Deploy WordPress: Install on AWS

Step-by-step AWS installation guide

Introduction

1. WordPress and AWS: A Perfect Match 🤝

WordPress, the world’s most popular content management system, meets AWS, the cloud computing giant. It’s like a match made in heaven! Installing WordPress on AWS offers a plethora of benefits. You’ll have access to a reliable, scalable, and secure platform to showcase your website to the world. Plus, you can bid farewell to the hassles of managing servers and focus on what truly matters: creating amazing content.


How to install WordPress on AWS

© Photographer Christina Morillo

Prerequisites

2. Domain Name

A domain name is like the address of your website on the internet. It’s what people will type into their browsers to visit your site. You can register a domain name through a domain registrar like GoDaddy or Namecheap. Once you have a domain name, you’ll need to point it to your AWS instance. We’ll cover how to do that in a later section.

Here’s an analogy to help you understand:

Think of your website as a house. Your domain name is like the street address of the house. It tells people where to find it. Your AWS instance is like the house itself. It’s where your website’s files and data are stored.

Key Points:

  • A domain name is the address of your website on the internet.
  • You can register a domain name through a domain registrar.
  • You’ll need to point your domain name to your AWS instance.

Create an EC2 Instance 🌐

3. Launch Instance 🚀

Once you’ve configured your security groups, it’s time to launch your EC2 instance. This is the virtual server that will host your WordPress website.

To launch the instance, click the “Launch Instance” button in the AWS console. You’ll be prompted to select the instance type, which determines the amount of computing power and memory allocated to your instance. Choose an instance type that meets the requirements of your WordPress website.

Next, you’ll need to configure the instance’s networking settings. Make sure to select a subnet that has internet access. You can also assign an elastic IP address to your instance, which will give it a static IP address that won’t change.

Finally, click the “Launch Instance” button to create your EC2 instance. It will take a few minutes for the instance to be created and started. Once it’s up and running, you can connect to it using SSH and start installing WordPress.

Connect to the Instance 🔌

Once your EC2 instance is up and running, it’s time to connect to it. We’ll use SSH (Secure Shell), a secure protocol that allows us to access the instance remotely.

Steps to Connect 💻

  1. Get your instance’s public IP address: Log in to your AWS account and navigate to the EC2 dashboard. Find your instance and note down its public IP address.
  2. Open an SSH client: Use a terminal or SSH client like PuTTY.
  3. Connect to the instance: Type the following command, replacing [public_ip] with your instance’s public IP address:
ssh ec2-user@[public_ip]
  1. Enter your SSH key passphrase: If you set up an SSH key pair for your instance, you’ll be prompted to enter the passphrase.

And voila! You’re now connected to your EC2 instance. Time to get your hands dirty with WordPress!

5. Install Apache 💻

A Web Server for Your WordPress Home 🏡

Apache is the heart of your WordPress website, acting as the gatekeeper that serves your content to visitors. Installing it is a crucial step in getting your site up and running.

To install Apache, simply type this command into your terminal:

sudo yum install httpd

Once Apache is installed, you’ll need to enable its modules. These modules provide additional functionality, such as the ability to rewrite URLs and handle SSL connections.

To enable the necessary modules, run the following command:

sudo systemctl enable httpd
sudo systemctl start httpd

And just like that, Apache is ready to serve your WordPress website to the world!

6. Install MySQL 🔧

MySQL, the robust database management system, is the backbone of WordPress. Installing it on your AWS instance is a crucial step to store your website’s data securely and efficiently.

To begin, run the following command:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

This command will initiate the installation process. Once it’s complete, you’ll need to secure your MySQL installation by setting a root password:

sudo mysql_secure_installation

Follow the prompts to set a strong password and configure additional security options.

Next, create a database specifically for WordPress:

sudo mysql -u root -p
CREATE DATABASE wordpress;
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'password';
FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Replace ‘wordpressuser’ and ‘password’ with your preferred values. These credentials will be used by WordPress to access the database.

7. Install PHP 💻

PHP and Modules 🧩

PHP, the backbone of WordPress, needs to be installed along with essential modules like MySQLi, GD, and cURL. These modules enable WordPress to interact with databases, process images, and connect to external services.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install php7.4-fpm php7.4-mysql php7.4-gd php7.4-curl

PHP Settings ⚙️

Next, let’s tweak PHP settings to optimize WordPress performance. Open /etc/php/7.4/fpm/php.ini and adjust these values:

memory_limit = 256M
max_execution_time = 300
upload_max_filesize = 64M
post_max_size = 128M

These settings increase memory allocation, extend script execution time, and allow larger file uploads and form submissions.

Restart Services 🔄

Once PHP is installed and configured, restart Apache and PHP-FPM to apply the changes:

sudo systemctl restart apache2
sudo systemctl restart php7.4-fpm

Now, WordPress has a solid foundation of PHP and its modules, ready to power your website with dynamic content and functionality. ⚡️

8. Install WordPress 🌐

Now, let’s get the star of the show up and running! 🎬

  1. Download WordPress: Head to WordPress.org and grab the latest version.
  2. Extract and Copy Files: Unzip the downloaded file and copy the contents into the /var/www/html directory on your EC2 instance.
  3. Configure WordPress Settings: Open your browser and navigate to http://your-domain.com/wp-admin/install.php. Fill in the necessary details (site title, username, password, etc.) and hit “Install WordPress.”

And voila! WordPress is now installed and ready to roll. 🎉

9. Secure WordPress 🛡️

WordPress security is paramount to safeguard your website from malicious attacks. Here’s how to enhance its protection:

  • Install Security Plugins: Consider installing reputable security plugins like Wordfence or Sucuri to monitor and protect your site from threats. They provide features like malware scanning, brute force protection, and firewall functionality.

  • Enable SSL Certificate: Secure your website’s communication by enabling an SSL certificate. This encrypts data transmitted between the browser and the server, ensuring privacy and preventing eavesdropping.

  • Keep WordPress Updated: Regularly update WordPress, plugins, and themes to patch vulnerabilities and improve security. Neglecting updates can leave your site exposed to potential exploits.

  • Use Strong Passwords: Employ strong and unique passwords for your WordPress account and database. Avoid using common or easily guessable passwords to thwart unauthorized access.

  • Limit Login Attempts: Configure WordPress to limit the number of failed login attempts to prevent brute force attacks. This can deter malicious actors from repeatedly trying to guess your password.

  • Monitor Your Site Regularly: Regularly monitor your website’s activity for any suspicious behavior or unauthorized changes. Use tools like Google Analytics or security plugins to track traffic and identify potential threats.

By implementing these security measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of your WordPress website being compromised, ensuring its integrity and protecting your data.

10. Test and Launch 🚀

Access Your WordPress Website 🌍

Once WordPress is installed, it’s time to see your creation come to life! Open your browser and type in your domain name. You’ll be greeted by the familiar WordPress login screen. Log in using the username and password you set during installation.

Verify Installation and Functionality 🛠️

Navigate around your website to ensure everything is working smoothly. Check the pages, posts, and widgets to make sure they’re displaying correctly. Remember, you’re the architect of your digital masterpiece!

About David Damstra

Business Leader and Business Developer, Project Manager and Full Stack Developer & Designer Creative Director, Brand Guardian, Minister of Company Culture Co-Author of Professional WordPress. Currently in Third Edition. Seasoned web developer using practical technology to rapidly create standards compliant dynamic websites. Experienced with web development, software development and systems and network management and consulting.