Does Amazon LightSail work?

Amazon LightSail is an Amazon cloud service which provides the easiest way for developers to launch their business quickly. Just within a few clicks, you can set up a server which automatically integrates itself with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and other popular platforms.

If you are thinking whether this Amazon service is worth an investment, then a table below comparing the pros and cons of LightSail may be helpful. Let’s have a look!

Pros Cons
  • Low-cost
  • Easy-to-use
  • Available in many countries
  • Integrates with other Amazon Services
  • Not involve technical support for basic plans
  • No automated backup system


In our opinion, for merchants who need 24/7 support, this service is quite expensive. But for simple websites, it is ideal and worth a try!

For Amazon LightSail Signup, Click here

There are compelling reasons explaining why LightSail is a great place for getting started.

First, users can easily integrate LightSail with other Amazon services for extended features. For example, they can go for Amazon’s CloudFront for a content delivery network or enable DynamoDB to better manage databases.

Second, the size of your site doesn’t matter, LightSail will host it on the same Huge AWS network having data centers around the globe

Last but not least, pricing is affordable. You only need to pay a monthly fee of $3.50 for a basic 512MB RAM, 1 CPU core, 20GB storage, and 1TB. There are many other choices depending on your budget. For example, a more capable 4GB RAM, 2 core, 80GB storage and 4TB transfer setup can be yours for $20 (£15.50) a month

So, if you are expecting to expand features for your website and get connected to a larger network, LightSail can be a good idea.

Now, we will go into more details with guidelines on setting up this service. Let’s read!

Make a start

The first step is creating an Amazon AWS account. In signup form, you need to enter your name, email, physical address, payment details and lastly, phone number for verification.

Now, begin configuring your virtual server by click on ‘Create Instance’. You can choose your disk image from multiple options including various Linux distros and Windows Server versions (2012, 2016), and a small number of apps and stacks: WordPress, LAMP, Node.js, Joomla, Magento, MEAN, Drupal, GitLab, Redmine, Nginx, and Plex on Ubuntu.

Next, click on WordPress>Create and LightSail. By default, LightSail will host the server nearest to your location. But it is also possible for users to self-pick from AWS data centers around the world.

When you see the server displaying on your Instances tabs, along with its key details: available RAM, CPU cores, storage, data center location, IP address, and status, you should know that it’s ready to use.

Set up a site

In this step, you need to copy the IP address from the Instance list, and pasting it into a browser window. Now, a WordPress setup will open with the usual ‘Just another WordPress site’ screen. On the bottom left, click on a Manage button to get explanations of how to log into the WordPress dashboard and connect to phpMyAdmin. For more detailed information on how to use WordPress with AWS, you can click here

Another way is connecting directly to the server via an SSH client. In case the browser-based client has an issue, you can access the server using your own SSH client, and either a public or private key.

When you get access to the server, you can connect it a domain. I must say, this is quite a complex process. You must find ‘Create a DNS Zone’ option, tapping this button, then enter a domain to see your required AWS nameservers. If your domain is not managed by Amazon, you have to find a way to update DNS records yourself.

If you have trouble with this step, we suggest a document by Digital Ocean which you can find step-by-step explanations of how to update your records at GoDaddy, HostGator, Namecheap, 1&1,, Google Domains and more.

Manage your server

A lot of buttons and menu items are integrated into LightSail for merchants to easily manage their servers.

A basic firewall allows users to control which ports accept connections. It is easy to configure on preferred distros.

Though LightSail doesn’t include the automatic backup system, it is possible for users to take snapshots which can put their servers into cold storage for a while. Its pricing is very reasonable, just a monthly fee of $40 for 60GB instance. However, at the snapshot rate of $0.05 per GB per month, saving the instance as an image will cost a monthly $3 (£2.31). For those who only need a server occasionally, a good way to save money is taking a snapshot and delete the original.

What if you are taking several snapshots on the same system? No need to worry about pricing. LightSail will only save the areas of the system which have changed. For example, you will have to pay a monthly fee of just $0.15 for 3GB updated.

You can add storages disks with multiple size choices to extend your server. Each GB is priced at $0.10 per month, for example, $3.20 a month for 32GB.

LightSail also encompasses creating static IPs feature. Though you can create up to 5 IPs for free, you will be charged $0.005 per hour or around $3.36 per month for a static IP which isn’t attached to an instance for more than an hour.

Regarding technical support, Amazon AWS services provide a Premium support plan on that, but at a price. Users who want 24/7 support responded within one hour have to pay $100 a month. This doesn’t seem affordable for businesses with tight budget. But even that, not purchasing this service doesn’t mean your site will go down. LightSail’s cloud hosting is fault-tolerant, so issues are less likely to happen. In case there is a problem, Amazon will find and fix it for you.

LightSail does a great job in providing explanations for the service basics and detailed tutorials for advanced tasks, thus support emails are rarely needed. But even if you do need help, the community forums will support you.

Final words

In spite of lacking support for budget plans, LightSail is an ideal place for managing simple websites and learning about cloud hosting. You can try it with just one-month $5 trial and see how it works for your business.

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