AWS | Lightsail | Upgrade Instance

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Upgrading AWS Lightsail Instance

Did you cap your available resources? Do you have a customer complaining about their WordPress site running slow? Is your instance freezing while uploading images to your WordPress instance?

If yes, it’s time to upgrade your LightSail instance on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

No matter the situation, the upgrade and downgrade process is very easy if you’re using a static IP with DNS entries – practically non-interrupted!

> Assumptions

  1. You’re a Junior Cloud Engineer (ha, jk!)
  2. You’re running a site with static content, few commentors (less than 10,000 daily users active, etc..)
  3. You’re not worried about a database (for now).
  4. You have a static IP pointing to a LightSail Instance.

> SLA

Total downtime, 60 seconds, max – unless you have regional caching. That means you can have 5 mid-year upgrades and still meet your 99.999% SLA!

Sample SLA calculator

> Configure SnapShots

That’s right, don’t be too cheap. Invest in your snapshots; especially automatic snapshots. If you do want to ‘cut budget’, go ahead but make sure you utilize the “manual” snapshots periodically.

Sample dashboard with active SnapShots

Generally, I recommend nightly backups around 1 AM. If you’re running into an issue, it’s going to be after 5 PM or after 5 AM… 1 AM will give you a nice buffer. And if you’re working with a high-value project, you may need to consider multiple snapshots throughout the day to maintain high-volume comments and dynamic data.

Step 1) Log into your AWS Lightsail panel.

LINK: AWS LightSail

Step 2) Select your current instance

WordPress-3 is my instance

Step 3) Navigate to “Snapshots” > Create a manual snapshot, or go ahead and configure those automatic snapshots as I suggested above.


> New Instance

Step 4) Select the three dots next to your snapshot and select “Create New Instance”. Select your options for your new instance.

Step 5) Create an instance

a. Select your region (keep it the same if you’re just upgrading)

b. Add any scripts / Key Pairs

c. ENABLE AUTOMATIC SNAPSHOTS!

d. Choose your upgraded plan. Because this is so easy, I would just increment it. If you’re seeing major lag or performance issues, go ahead and jump up a few levels!

e. Rename your instance


> Networking

Step 6a) Navigate to the Home screen of LightSail and select “Networking”

Select the three dots (manage)

Step 6b) From within the static-1 screen (name may be different), you want to “Detach” the IP… this is where your site goes offline! (cough cough, unless you use a service like Cloudflare or CloudFront to Cache your server content around the world! In which case, you have 30-60 minutes!

Otherwise… the time has started and you’re now down.

Step 7) Navigate to the new instance (Home > new instance)

Step 8) Select the networking tab > attach the available static IP, which should be the same one that you detached.


After a minute, you should be good to go!

My site was back up and running within 30-45 seconds with double the specs.

Don’t forget to delete the old instance (snapshots are included) once you know the system recovered correctly and is operating at 100%!

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