding new ones.
In cases where single server deployment is not enough, a multi-server infrastructure must be utilized via Amazon EC2. AWS offers a huge range of EC2 instance types to select the ideal server configuration that offers a great performance within stipulated costs.
- Logging with Amazon CloudWatch Logs
Proper logging is important to ensure the WordPress website in a smoothly working manner. This keeps you updated on the latest errors and its relative rectification. Amazon CloudWatch logs contain all the relevant data in a centralized location. With the help of Amazon EC2, these files can be managed and accessed along with proper searching and filtering of information needed to resolve issues.
- Installation of Security Certificates
Looking at the need of the hour, it is recommended to install an SSL/TLS certificate on the website to ensure that there is complete security. There are free certificates available that need to be renewed after a 3-month period, else if possible, paid ones must be used to leverage complete functionality. There are different tools given by WordPress plug-in that help you to find out ways and means to automate the security processes. Ensuring that your site is safe assists in getting a higher rank on Google while searching for results.
- Fastening Content Delivery with Content Delivery Network
For any WordPress site, there must be a proper combination of static content – images, style sheets, JS files, and dynamic content – PHP code, elements, personalized content. To enhance the user experience, content delivery networks (CDN) must be used. One such good CDN is Amazon CloudFront – a web service offering a simple, efficient process to perform content distribution with a good speed. CloudFront is highly effective as it has the competence to retrieve content from one or more sources over good network connections, which fastens the speed of content and enhances the speed of execution.
- Leverage AWS Quick Start for High-end Accessibility
For faster performance, higher security, and instant accessibility, it is better to make the most of AWS Quick Start – preferred by solution designers and architects while implementing technologies using AWS. Using this is sure to lessen the number of manual processes into just a few ones, fastening the entire process by a huge number. There are templates that it consists, for automating the entire deployment procedure.
- Make Use of Amazon S3 to Unload Static Files
Using Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) to unload static files like videos and images is ideal, since such data can lay pressure on the site in terms of efficiency and performance. Using Amazon S3 can let you save any magnitude of files and yet access it as and when required. There is a plug-in in WordPress – W3 Total Cache to augment storage capabilities. This plug-in offers an enhanced experience for its users by augmenting performance and lessening the loading period.
On a Final Note
Amazon Web cloud solutions (AWS) has been a great pillar of support for many tools and technologies, as an ideal cloud-based technology. WordPress, as a popular technology itself, has been leveraging AWS and the success ratio is great. It is the world of cloud computing today and the world shall see a steep increase in usage of the same, WordPress is no different!