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Create your own free blog with AWS

aws blogging

Launching your own website on AWS:

Introduction to AWS:

In this article, you will learn how to create a free blog of your own using AWS services. Websites, or web applications, are widely used by startups and will likely be used by yours, often helping with experimentation and bringing your unique solutions to market at speed. We see increasingly more startup’s use cases being developed using web applications such as:

  1. Custom landing pages to support marketing campaigns
  2. Microsites for experiments and market research
  3. Hosting a WordPress instance
  4. Company profile website

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can deploy and host a simple web application on AWS with minimal effort by using Amazon Lightsail. Amazon Lightsail is a virtual private server (VPS) and is the easiest way to get started on AWS to host a simple web application on the AWS Cloud. Amazon Lightsail provides managed compute, storage, and networking capacity to deploy and manage web applications for a low, predictable monthly price.

Why Amazon Lightsail

In this section, we’ll discuss how Amazon Lightsail can help your startup move fast and experiment quickly with your web applications, on a low budget.

Managed environments of AWS

Amazon Lightsail is an easy way for a startup to get started on AWS by offering bundled plans of fully configured resources that have compute power, storage, and networking. In this bundle, Amazon Lightsail provides you with managed environments, so you don’t need to set up the underlying networking component.

As seen in the figure above, Amazon
Lightsail has managed most of the components
needed by your web application, allowing
you to focus on the application part. Also, this
undifferentiated heavy lifting by Amazon
Lightsail reduces the learning curve needed for
startups to host their web application on AWS.

Get Started in Minutes with AWS

In order to create a new free blog using AWS, Amazon Lightsail provides an intuitive console interface and pre-configured image blueprints, allowing you to deploy your bundle in a few clicks.

The blueprint provides pre-packaged stacks and applications, so
that you can get productive with your new instance immediately.
You can choose a suitable blueprint from a selection of 2 base
operating systems (Linux and Windows), 5 Bitnami certified
development stacks (LAMP, LEMP, NodeJS, MEAN, and Django),
and multiple Bitnami certified applications (WordPress, Drupal,
and Magento).
Moreover, Bitnami certified image is a pre-packaged application by
VMware that includes all the dependencies for you to run your
application of choice. Using Bitnami certified images guarantees
that the image you run is managed by a reputable third party,
and is designed to be secure, up-to-date, and widely used by the
For more information about the software installed on each image
blueprint, see
Choose an Amazon Lightsail instance image.

Low and predictable price Lightsail

You can create your blog using AWS with prices as minimum as possible, therefore it is almost free. The design of the pricing model of Amazon LIghtsail is simple. As of June 2021, the bundled plan comes with predictable, flat pricing as low as $3.50 USD per month. You may even be able to try Amazon Lightsail free for one month (up to 750 hours, subject to terms and conditions), making it a great tool to run experiments. For more details on offered bundles and pricing, see Amazon Lightsail pricing

Easily scale your idea with AWS

When your web application needs to scale, Amazon Lightsail enables you to move onto bigger plans, adding more instances with a load balancer while integrating with over 100 other AWS services. On top of that, whenever you need to have full control over your AWS Cloud setup, you can easily migrate your web application onto other AWS services like Amazon EC2 and Amazon Elastic Beanstalk.

Building with Amazon Lightsail

This section provides you with further resources to help you build your web application in Amazon Lightsail. Topics discussed in this section are a subset of common use cases for startups. To learn more, refer to Amazon Lightsail documentation.

Launching your first Instance with AWS

You can simply host your web application on a single instance and access it through its public IP address. To achieve this, please refer to the below resources:

  1. Launching your first instance
  2. Use a launch script to configure your Amazon Lightsail instance when it starts up
  3. Connecting to your Linux or Unix instance in Amazon Lightsail

By completing these steps, you have successfully deployed and hosted your web application on Amazon Lightsail. This is adequate for testing and trying things out, but most likely insufficient to serve your customers. In the next topic, we’ll look at attaching a domain name to your web application.

Attaching domain name of your blog into Amazon Lightsail

Users can access your web application on your Amazon
Lightsail instance by browsing to its public IP address.
However, IP addresses are difficult to remember and don’t
provide a great user experience.
Therefore, you should have an easy-to-remember domain
name for users to access the web application on your
instance. To achieve this, you can create a DNS zone to
manage your domain’s DNS records in Amazon Lightsail.

Scaling your Instances for blog with Lightsail

Therefore with Amazon Lightsail, you can start hosting your web application with minimum resource capacity and add more capacity later when demand increases. There are two approaches to scale your application: vertical and horizontal scaling. Vertical scaling refers to adding more resources (CPU/RAM/DISK) to your server. In Amazon Lightsail, you can achieve vertical scaling by moving your web application onto bigger plans that have more resources. While this approach is relatively straightforward, as a result you cannot resize your current running instance and need to create a new one

Horizontal scaling refers to adding more
instances into your pool of resources
and spreading the traffic load across the
pool. This is considered more beneficial as
adding more instances also increases your
availability and allows you to add capacity
without disturbing your running instances.
To do this, you can create more instances
as you did in the first topic (Launching
your first Instance) and then place a load
balancer in front of your instances
distribute the traffic load.

Adding databases to your application blog

Depending on the nature of your web application, you might need to have a standalone MySQL or PostgreSQL database besides your application instances. As a result, with Amazon Lightsail, you can create MySQL or PostgreSQL databases in a few easy steps. Amazon Lightsail can manage your common database maintenance as well as security tasks. Hence, you can configure your application to connect to the MySQL database or PostgreSQL database you just created.

Are you a python programmer? If yes, then this blog is for you!

Using other AWS services with Amazon Lightsail

Alongside Amazon Lightsail, you can leverage the breadth and depth of over 100 AWS Services to deliver your unique ideas. Your integration of Amazon Lightsail with other AWS services will vary depending on the service you choose. Learn more about AWS services offered here and make sure to check out the other sections of this eBook for other use cases that may be relevant for your startup.

Start building now or never!

These guides will walk you through how to quickly launch a Linux box or WordPress instance in Amazon Lightsail.

Getting started with a Linux based instance
Getting started using WordPress

Written by Lily Grey

A 25-year-old American girl graduated from Oxford in Business Administration.


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