Last weekend I was telling my friend James how our website was getting slower and slower on my Bluehost Pro account, which was ridiculous given the amount of money I am spending to host two relatively small websites. Whenever I call or speak to someone at Bluehost, they blame plugins that are installed on my websites. What a load of nonsense.

James suggested I should try out Amazon Web Services the free tier package.  So I did and over the past three days and two nights figured it all out and migrated my website and domain to AWS.

amazon-ec2

It is 100% faster, loads very quickly in all circumstances (on a tablet, from my mobile phone, through the TV and from my desktop), that I have no doubt, and surprisingly it is running all those bloody plugins that Bluehost told me were causing me all the problems. Best of all for the next year it is going to cost me NOTHING and Bluehost is going to get nothing from me.

I would be lying if I said it was easy to migrate my WordPress website from Bluehost.com to Amazon web services, but it has been worth it.

<Bluehost rant>

I’ve been with Bluehost for nearly 8 years and upgraded to the $330 Pro package 3 years ago on the promise that it would improve the performance of my websites. But frankly that has been a lie and in the last year I’ve seen loads of problems, down time, gateway errors and have received ridiculous emails from Bluehost telling me there are too many files or some plugins that are not supported or are security risks. I mean what a load of nonsense? Worst of all is their customer service or online chat. God for bid if you have a problem, you will wait at least 30 to 50 minutes to connect with a human (Sometimes I wished it was a robot), and then you get a fool telling you that the fault is your own, probably a plugin, or some code in a theme that is causing the problem. One is better off bashing your head into a brick wall than taking some of their advice, because frankly their advice and service sucks. Back in 2008 I wrote a post “excellent service from Bluehost.com“, how things have changed?

</Bluehost rant>

Firstly AWS is nothing like Bluehost. AWS want you to do everything yourself, know all the jargon, read all the tutorials and there are a lot of them to read through and then they want you to set up everything from scratch and they want you to somehow know what everything means (EC2, instances, images, AMI’s, network and security,  elastic block store, load balancing, Route 53, host, IAM, user and group security, certificate manager) etc.

The list of technical shit is endless, which is fine if one has an abundance of patience, some knowledge of website hosting (Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyadmin), configuration files and know your way around putty, authorization, Filezilla, SSH, keys and scripts and is happy to try and fail multiple times. Get it right though and you will be rewarded with speed.

Fortunately for me, I have all of the above qualities and more and it has been great fun learning all these new terms and technologies.

Two websites helped me a great deal.  BentlyV and his reference to a YouTube tutorial by John and Adam.

I watched their 9 video tutorials back to back about 5 times in total. Their videos are excellent but not perfect as I found out the first time I followed them.

It is best to have two browsers open side by side and to watch and do the steps at the same time. Their attention to detail is incredible, but then their website needs were very different to mine. As a result I had to trash my first instance as I had followed their tutorial based on their requirements and as a result when it came to restoring my 3.4GB backed up website, I ran out of space.

The AWS tutorials are must read. There are hundreds of them for every technical term under the sun and I found at one stage I must have had over 30 tabs open in my Chrome browser, because one page leads to another leads to another and so forth.

aws-tutorials

I will be moving my next website to AWS in the coming weeks, so if like me you want to move from Bluehost to AWS, start with the video above and some AWS tutorials and have a little patience.

Of course there are other annoyed folk who have taken the plunge and moved to AWS from Bluehost or are just annoyed with the slowness or troubles

Happy to answer queries if you have them.

Good luck!