For as long as I can remember, I always host my WordPress websites on NetHosted, a UK based web hosting company. I have a reseller account with them which I use for all my sites.
However, I have been wanting to trial AWS Lightsail for a while. My two attempts caused a lot more grief than I bargained for.
To spin a new WordPress site at NetHosted is dead easy. It typically involves:
- Buy a URL. I switched recently from 123-reg (which struggled during the last few attempts to purchase) to GoDaddy.
- Login to NetHosted and then to WHM environment.
- Spinout a new instance.
- Update Nameservers at GoDaddy
- You can’t actually work on the site until DNS has propagated.
- Add the new URL on Cloudflare for protection which includes SSL operating on top of your http site. At this point, you need to update GoDaddy with Cloudflare nameservers.
Unlike NetHosted, AWS Lightsail provides greater flexibility which unfortunately causes significant confusion to a weak hacker (I’m not a software developer) like me. Steps involve:
- Create an instance $3.5/month
- Create a database $15/month
- Create a static IP (this is really useful which is not available on NetHosted)
- Create DNS Zone (at this point, I updated GoDaddy with AWS Nameservers)
- Create load balancer – you don’t really need this given single server, but I did.
- Attach DNS to load balancer – the mistake I did was attaching DNS to the server. This took two AWS support folks to identify – yeah, it really did.
- Attach disk to the server – $0.80/month
- Play with Bitnami (the WordPress implementation/image) to work out how to recover the existing password and then change it, so you can start using WordPress.
I tried twice and gave up, but this is a bit simpler than AWS Lightsail as you could spin out a WordPress instance. Where I got confused is that do you then need to add more to make this WordPress instance work.
The Real Nightmare
The real nightmare is the time it takes for DNS to propagate. Whilst this is happening, you cannot work on your site unless you are given a direct IP address, which both AWS Lightsail and Linode do, but not NetHosted.