Thursday, December 29, 2016

Fire up Drupal 8 on an Amazon Lightsail in minutes

Need a Drupal 8 site fast… one with shell and sftp access?  Amazon has made it easier than ever with their new Lightsail VPS cloud hosting site.

I’ll step you through setting up a new Lightsail VPS, Drupal instance and a static IP.  I’ll also show you how to get connected via ssh and sftp, so you can do all of the things you want to do like add modules and mess around with the mysql database.

Lightsail does two things.  First, it greatly simplifies the VPS creation and management interface.  There is even a web-based ssh login window, so you’ll instantly have shell access.  Anyone’s grandma or kid can set up a VPS with Drupal in five minutes or less.  Secondly, it makes hosting Drupal very inexpensive.  

My experience setting up a new VPS with Drupal 8.  First, everyone on earth has an Amazon account at this point.  Just log in, or create an account.

After that, you’ll be prompted to create a new VPS with a screen like this.

You’ll have to select your hosting option at this point.  I used the $5/month option and it is plenty fast for my development needs. It is also free for 30 days too.

It looks like Lightsail VPS instances are only available in Virgina, so that may present a latency challenge for those outside of North America.

Click “Create” and within a few seconds you’ll have your new VPS up and running.  

Click on the three orange dots to manage the instance.  Again, Lightsail comes through with an easy to use administration interface experience.

A feature I love is the web based SSH access to the shell.  Just click the big orange button and bam, you are in.  That could not be easier. The same is true for other functions including reporting, managing the network, making backups and deleting the VPS.

You can manage five static IPs and attach them to any VPS.  This seems pretty handy to be able to be able to mix and match static IPs across my VPS.