Setting up an AWS instance for Sitebulb Server

If you wish to give Sitebulb Server a try, but don't feel ready for the monthly commitment of an Ionos or Prostack dedicated server, a quick and easy way to try Sitebulb Server is to run it on a cloud instance - such as Amazon AWS.

We have prepared a video guide for setting up an AWS EC2 instance and installing Sitebulb Server. It is only 10 minutes long for the complete end-to-end process, but does assume that you have already set up an AWS account and added billing details.

Aside: In the long run, this is a much more expensive way to do it, but since you don't need to make an ongoing commitment, it works as a convenient way to test out Sitebulb Server.

Bullet-point reference of each step:

  1. Add billing details
  2. Go to EC2 dashboard
  3. Launch instance
  4. Select Windows Server 2022 from OS options
  5. Adjust instance type based on server spec (see recommended specifications)
  6. Create key pair
  7. Configure storage (always choose SSD)
  8. Launch instance
  9. Add new security group to open port 10401
  10. Add security group to instance
  11. Download RDP client (& decrypt password using key pair)
  12. Connect via RDP
  13. Install Sitebulb Server
  14. Activate license and configure server (see guide on this)
  15. Connect desktop to Sitebulb Server (see guide on this)

Important note on starting & stopping instances

It is reasonably common for users to stop an AWS instance when they aren't using it, and then start it up again at some point in the future - in order to avoid spiraling costs.

If you do this, the IP address of the instance will change!

So you will need to make sure you update the IP address in your server list, otherwise you will not be able to connect to the server.

Your server will start like this, everything great:

Everything great with your aws server

Then if you go into AWS and 'Stop' the instance:

Stop AWS instance

Sitebulb will now show 'Server Error', which makes sense, since the instance is no longer available so Sitebulb can't connect to it.

Sitebulb Server Error

A week or two may pass before you then go to start the instance back up again in AWS:

Start AWS instance

Now this is the tricky bit, once you have started the instance again, if you scroll across to the right, lo and behold, the IP address will have changed!

IP address changed

And Sitebulb will continue to show a server error until you update it to this new IP address (the secret key remains the same, so it's just the IP address that needs updating):

Change IP address

Other options

AWS is just one of the ways you can use Sitebulb Server.

The reason we recommend dedicated servers over cloud instances is because dedicated servers can offer the same thing for a fraction of the price (at least half, often a lot more).

However each different server option is suitable in different circumstances. If you wish to explore further, please check out our post on the pros and cons of different server options.