How to Host Product Documentation on Amazon Web Services (AWS) for Free

Product documentation is a very important part of the product release. A helpful document reduces the number of support requests and also improves organic traffic and sales. You need a web hosting server to host the online product documentation and there you need to pay a monthly fee as hosting charges. You may find some free hosting providers too but believe me, there is no free lunch. The free hosting provider will not be reliable and will use your site’s traffic for different illegal and unwanted things. In this article, I will explain how to setup and build a nice online documentation for your product and host it on the most reliable and secured hosting provider for free.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most reliable and secure cloud service and we are going to host a guide there. It offers 750 hours of EC2 service for free for one year. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) is a cloud computing platform for developers which can be used for flexible hosting too.

How to Create Documentation with Documentor Plugin on Amazon EC2

Documentor WordPress plugin allows you to easily create and publish product documentation or guide. It gives you flexibility to edit or manage the documentation without writing any piece of code. Here is the requirement to run Documentor.

  • Self Hosted WordPress CMS
  • Documentor Plugin

Install WordPress on Amazon EC2

You should have WordPress installed to get Documentor admin panel running. In this step by step guide, I will show you how to install WordPress on Amazon EC2.

Step 1 -: Sign in to Amazon AWS. If you don’t have AWS account yet, create one.

Step 2 -: On Amazon AWS Management Console, click on EC2 to open the EC2 panel.

Step 3 -: Click on “Launch Instance” to open the Instances panel where you can create a virtual machine to run WordPress on.

Step 4 -: Click on “AWS Marketplace” to search and install WordPress. You can see “WordPress powered by Bitnami” Click on the “Select” button available on right-side of the first result and move to the next step.

Step 5 -: Choose the instance type as “t2.micro” which is “Free tier eligible” and click on “Review and Launch

Once you launch the instance, in next few minutes, you can see the instance status as running. Now select the checkbox available beside the instance name so that you can see all the details related to that instance. Here is the screenshot showing the details.

Copy the Public IP of the instance as that will be your WordPress site’s homepage address. You can open the IP to see WordPress homepage.

Time to Login to Dashboard

To install Documentor plugin and manage the WordPress CMS, you need to login to the admin area of the CMS. You need login details including username and password for the same. Default username for the admin is “user”. Now it’s time to find out the password.

To get the admin password, select the running instance checkbox and navigate to “Action ==> Instance Settings ==> Get System Log”.

A new screen will open where you can see the log details. Scroll down a little and there you can find the password written inside a box created with hash.

Use the username as “user” and password that you just got to login to the admin area at xx.xx.xx.xx/wp-login.php.

Install Documentor WordPress Plugin on AWS

Once you are inside the admin area, it works just like any other hosting provider. To install Documentor plugin, you may choose to use the Plugin Up-loader panel and upload the .zip file received after the purchase. Activate the Documentor plugin and start using it. With Documentor, your product’s documentation with an elegant and interactive design will be live in just few minutes.

As the documentation will be running on Amazon’s cloud service, you don’t need to worry about bandwidth, up-time/downtime etc. The service is available for free for one year. In that time period, you can see how useful the documentation is for your customers. Using the above steps, you can run a simple blog or even a startup website free for a year.

Sanjeev Mishra

An award winning serial entrepreneur running multiple online businesses. He co-founded Webfanzine Media, the parent company for WordPress products such as SliderVilla, Documentor, PurposeThemes. He regularly blogs on Internet Techies, WPOptimus and many other popular blogs. His love for WordPress started back in 2008 and till now has contributed in the development and release of 20+ WordPress plugins with 5,00,000+ downloads.