PHP hosting on AWS involves deploying PHP applications on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. You can do this by launching an Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance and installing the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) on it.
AWS provides a range of services and features that make it one of the best PHP hosting options, including scalability, security, cost-effectiveness, and high availability.
- The benefits of hosting PHP applications on AWS include scalability, security, cost-effectiveness, and high availability
- You can choose from multiple PHP hosting services on AWS, including EC2, RDS, Elastic Beanstalk, Lambda, Aurora, and more
- The setup process for PHP hosting on AWS includes launching an EC2 instance and configuring the LAMP stack
- Some of the best practices for PHP hosting on AWS include optimizing performance and security, choosing the right instance type and size, implanting load balancing and auto-scaling, and enabling monitoring and logging
- Choosing a reliable hosting platform benefits you because you get excellent uptime, availability, performance, speed, security, and 24/7 customer support
AWS and Its Popularity as Cloud Hosting
Amazon Web Services, or AWS, is quickly becoming one of the biggest hosting platforms in the world, with over one million active users. The AWS cloud hosting platform makes up over 32% of the worldwide cloud infrastructure and can be integrated with CMSs like WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and Magento.
Additionally, it uses both the pay-as-you-go and fixed monthly pricing models. You can also use it to run a development stack like LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP).
Overview of PHP as a Server
Hypertext Preprocessor or PHP is a general-purpose, open-source scripting language you can use to deploy and run PHP applications. PHP was one of the first server-side languages you could embed into HTML.
Choosing the Right AWS Services for PHP Hosting
There are plenty of available AWS services that you can use for numerous reasons, like making money with affiliate marketing. However, today we will focus on the AWS services you can use for PHP hosting. Let’s dive in!
1. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud or EC2 is AWS’s core component, allowing users to rent virtual machines or computers. You can treat these virtual machines as virtual private servers on which you can run any web application you want. Additionally, these virtual machines provide similar functionalities to dedicated physical servers.
- Using EC2 for PHP hosting gives you complete control over your server, high flexibility, and many customization options.
- Additionally, setting up a server on EC2 takes only 1-2 minutes, and you don’t have to buy your own hardware. However, server management and maintenance are your responsibility.
- The most common use cases of EC2 are hosting large-scale web applications, developing for Apple platforms, and deploying ML projects.
2. Amazon Elastic Beanstalk
Amazon Elastic Beanstalk makes creating a stack on AWS easy and straightforward. With AWS Elastic Beanstalk, you only need to upload your app and choose PHP as your platform. Then, Beanstalk does the rest, making it easy to deploy, manage, and scale your PHP apps.
- With Beanstalk, you get automated deployment scaling of multiple AWS services, including EC2, S3, CloudWatch, autoscaling, and Elastic Load Balancers.
- Additionally, Beanstalk automatically handles features like resource provisioning, load balancing, and monitoring.
- Beanstalk is most commonly used for hosting web applications that require rapid scaling, quickly launching apps, and creating mobile API backends for applications.
3. Amazon Lightsail
The Amazon Lightsail service is a relatively new one. It provides you with a virtual private server, similar to that of other VPS hosting providers. Additionally, it offers pre-configured cloud resources and secure hosting at a low cost.
- Lightsail provides affordable PHP hosting and simplified server management.
- It is easy to scale and secure and offers automatic networking, access, and security environment configuration.
- Amazon Lightsail is mainly used to host smaller web applications and development environments and create custom websites.
4. Amazon Lambda
Amazon Lambda is a serverless platform that runs your code in response to events. It also automatically manages the computing resources for you. The events in question can be updates or configurations.
- The AWS Lambda is great for short-term tasks and gives users access to an event-driven architecture. Also, it uses the pay-per-use pricing model.
- AWS Lambda is used for running serverless PHP code, building microservices, and creating event-driven applications.
5. Amazon Aurora
Amazon Aurora is a database management system that AWS offers. It’s completely compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL. It provides excellent performance and availability of commercial databases at a low cost.
- The AWS Aurora provides a 99.99% SLA uptime, built-in security features, serverless computing, and continuous backups.
- AWS Aurora is mostly used for hosting mission-critical PHP applications, handling high-traffic volumes, and building SaaS applications.
How to Host a PHP Website on AWS
Many hosting providers offer PHP hosting guides so that you know what their PHP hosting service requires. So, let’s see what hosting your PHP website on AWS entails.
There are several things you will need to host a PHP website on AWS:
- An AWS account
- Domain name
- The PHP 5.5.0 version or later
- The SimpleXML PHP extension enabled
- The cURL 7.16.2 or later
- Use the OPCache extension
- Use a Composer autoloader
- A PHP code editor
2. Launching an EC2 Instance
- To launch an EC2 instance, you must first open the EC2 console. Next, choose the AWS region from which you want to launch the instance.
- Then, choose AMIs (Amazon Machine Image) from the navigation bar. To choose your AMI, open the menu near the search bar. You will have several choices:
- If you’re using an AMI that you’ve created, select Owned by me.
- If you’re using a public AMI, choose Public images.
- If you’re using a private image that someone else shared with you, pick Private images.
