What is Amazon Lightsail?

It’s true. Amazon services make a lot of things easier. One service they offer is called Lightsail and it allows you to create a Virtual Private Server (VPS). For those of you hosting your WordPress site on a typical hosting server that know their way around a Debian server and want more control over the OS, this could be the right solution for you! That’s not all it does, you can build one-click servers such as LAMP, NGINX, Node.js, Plesk, even a Windows SQL server! Let’s get started with Amazon Lightsail!

What Do I Need?

First, you need an Amazon Web Services account. Simply go to Amazon Web Services, click “Create an AWS Account” then follow the prompts. Once you have the AWS account set up you can sign into the console and start to setup your Amazon Lightsail.

Creating an Amazon Lightsail Instance

Once you are Signed in to the Console, use the Search bar at the top to search for “Lightsail” then click on Lightsail. On the Lightsail page, click Create Instance. There are lots of apps you can configure with a single-click install. These will be an OS with the app pre-installed and ready for you to customize and configure. You can also choose to just install on OS if you want.

Access My Instance

You’ll want to configure SSH Keys to access your instance. If you don’t already have a set or if you just want to use specific keys for this instance, just click the Change SSH Keypair button to change and/or create a new set. You can also choose to run a script at install time or enable automatic snapshots on this screen. Although, it should be said that snapshots will cost extra money, that brings us to…

How Much Does This All Cost, Anyways?

The answer to this is, as always… it depends. The size of the instance as well as what kind of instance will change the price. Windows is more expensive than Linux (duh), and the horsepower behind it all drives the cost as well. The least expensive is a Linux based OS that runs a free App, such as the Linux install of WordPress. Choose the smallest instance size (which surprisingly works pretty well) and you get the first month (750 hours) free and it’s $3.50/month after that. Think about what you will be doing and what your goals are before you make the instance.

Additional Information

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to get started with Lightsail, but there is so much more to it that I am not really even scratching the surface here, especially considering that you can tie in other Amazon services when needed or even use the API to manage it. Go check out the official Amazon documentation for lots of great information: Lightsail docs

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