Migrate an existing WordPress blog to Amazon Lightsail

Last updated: May 30, 2017

Looking to change your WordPress hosting provider? Amazon Lightsail is the easiest way to run a WordPress site on AWS.

You can choose one of our pricing plans (starting at $5 per month) and have full control over your WordPress installation, including plugins, themes, and more.

Creating a Lightsail WordPress instance only takes a few minutes. Follow this tutorial to back up your existing WordPress blog and import it to a new instance running in Lightsail.

Here’s a quick overview of the process:

          Overview of the process to convert your existing WordPress blog to Amazon Lightsail

Let’s get started!


Before you begin, you’ll need the following:

  1. You’ll need to sign up for an AWS account. Open https://aws.amazon.com/, and then choose Create an AWS Account.

  2. Make sure your account is set up to use Lightsail. If it has been a while since you created your account, or if you haven’t provided a credit card yet, you may need to log in to the AWS Management Console and update your account first.

Step 1: Back up your existing WordPress blog

You can use WordPress to back up your existing blog. You’ll just need to be able to log into the WordPress admin console and manage your blog.

  1. Navigate to your blog, and then choose Manage.

  2. Enter your user name and password to log into the WordPress admin console.

  3. On the WordPress Dashboard, choose Tools, and then choose Export.

  4. On the Export page, choose All content to export everything as an XML file.

                Export your WordPress blog using the export tools

  5. Choose Download export file to download your old blog as an XML file.

    Save the XML file in a location that’s easy to find. You’ll need it in Step 4.

Step 2: Create a new WordPress blog in Lightsail

You can create a new WordPress blog in Lightsail in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

  1. Go to the Lightsail home page and log in.

  2. Choose Create instance.

  3. Select the AWS Region where you’d like to create your blog.

    You can choose the default Availability Zone or change that once you select an AWS Region.

  4. WordPress is the default application on this page. Double-check that WordPress is selected.

                Pick WordPress as your Lightsail instance image

  5. Choose your instance plan (or bundle).

    You can upgrade your Lightsail plan later if needed. Here’s how.

  6. Give your instance a name, and then choose Create.

Step 3: Log into your new Lightsail WordPress blog

Now that you have a new blog in Lightsail, you’ll need to access the WordPress Dashboard to import your old blog data.

  1. Go to the Lightsail home page and find your WordPress blog.

  2. Copy the Public IP address to the clipboard. You’ll find this address listed on the Lightsail home page or on the instance details page.

                Find your Lightsail WordPress blog public IP address on the home page

  3. Paste the IP address into your browser.

    You should see something like this:

                WordPress blog made using Lightsail

  4. Choose Manage in the lower right corner.

  5. Choose Login to log in to the admin console.

  6. Use the default user name (user).

  7. To get the login password, you’ll need to connect to your instance.

    The simplest way to connect is to use the terminal icon next to your Lightsail instance.

                Choose the terminal icon to connect to your Lightsail instance

  8. Type the following:

    cat bitnami_application_password

    You should see something like this:

                Getting the WordPress password from the browser-based SSH terminal

  9. Highlight your password and then copy it by pressing Enter on Ubuntu or Windows, or Cmd+C on a Mac.


    You should save your password somewhere at this time. You can always change it later to something that’s easier to remember.

  10. On a Mac, press Cmd+V to paste the password into the login page, and then choose Log In.

    You can move on to Step 4: Import your XML data into your new Lightsail blog.

  11. On Ubuntu or Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+Shift to access the browser-based terminal clipboard.

    Select your password, and then copy it to the clipboard using Ctrl+C or by right-clicking and then choosing Copy.

                Copying text using the browser-based terminal clipboard (Lightsail Connect)

    Press Ctrl+Alt+Shift to hide the browser-based terminal clipboard.

  12. Paste your password into the login page, and then choose Log In.

    If successful, you’ll see the WordPress Dashboard.

                Successful login to the WordPress Dashboard

Step 4: Import your XML file into your new Lightsail blog

Once you have successfully logged into the WordPress Dashboard on your new Lightsail instance, follow these steps to import the XML file into your new Lightsail blog.

  1. From the WordPress Dashboard on your new Lightsail instance, choose Tools.

  2. Choose Import, and then choose Install Now to install the WordPress import tool.

                Install the Import tool in the WordPress Dashboard

  3. Once the tool is done installing, choose Run Importer to run the import tool.

  4. On the Import WordPress page, choose Browse.

  5. Find the XML file you saved in Step 1: Back up your existing WordPress blog, and then choose Open.

  6. Choose Upload file and import.

    Accept the rest of the defaults, and then choose Submit.

Next steps

You can verify that everything worked by choosing your blog (next to the Home icon), and then choosing Visit Site from the WordPress dashboard. You can also type the IP address into a browser and view the blog.

Here are some next steps:

  • Migrate your DNS so that your domain name servers point to the new version of your blog.

  • Customize your new blog’s appearance and/or install some WordPress plugins.

  • Enable HTTPS support with SSL certificates