How migrating to AWS EC2 can crush page speed tests results for your WordPress Website (Updated)

Labs Test AWS EC2 Wordpress Speed Test

Kulmedia Digital Studio Labs May 2021

What we are testing is Moving a 1GB website from a hosting company to EC2 on AWS

Is your WordPress Running too slow in page speed tests? What speed gains can you achieve by moving to AWS EC2


So the page speed of this site was around 4.6 seconds – fair enough for the casual user with great broadband speed but all the page speed checks by Google and Pingdom tools told a grim picture of inadequacy of epic proportions.

Should I stay or should I go, we are the experts in moving websites of all sizes and nature across the internet, especially in Migrations to AWS.

So first thing after making a backup of the site, it became clear there was a lot of historical ‘junk in the trunk’ over 35,000 images most of which had been produced by theme updates and those nasty image squashers.

As a test I decided to go with a really beefy EC2 instance, so I went for the t2.large Linux I wanted to feel like the clouds were the highway to page speed heaven.


Bitnami Nginx WordPress was the image of choice for this instance.

Once going through the setup on my AWS console, the breaking in of the new install requires some ssh to set up steps 1 to 3 then run through the remaining tasks there maybe some missed off the list.

  1. Username & Password
  2. Remove the Bitnami Banner
  3. Add the SSL
  4. Setting up DNS on Route 53
  5. Rebuild the website using the page builder page exports
  6. Importing the posts
  7. Setting up email router on Route 53
  8. Testing the forms
  9. Uploading the images after offline processing with Photoshop
  10. Add Cache plugin
  11. Verify and update all plugins, theme and licenses

So after a few hours of set up time had come to flex the power of the EC2, straight of it was obvious there is a massive speed increase, the plugins updated in no time at all, switching the page builder on, making changes and saving were ‘blink fast’.

The speed test came in at 1 second… yes the site had been stripped right back to essentials but the step up in performance was incredible.

Then I started to worry, I hadn’t worked out the cost of running the instance and the early days there was nothing showing in billing, no need to panic, this won’t get out of hand.

In the 2nd week the price of what the instance was going to cost became apparent, $60 per month, plus some minor costs for the use of Route 53.

Now usually we recommend starting small on AWS but this was a fully-fledged virtual machine with many times the resources and capacity 80gb storage so for a fairly simple website it was over kill but my inner speed demon was convinced I needed that power, after all speed on the web is everything.

EC2 is great for power hungry websites, or for those like me who love the speed of function. I mean I’d save a page, go to refresh it and quite literally a blink of an eye and boom, page rendered, like the cloud delivers everything like a magician’s sleight of hand we know there is a delay, yet its perception is negligible.

I will be writing a blog on moving to a LightSail Instance as a follow up to this article, because I decided to test the speed of LightSail to EC2.

If you have a website that has become like a sloth with a hangover there really isn’t much choice but to pump up the resources the site can use, this is very easy till the host you are with runs out of resources, moving you to a managed VPS or a dedicated server. The trick here is to move to the cloud, match your requirements to a Cloud solution and migrate your website, eCommerce website.

Moving a small website to the cloud takes less than a day, a eCommerce store built on Magento with 40k products will take between 2 and 4 weeks but the speed of Cloud will free you from that sloth with a hangover for good.

At Kulmedia Digital Studio we have been delivering cloud solutions for projects around the globe. If you have a project in mind, please feel free to drop us a line.

Kulmedia Digital Studio

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Written By: Kamal Uddin

Posted on: May 24, 2021

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