aws wordpress migration

The Need for Speed

This week we’ve been slowly migrating our website over to Amazon Web Services to keep up with our growth. As a lowly marketer with near zero server knowledge I can assure you this was a laborious and frustrating endeavor. Additionally we are also converting our site to SSL, because – well you know – Google. During this change I figured I’d point out a few quick things that we discovered that may help other in the future. Enjoy.

Setting up WordPress on AWS

Amazon succeeded in confusing the, umm, ‘stuff’ out of us. Documentation is really complicated for those of us who think in the philosophical tenses. An amazing young gentleman by the name of Jesse over at WeDoInternet was instrumental in gettin us going. Suffice it to say there are basically two generally easy ways to get WordPress up A) EC2 and B) LightSail. We opted for the slightly more difficult option A, but it provides a bit more customization and flexibility. Where we got stuck, and Jesse helped to unstick us, was upon “Launching” a new EC2 instance you should select “AWS Marketplace” in the left rail and search for “WordPress Bitnami”. Using this is super easy and gets a WordPress instance setup in near minutes. We used the All-in-one WP Migration plugin to port our site over and then, BAM… site moved!

Easy SSL Setup

The last big hurdle we had was getting everything ported over to SSL. We used a combination of Really Simple SSL and Better Search and Replace to get the job done. Really Simple SSL made it easy for us to spot where issues might be and also made it easy to implement the HTTPS redirect. Many of those issues resulted from hardcoded HTTP links and files. And while Really Simple SSL pointed out all of those issues there were a lot of them. Better Search and Replace made it ridiculously simple to run through them all and fix the issues in seconds!

Hope that information is helpful and enjoy reading this post even faster. Why? Well simply switching over to AWS generated about a 1.5 second decrease in page load time… no big deal.