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In a day and age where people routinely post their thoughts on Facebook, an unlinkable, unsearchable, corporate-controlled walled-”garden”, I’m a big fan of owning your own blog. Not only does it give you full creative control, but it’s free of censorship, gives you full ownership, is optimized for search engines and is fully linkable and shareable.
While WordPress.com may be suitable for most people, I prefer the flexibility of running my own server. One of the more affordable solutions is Amazon’s cloud-based Web Services (AWS). But, getting started with AWS can be overwhelming without a deep technical background. When I first installed WordPress on an AWS micro instance, it kept running out of memory and crashing. Then, when I installed a custom, responsive theme on a larger instance, it was still quite slow.
This guide will provide you a detailed, step by step approach to setting up your WordPress blog at AWS in a high performance, economical fashion using an AWS Micro (or Small) instance running on Apache with Varnish and the W3 Total Cache plugin to optimize performance.
With a three year reserved micro instance, you can run a low traffic blog for $6.44 monthly (with the first year free for new AWS users). If you want a bit more room to grow, purchase a three year reserved small instance for a total monthly rate of $17.95 (what I currently use). Get more information on pricing options here. Ready to sign up for AWS? Already have an account?