Hosting on Amazon Web Services

Hi all,

I’m building a BuddyPress site that needs to be able to scale to our potential user load – so I was thinking of using Amazon Web Services. It seemed to me that as we finish developing the site we would probably qualify for their Free Tier, but as we need more resources the service will scale up and we’ll pay whatever that cost is.

However I’m having trouble figuring out:

1 – Will BuddyPress work on AWS like on other hosts (after initial setup), or do I need to become/hire a server admin just to do maintain the service?

2 – It seems to me that the free service is enough for us now, and that we’ll only pay for what we use when our site launches – but with all the seperate products AWS includes, I’m not sure if the cost will spiral out of control?

3 – Is there a tutorial (trust me I’ve googled this a lot) for getting WP/BP to work on AWS?

4 – lastly, am I going down the wrong path with this? Is there a better option for hosting that is somewhat similarly scalable, but also semi-affordable?

Thanks a ton in advance! – E

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings eitan_feinberg,

    Thank you for the great question and indeed Hosting this with Amazon will certainly bring some great challenges and perhaps a lot of custom coding to get it to run right.

    In addition, they are by far not a cheap date, oh it look good on the outside but they charge for bandwidth as well as storage and the price is indeed outrageous.

    Consider the following facts – lets say that you have a site that is pulling, according to their pricing http://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/, they are charging per hour + bandwidth + storage.

    Now lets see what we get after that first so called year of freeness.

    Lats say small – that is hourly traffic at $0.039 per Hour per year comes out to $341.64 which from my understanding does not include bandwidth nor storage fees.

    But with all the seperate products AWS includes, I’m not sure if the cost will spiral out of control?

    Now lets talk about Bandwidth further down the page.

    They say first GB free – well that is very generous of them right? Then they whack you for the rest –> meaning at their calculations up to 10TB lets do the math.

    A GB free but a TB is 1000 GB multiplied by 12 cents a GB – 1TB equals $120 a month

    So 10 TB equals $1200 a month – but a dedicated server with 10TB costs $99 a month!

    What a rip off! and it explains why they can offer 1 GB free and a year free to some degree while you ramp up – then comes the contract – and by the way we have not talked about storage space yet, backups, etc.

    I will admit the above dedicated server does not include cPanel but of course Virtmin is free if you want to go that route.

    Think about it and remember, if it sounds too good to be true … and they have you by contract as well. Unbelievable.

    Now on the other hand it is a bargain if planning for failure.

    Thank you for being a WPMU DEV Community Member!

    Cheers, Joe

  • eitan_feinberg
    • WPMU DEV Initiate

    Thanks to both of you for responding!

    @aecnu, thanks for the very detailed response – it was tremendously helpful. Is WPMU hosting who you would recommend for quality wp/buddypress hosting that can handle some site load but is reasonably priced? And if so, are dedicated servers the way to go, or can shared hosting be sufficient? Thanks so much for your help, it’s immensely appreciated!

  • aecnu
    • WP Unicorn

    Greetings eitan_feinberg,

    Thank you again for another great question.

    Is WPMU hosting who you would recommend for quality wp/buddypress hosting that can handle some site load but is reasonably priced?

    Absolutely but I must disclose that I own it and indeed have confidence in myself and my servers.

    Here is what others are saying about WPMU Hosting for example:

    Mark De Scande:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/what-would-be-the-best-hosting-for-a-network#post-288348

    James Dunn and David that originally started the thread:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/forums/topic/whos-your-favorite-wp-hosting-provider-and-why#post-258269

    There are indeed more but I would have to dig them up for you :slight_smile:

    And if so, are dedicated servers the way to go, or can shared hosting be sufficient?

    I would go with the VPS/Reseller lite and I can scale it up if and when necessary. They are the same plan and very robust.

    Once on my system, even moving to a dedicated server is a breeze if and when that day comes.

    But I would start with the VPS/Reseller and move forward from there.

    Cheers, Joe

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