Cost: It’s usually the driving factor behind most decisions when launching a business website. Most people turn to do it yourself hosting sites (Wix.com, Squarespace, GoDaddy), and these are generally perceived to be cheaper.
These hosting sites give you a solid bundle of features to help make launching a site easy for newbies. They also force the users to give up a lot of flexibility and control over their sites.
In recent years, the emergence of public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have made hosting a website yourself very simple and cost effective.
Hosting a website on Amazon Web Services allows for much more control, and is cheaper in the long run.
For the following scenario, the example website would be a small business site that gets roughly 2,500 Views each month. This would be a simple business marketing site aimed at capturing inbound leads.
Cost of a WordPress site on AWS Cloud.
Let’s compare the costs of hosting a website on Wix and Squarespace vs the cost of hosting it on Amazon Web Services over 4 years.
Wix Unlimited Plan (with a 3 Year Commitment):
$360 for 3 Years
Squarespace 3 Years (Paying Upfront Each Year):
$432 for 3 Years
Amazon Web Services EC2 t2.micro Instance: (1 Year Free Tier, Plus 3 Year UpFront Reserved Instance Payment): $115
Storage + Security + Backups: $12
Domain Hosting and Registration: $60
One Time License Fee for Premium WordPress Theme: $75
CloudFront CDN (Over 4 Years): $60
4 Year Hosting Total for Amazon Web Services: $262
DIY WordPress on Amazon Web Services
If you are even semi-technical and work with your WordPress site frequently, there are big advantages to hosting on AWS.
The first is cost. If you know what you are doing (this is a big IF), cost can be much cheaper in the long run compared to all-in-one hosting sites. You can enjoy some of the features of other sites “premium” plans at a cheap low rate. If you can avoid oversizing your server from AWS, and plan your website properly, you can squeeze a ton out of an AWS setup.
The second reason is that its fun! Hosting a WordPress site on AWS lets you understand the ins and outs of hosting a web server, and you can optimize it with different services piece by piece. You can have an EC2 Server, with an RDS Database, in front of an Elastic Load Balancer, hosting images in S3, and so on. Although this may seem like a nightmare, AWS makes their services very robust and takes on a ton of the dirty work needed for hosting infrastructure. There are a ton of online resources and tutorials around each AWS service, and mastering each one can be fun.
The costs of hosting a website on Amazon Services are surprisingly affordable. If you are comfortable with managing the AWS server, you can enjoy the superior flexibility of WordPress with the power of AWS. For those looking to build a WordPress website, hosting your site on AWS can be an equally powerful and cost efficient option.