Setting Up WordPress on Amazon EC2

Last evening I signed up for Amazon Web Services (AWS) free usage tier to test the features and available services. Another reason was to use Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for storing my site’s backups.

The services are available at fairly reasonable price. Especially, if you are using S3 then you are making a very good deal.

Since, the free usage tier comes with 750 free hours of Amazon EC2 for each month for a year I thought of giving it a try and running WordPress.

Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up and running WordPress on Amazon EC2.

Sign up / Log in to your AWS Account:

If you do not have an AWS account then you can signup for the free usage tier and login to your account.

Setting up our server:

After you have logged in to AWS account, click “My Account / Console”  in top right corner of the screen and then click on “AWS Management Console”. You will be presented with something like this :

Click on “EC2″ link and you will be taken to the EC2 Dashboard. Click on “Launch Instance” button to create a new instance. Follow the “Classic Wizard” as shown below :

classic-wizard

Click “Continue” and on the next screen select “Ubuntu Server 12.04.1 LTS”

Quick-StartOn the next screen, you can proceed with the default settings. Make sure that “Instance Type” is set to “Micro” because that comes free with AWS Free Usage Tier. Click “Continue”

Instance-DetailsClick “Continue” on the next screen :

Instance-Details-1Again, click continue on the next screen.

After that you can add a “Name” for your instance for better organization. I have named it as “WordPress”.

Add-TagNow, you need to create a “Key Pair” so that you can connect easily with your server via SSH. Give an easy to remember name to your key pair and download the file. Keep the file in a place that you can remember. As you will need this file to connect with your server.

key-pairNext step is to configure the Firewall and make sure that only required ports are open for our server. Create a new security group. I have named it as “WP”. Now, click the dropdown for “Create a new rule” select SSH and click “Add Rule”. Repeat it for HTTP.

security-group

And we are done, setting up our instance. Click “Launch”.

launch-server

Go to “Instances” page and you will see your new server being initialized and in some time it will be up and running. But, it’s not yet ready to run a WordPress site.

We need to setup the essential services to run WP : Apache, PHP and MySQL.

Connect via Terminal

Select the instance which we created above and click “Instance Actions”, in the pop-up menu click on “Connect”

connect-terminal

Here you will need to enter the path of key file that you saved to your computer while creating the instance. Once that’s done you can click “Launch SSH Client”. If you wish you can also store key location in browser cache so that you won’t need to re-enter it every time you connect.

launch-ssh-client

Setting up Apache :

Now, we are connected to our server. Next step is to setup Apache. By default, you will be logged in as user : ubuntu. Let’s switch the user to “root” so that we can get complete access. Use the following command to do so:

sudo su

view rawSwitch to Root userThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Use the following command in terminal to install Apache on your server:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

apt-get install apache2

view rawInstall ApacheThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

After the installation is complete, look for Public DNS of your instance as shown below:

public-dns

Copy this Public DNS and paste it in browser’s address bar. You will see a test page for Apache like below :

apache-test-page

Installing PHP5

Our Apache is working and now we will install PHP5. For installing PHP5 use following commands in your terminal:

12345

apt-get install php5

 

apt-get install libapache2-mod-php5

 

/etc/init.d/apache2 restart

view rawInstall PHP5This Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Note: If your PHP installation fails with a message such as “Unable to fetch some archives…” then run the following command and repeat the above process:

apt-get update

Now, your web files placed in /var/www/ can be accessed in the browser via Public DNS.

Let’s create a test PHP file to make sure that we have PHP running properly. Use the following command to do so :

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cd /var/www/

 

vi mytest.php

view rawPHP InfoThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

This will create a new PHP file and open editor. Follow the following steps to add content to file :

  1. Press i to switch to insert mode.
  2. Type <?php phpinfo() ?>
  3. Hit escape key
  4. Type :wq to write the contents to file and quit the editor.

php-info

After creating the file run the file in your browser using the address as your-public-dns/mytest.php and it will show a page like below :

php-test

Now that PHP is running perfectly on our Apache. We need MySQL for creating database.