- After selecting the AMI, click on the Launch icon.
- Next, you’ll need to choose an instance type. Here, you’ll need to set the hardware configuration and size of the instance.
- Next, choose the Next: Configure Instance Details option to enter the number of instances, choose an IAM role to associate with the instance, pick the number of vCPUs during launch, and more.
- After configuring your instance, you need to add storage and tags to your instance.
- Then, select the Next: Configure Security Group option. Here, you’ll need to select a security group to determine the firewall rules for your instance. By choosing a security group, you specify which incoming traffic is delivered to your instance, ignoring all other traffic.
- Select Review and Launch to go over the instance details. After you’ve reviewed your instance, click on Launch.
- After, choose an existing key pair or create a new one in the Select an existing key or create a new pair box. If you go with the Proceed without key pair option, you won’t be able to connect to the instance unless you choose a specific AMI that allows users to log in without a key pair.
- Finally, select the acknowledgment check box, and choose Launch Instances. If you want to check the status of your instance, click on the View Instances option.
3. Installing and Configuring LAMP Stack
To install and configure the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) on the EC2 instance, you’ll need to:
- First, connect to your instance.
- Then, install Apache, MySQL, and PHP:
- You can use either the apt or yum package managers to install multiple server packages.
- Before you install anything, perform a quick software update on your instance to ensure that all software packages are up to date.
- Start the Apache web server and use the chkconfig command to configure it to start each time the system boots up.
- Once you’ve finished the installation, adjust your firewall settings to allow inbound HTTP (port 80) traffic.
- Next, find the public DNS address for your instance in your Amazon EC2 console. Then, type it in a web browser to test your web server.
- Set file permissions and add your user to the apache group.
- Now it’s time to test your LAMP server by creating a PHP file in the Apache document root. After creating the file, type the URL in a web browser. If everything is done correctly, the PHP information page will appear.
- Secure your MySQL server by setting a root password and eliminating the unsafe features from your installation.
- You can also install phpMyAdmin, which is a web-based database management tool that will enable you to see and configure the MySQL databases on your EC2 instance.
4. Configuring the Domain Name
To host your PHP website on AWS, you will need a domain name. If you don’t have a domain name, you will need to buy one from a DNS (Domain Name System) provider or domain registrar.
- After you get a domain, you’ll need to update the DNS records of the domain name in the registrar’s control panel.
- This way, the domain name can direct visitors to your website when they enter it into a web browser.
- Additionally, to configure the AWS web hosting server to serve your website from the domain name, you can set up the DNS records to point the specific domain to the hosting server or create a Virtual Host in some cases.
- Also, you must install an SSL Certificate so that all data that is sent to and from your website is encrypted.
5. Uploading the PHP Files
Typically, the web root directory of the Linux Apache is /var/www/html. Therefore, to upload PHP files on your EC2 instance, you must enable your account (the ec2-user) to manipulate files in the apache document root.
- To add the ec2-user to the apache group, use the following command: sudo usermod –a –G apache ec2 –user and change the group ownership of /var/www and its contents to the apache group.
- You can use an FTP client to upload your PHP files to the web root directory of your instance.
- Also, it is crucial to set the correct permissions for the files and directories so that your website is accessible to visitors and the server can read and display the content accurately.
- To test and debug your PHP website, you can use the Xdebug PHP extension.
Benefits of Hosting PHP Applications on AWS
An excellent way to pick the right hosting platform for you is by discovering the best website builders for PHP applications and selecting the platform that supports them. Of course, each hosting platform has its own benefits, and for AWS, some of them are:
To be able to grow your PHP website and handle all types of traffic spikes, the provider you choose needs to provide easily scalable resources to accommodate your needs instantly.
- AWS offers excellent scalability to PHP websites because it uses load balancing, autoscaling, and external databases to provide all the scalable resources a website could need.
- The AWS auto-scaling feature monitors your PHP applications and adjusts their capacity automatically to facilitate steady performance at the lowest cost.
- Additionally, it enables you to scale multiple resources across numerous services instantly.
- With AWS, you can scale your resources both vertically and horizontally.
2. High Availability
To ensure that your PHP website is always accessible to visitors, your provider must provide features that minimize downtime and guarantee a reasonable uptime.
- AWS provides high availability for PHP applications through a scalable, load-balanced cluster or by assuming an active-standby pair.
- Additionally, AWS has a 99.99% SLA uptime guarantee, which means that all services have up to 4.38 minutes of permitted downtime monthly.
- AWS supports more compliance certifications than most of its competitors, including PCI-DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, FEDRAMP, GDPR, FIPS 140-2, AND NIST 800-171.
- Each PHP application you deploy on EC2 is on an isolated virtual private cloud network, and you have complete control over who has access to your apps on the cloud.
- Additionally, the EC2 security groups serve as virtual firewalls to control the type of traffic that your app receives. You can set and modify your security group whenever you want.
- AWS also offers encryption capabilities, key management, sensitive data discovery, cryptographic keys, and digital signatures to protect your data.
- Moreover, you can use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to log into your AWS and IAM user accounts.
