How to run a WordPress blog on Amazon AWS (for free)

I got into blogging before it became a common word. Sometime in March 2001 I created my first website,, put some random information there and just literally talked about crap.
Fast forward to 2005, I moved my blog to a ColdFusion engine, BlogCFC by Raymond Camden and started real blogging. I was active once in a while but then the host was very unreliable. After all, I got it for peanuts.
Incidentally my big bro had quite a bit of leftover server capacity somewhere so I ported to WordPress. I ran that for a few years before it started fraying at the edges. The server just had a penchant for going down randomly.
Along the line I became an ardent a fan of cloudy stuff and Amazon AWS leads everyone shoulders and above. Feeling jobless I decided it’s time I tried out a bit of that.
So my assignment was to create a new WordPress website on AWS from scratch.
Follow my steps:

  1. First thing you need is basic knowledge of what to do. So I searched for “how to run WordPress off amazon AWS” on Google and got some interesting links
  2. I followed Amazon’s tutorial which is pretty clear and straightforward
  3. I went over to AWS on Amazon to log in. Now if you have an Amazon account, all you need is that same username and password
  4. Following the tutorial on step 2 above, I created a free tier Windows 2008 R2 instance, configured it as explained.
  5. Then I went over to my old website to export out the content into a WXR file (a WordPress XML file format).
  6. I went over to my registrar’s domain panel ( to change the IP address of my domain name to the new one given by Amazon (A records in technical terms) however you can buy your domain name with Amazon on Route 53.
  7. Once the DNS name propagated across the internet, that is my domain name is now pointing to the new host, I logged into the new server to upload the WXR file in step 5 above.
  8. I downloaded a new theme for the blog.
  9. I installed all the previous plugins such as Akismet, Exploit Scanner, Jetpack and StatCounter.
  10. The interesting bit about this setup is that it’s free for the next 1 year. If I end up becoming a celebrity by then, I can use part of the endorsement money to move it to a bigger server so I can handle the expected spike in traffic. But I seriously doubt that.
  11. You don’t need steps 5, 6 and 7 if you are starting your WordPress website from scratch.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s it.