Install MySQL

Process for installing MySQL is similar to the process we followed for installing PHP. Use the following command in terminal to install MySQL :

1

apt-get install mysql-server

view rawInstall MySQL serverThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

During installation process you will be asked to create a password for “root” user. Keep this password safe in your memory or computer because this will be required to access the database later on.

mysql-password

Since we need to run PHP5 with MySQL, we will also install PHP module for MySQL using the following command

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apt-get install php5-mysql

 

apt-get install libapache2-mod-auth-mysql

view rawPHP5 MySQLThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

After this we can create database and continue with setting up WordPress. But, it will be nice to setup phpMyAdmin visual interface. So, let’s go ahead with it.

Installing phpMyAdmin

Use the following command to install phpMyAdmin and make sure you configure it for “Apache2″ web server :

1

apt-get install phpmyadmin

view rawphpMyAdminThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

php-myadmin-setup

Follow the instructions on screen and remember the password that you enter in each field. After the installation of phpMyAdmin is complete we need to configure our Apache to make phpMyAdmin accessible via browser.

Use the following command for configuring Apache:

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ln -s /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf.d/phpmyadmin.conf

 

/etc/init.d/apache2 reload

view rawConfigure ApacheThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

We restart the apache web server so that it picks up our changes.

That’s all done. Now, you can access phpMyAdmin in browser via your-public-dns/phpmyadmin

Enter username : root and the password which you created while installing MySQL.

php-myadmin

Login to the admin and create a new database that we will use later for installing WordPress.

Now, we have all essential elements on our virtual server for running WordPress and everything is working perfectly. So, let’s install WordPress.

Downloading WordPresss

First  we will navigate to the home directory of our server and then download the latest copy of WordPress and extract it to /var/www directory by using the following command :

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cd

wget http://wordpress.org/latest.tar.gz

tar -xzvf latest.tar.gz -C /var/www

view rawDownload WPThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

By default, all the files will be extracted in a directory “wordpress” so your files are at /var/www/wordpress/ to move the files to root of web server and then remove the “wordpress” directory we will use:

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cp -avr /var/www/wordpress/* /var/www

 

rm -rf /var/www/wordpress

view rawmove WP to rootThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Before we install WordPress we need to map our domain name with the virtual server so that the site is accessible easily.

Mapping Domain Name :

Now we have everything ready in place and all we need to do is map our domain with our virtual server. For this you will have to associate an IP with the instance and map the domain name to that IP.

Head back to EC2 console and click “Elastic IPs” in the left pane. Click “Allocate New Address”

allocate-elastic-ip

Now, you will see a new IP address in the console. Click “Associate Address” to associate this IP with your instance.

associate-ip

Now, switch to back to “Instances” panel and you can check the attachment status.

elastic-ip

You will need to connect to your server by IP address now. Your hostname (public DNS) will no longer work, and if you detach the IP, your instance will be assigned a different hostname (public DNS). So, it’s best to not to change IP or detach it.

You can map your domain name to this elastic IP and it will work perfectly.

For now, I am using IP to access and setup the site. I entered elastic IP in address bar followed by /index.php and it came up with WordPress installation page.

create-wp-config

That’s all! Now, you can use follow the steps of WordPress installation, enter required details and setup the site.

Oh but wait! I came up with this :

cant-create-wp-config

This is because our current apache user doesn’t have rights to write to the file. To fix this error we will grant access rights to our current apache user. First connect to the server via terminal as we did in the beginning and then execute following commands :

12

sudo chown -R www-data /var/www

sudo chmod -R 755 www-data /var/www

view rawFile permissionsThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Here, www-datais the default apache user.

There is another issue left to be fixed. That is use of htaccess file and Pretty Permalinks in WordPrses. We will enable use of htaccess file and then enable the rewrite engine for Pretty Permalinks.

Enable htaccess and URL Rewrite

To make .htaccess files work as expected, you need to edit default apache file :

1

sudo vim /etc/apache2/sites-available/default

view rawEdit Apache default fileThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Look for :

123456

<Directory /var/www/>

Options Indexes FollowSymLinks MultiViews

AllowOverride None

Order allow,deny

allow from all

</Directory>

view rawApache DefaultThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Press i to enable insert mode and replace AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All. Now hit escape key and type :wq to write the changes to file and exit the editor.

htaccess-file

Restart the apache web server for changes to take effect.

1

sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart

view rawRestart ApacheThis Gist brought to you by GitHub.

Continue with WP installation

Finally! You are all set to run WordPress site on Amazon EC2. Proceed with the installation process and it will work.

Like I have it here:

Amazon-EC2-WordPress-Site

Here comes the end to my tutorial. I am not a server administrator or a linux expert. This was a result of my hit-and-trial experiments. So, if you have any suggestions for improvement then please feel free to share your comments.