4. Cost Optimization
The pay-per-use pricing model is when a customer makes a single purchase at a fixed price. Essentially, the customer only pays for the services they use, and the more they use the service, the more they pay.
- AWS enables you to pay only for the services you need for as long as you use them. Therefore, no long-term contracts are required, and once you stop using the services, there are no additional costs or termination fees.
- AWS also offers volume-based discounts, where you pay less by using more services.
- Additionally, you can use many AWS services for free via the AWS Free Tier. However, these services are limited.
5. Additional Benefits of AWS for PHP Hosting
Each AWS service has its own benefits:
- The AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides easy deployment and management.
- The AWS Lambda provides serverless computing.
- The AWS EC2 offers high flexibility and customization.
- The AWS Aurora provides full compatibility with MySQL and PostgreSQL.
- AWS Lightsail provides affordable PHP hosting and simple server management.
Best Practices for PHP Hosting on AWS
In order to create the best PHP hosting environment on AWS, there are several things you should consider:
1. Choosing the Right Instance Type and Size
To choose the right instance type and size, you should:
- Analyze your performance data
- Identify idle and underused instances by looking at their CPU and memory usage
- Look for instances that have a max CPU and memory usage of 40% or less across four weeks
- Correct the sizes of these instances to reduce your costs
2. Implementing Load Balancing and Auto-Scaling
The AWS Elastic Load Balancing and Auto Scaling services work together to distribute inbound traffic across your EC2 instances. To implement these services in your PHP applications, you need to:
- Choose the same Availability Zones for the load balancer and your Auto Scaling group
- Set a security group for your launch template or configuration that allows access from the load balancer on the listener port and port you want the Elastic Load Balancing service to use for health checks
- Choose an IAM role that gives your application access to AWS
- Set up an existing launch template or configuration, or create your own
- Create an Auto Scaling group with the load balancer attached
- You can verify that your load balancer is attached by going to the Auto Scaling groups page of your EC2 console and selecting the check box next to your group
- After completing the mentioned steps, you should delete the things you don’t need to reduce costs and improve performance
3. Enabling Monitoring and Logging
Collecting monitoring data from your AWS solution can help you easily and quickly debug many issues. There are several AWS tools you can use for monitoring and logging:
- AWS CloudWatch allows you to monitor a single metric over a specified period. CloudWatch alarms invoke actions if a metric exceeds the pre-set threshold for a set number of periods.
- AWS CloudTrail logs keep records of actions taken by each user, role, or AWS service in Elastic Beanstalk.
- This information can help you determine the request made to Elastic Beanstalk, the IP address of the request, who and when it was made, and other details.
- You can use the AWS X-Ray service to gather data about the requests your applications serve and use that data to identify and resolve application issues. You can also use it to optimize your apps.
4. Implementing Security Best Practices
To protect yourself and your PHP website on AWS, you should:
- Implement least privilege access via the AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) managed policies for your instance profiles, IAM users, and service roles.
- These policies determine all permissions you’ll need for your environment and app to operate correctly.
- Use the AWS Security Groups to set the traffic that will be allowed to your application and block the traffic you don’t need.
- Utilize the AWS WAF (Web Application Firewall) to protect your website against security threats like SQL injection and cross-site scripting (XSS).
Importance of Choosing a Reliable Hosting Platform
Choosing a reliable hosting platform is of utmost importance for any website, regardless of its purpose or size. As a platform for hosting advice, we must stress the significance of reliability in a hosting provider. Here are some reasons why:
1. Uptime and Availability
A reliable hosting platform will ensure your website is up and running 24/7 without any downtime. This is critical for maintaining the online presence of a website, especially for businesses that rely on their website to generate revenue.
2. Performance and Speed
Reliable hosting platforms will provide fast loading times and optimal performance, essential for user experience and SEO. Conversely, slow loading times can lead to higher bounce rates and reduced conversions, ultimately affecting the success of a website.
Top-quality, reliable hosting platforms prioritize security and provide robust measures to protect websites from cyber threats such as hacking, malware, and DDoS attacks. Without proper security measures, websites are vulnerable to data breaches and other security issues that can harm the website and its users.
4. Customer Support
Reliable PHP hosting platforms will offer excellent 24/7 customer support and be responsive to any issues or concerns that may arise. Access to knowledgeable and dedicated support can make a big difference in the success and growth of a website.
The Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform is an excellent place to host your PHP website. It offers many excellent PHP hosting services, including EC2, Elastic Beanstalk, Lightsail, Lambda, and Aurora.
With AWS PHP hosting, you will receive the following:
- Excellent scalability
- High availability
- Robust security measures
- Numerous compliance certifications
- A cost-effective PHP solution
- Exceptional environments with excellent features, including:
- Load balancing
- High flexibility
- Serverless computing
After learning how to host a PHP website on AWS and implementing the best practices, you will need to figure out which CMS you will use if you have a blog, pick a good website builder, and learn about the ins and outs of PHP.
Next Steps: What Now?
- Decide Whether to Use WordPress for Your Blog
- Discover the Best Website Builders
- Learn About Engagement Beyond Related Posts
- Determine Whether WordPress or Coding Is Better for You