Posted by InteractiveWebs

This blog is the combined blog work of the InteractiveWebs Dev Team. Together we work on a range of DotNetNuke (DNN) applications, modules, Silverlight, and Microsoft CRM Portal integration products. Our Business is website design and hosting, with a strong focus on DotNetNuke, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Silverlight and iPhone iPad development.

29 comments

This is really really good! I managed to install WordPress with your tutorial under 10 min times. Was amazing learning Amazon EC2 with this. Bookmarking this article!

InteractiveWebs

Glad to help!

Great!!!! Thank you for explaining the setup so well. Worked perfectly.

Victor Castillejos

would you be able to install wp for me? I will pay

InteractiveWebs

We would be happy to provide that service for you. We have sent you an email about this. If you don’t get it for some reason. Please submit a support ticket to our main site.

Jaimin Vaja

Thanks for your guide lines but i m still facing problem of .htaccess.
fact is that-I have not installed for Word press but for Codeigniter PHP framework, but server is same Amazon. I followed you all steps and get success but for .htaccess issue i need your guidance

InteractiveWebs

Sounds like a firewall issue perhaps?

Thank you for the detailed instructions. I’ve managed to install wordpress following the steps above. The backend works just fine. I’ve uploaded a theme and plugins with no problems. When I try to visit the site however, I get the message:
“It works!
This is the default web page for this server.
The web server software is running but no content has been added, yet”.

Have you any idea why this might be happening?

InteractiveWebs

By default when to tell your browser to display “localhost” Apache will look in /var/www for a site to display. After a new Apache install it will find an index.html file. That is the file that displays the message you see. Index.html is the name normally used for the home page of a site. If no index.html file is in /var/www a directory listing of the files there will be displayed. You can replace the original index.html with an HTML file of your own. Don’t forget that /var/www is owned by root.

Mark Joseph Diamzon

Hi I have the same problem with Ciaran. I tried deleting the index.html but access is denied. What’s the best option for this master?

AMAZING! AWESOME! INCREDIBLE! THANKS A LOT! it has been really straightforward 🙂

Thank you. You made it very easy to understand, and it works! I appreciate your work

InteractiveWebs

Pleasure.

All good at my end but email not working, i mean wordpress sends notification and other emails which is not working so what will you suggest for that..

InteractiveWebs

Two things are needed for WordPress to send email messages:

1. – Configuring WordPress
Specify the from name and email address for outgoing email.
Choose to send mail by SMTP or PHP’s mail() function.
Specify an SMTP host (defaults to localhost).
Specify an SMTP port (defaults to 25).
Choose SSL / TLS encryption (not the same as STARTTLS).
Choose to use SMTP authentication or not (defaults to not).
Specify an SMTP username and password.

2. Ensuring that your Network Connection to the world is not fire walled on port 25. (likely caused by AWS firewall settings if you have already configured wordpress)

Awesome! Thank you for putting this together. I had an issue at the end with the index.html page showing instead of the wordpress site. Running the “rm index.html” command in my /var/www directory resolved the issue.

I’m a real novice and this was brilliant. Thank you bundles

InteractiveWebs

Glad to help.

How do you map a godaddy domain now?

Also, how do you ftp into this now? I have filezilla. Thanks for the help and tutorial, really great stuff.

I farted around with the Linux installer for 4 hours until I found you Ubuntu tutorial and had it done in 10 minutes more. Thanks!

Can’t get to other pages than the WP home page though. Is that an htaccess issue? THanks!

Yes that is the .htaccess issue, just change the permission of htaccess then it will work!!

Hi,

I would like to request your service to setup WordPress on Amazon S3 for me. Please send details.

Thanks,

InteractiveWebs

You can contact us by submitting a support request on http://www.interactivewebs.com

I have several WordPress sites set up on Amazon cloud as well. My problem is that I cant use contact forms and people cant register for my forums because my server cant or wont send out the emails. (web server is incapable of sending outgoing requests over HTTPS ) is what I’m guess? I don’t know much about this stuff. Can anyone help me fix this? It’s hosted on Amazon EC2 Windows Server.

Please help

InteractiveWebs

Please submit a support ticket on our site http://www.interactivewebs.com

How about storing Image to s3?

InteractiveWebs

How about it? What do you mean?

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