Here’s how to host multiple sites on your EC2 instance running the Amazon Linux AMI. Remember to make a backup of your instance before proceeding.
Assign a Static IP Address
The first thing you should do, if you haven’t already, is assign a static IP address to your EC2 instance. You can do this in the Amazon EC2 control panel (go to Elastic IPs -> Allocate New Address). Assign the IP address to your instance, and write it down for later.
Point the URLs to Your EC2 IP Address
So, the next step is to go ahead and point your URL at your EC2 IP address. Log into your domain hosting account. In this case, I’ll describe how to do it for Go Daddy. Launch the Domains control panel and click the first domain that you want to point to your EC2 server.
- Click the tab that says “DNS Zone File”. You will be editing the A record of the zone file to point to the EC2 IP address.
- Click the Edit button
- Click on the IP address in the “@” row at the top. Write it down, just in case you need to revert back to it.
- Replace the IP address with the IP address of your EC2 instance.
- If you want to map subdomains (like “mobile.yoursite.com”), add those as well, but instead of “@” for the host, enter the subdomain name (i.e., “mobile”). Use the same EC2 IP address in the next field.
- Repeat this process for all of the domain names that you want to point to your EC2 server.
Setting Up the Server
Now, SSH into your EC2 instance using a terminal window (Mac) or Putty or Cygwin on a PC. There are many online tutorials on how to set this up. Then follow these instructions.
- Go to the html folder where your sites will reside. Usually this is located at /var/www/html
- Create separate folders for each of the sites you want to host.
- Next, go to your httpd folder. Usually this is at /etc/httpd/conf
- Open httpd.conf using your favorite editor and uncomment this line by removing the hash in front.
If your httpd.conf file does not have this line, don’t add it. Newer versions of Apache don’t need it. (If you are unsure, you can add it and you’ll just get a warning when you restart httpd).
- Add the following lines to your httpd.conf file for each domain name and subdomain that you want to add. Below I give three examples. The middle one shows a subdomain. Substitute your email address, folder names, and domain names as appropriate.
<VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin email@example.com DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/website1_folder" ServerName yourdomain.com ErrorLog "logs/yourdomain.com-error_log" CustomLog "logs/yourdomain.com-access_log" common </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin firstname.lastname@example.org DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/website2_folder" ServerName subdomain.yourdomain.com ErrorLog "logs/yourdomain.com-error_log" CustomLog "logs/yourdomain.com-access_log" common </VirtualHost> <VirtualHost *:80> ServerAdmin email@example.com DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/website3_folder" ServerName anotherdomain.com ErrorLog "logs/yourdomain.com-error_log" CustomLog "logs/yourdomain.com-access_log" common </VirtualHost>
- Restart httpd by typing this at the command line:
> sudo service httpd restart
Did it work? If not, here is one possible cause. There might be another configuration file interfering with this one. Check for another .conf file in /etc/httpd/conf.d. Often your primary httpd.conf will include another .conf file in this directory. Make sure it doesn’t have some Virtual Host settings which are interfering with yours. If so, comment them out.
If you are using this to expose something like phpMyAdmin to the world, you might want to add additional security above the native login screen. This is a great article on how to add an Apache login screen.
Let me know how it went for you. – Brian
Please Leave a Question or Comment
When I’m doing the above thing , my phpmyadmin not working which is on http://MY-IP/phpmyadmin, what should I do regarding this ??
If you followed the procedure above, you got a new IP address. Make sure you are using the new IP.
If that is OK, figure out where phpmyadmin is installed. You may need to re-install it.
Hey, Brian, this is really brilliant reading with lots of information! I have no idea about “Setting Up the Server” reading. By the way, now, I am so clear about it and got some valuable information. Thanks and keep up the good work!
Thank you. That all worked for me. It is possible to assign SSL certificates for the individual hosted domains also? Many thanks.
Hi S Roy,
Glad it worked! I’ve never set up SSL on AWS, but I know it’s possible..
Has anyone else out there done it?
I was just wondering if I add the following lines in /etc/apache2/sites-available/000-default.conf for each hosted domains, will it solve the ssl issue?
yes you just need to install ssl again for different domain
can i host multiple domains in one Microweber instance installed on ec2 AWS?
So basically, i want to install a microweber on one ec2 container then register multiple blogs/users on the same microweber. is it possible ?
any help and idea would be appreciated!
Great tutorial! I’m use this VirtualHost config to 2 domains on my ec2 and it’s work!!!!! thaaanks!!
Thanks for sharing! Glad it worked for you!
this way only running one website
Single Instance, Multiple domain with indvidual ip is that possible?
I you want each domain to have a separate IP, I don’t think that’s possible on a single instance.
Everytime i miss something i bump here ;)
Really good tutorial, thank you!
i installed php-fpm on an ec2 instance, but it seems that only works with a single domain as best i can tell ??
September 2017 on AWS EC2 Instance. It works !! Thanks
Glad it worked for you! Thanks for sharing!
I keep having an issue where the server locks up by using this method. It gives me connection errors, and I have to reboot in order to get everything working again.
Still works like a charm in 2017. Thanks!
Great! Glad it worked for you!
Man I’ve been struggling with this for a long time now. I want to host site1.com and site2.com on the same instance. so i created 2 … however, both sites get redirected to the 1st specified…
I am using t2.micro. In my system when company signup like company1 so its url will be company1.domain.com
how can i get this with script is there any api please guide me through that
I have it all set up, but I am accessing my ec2 instance by putting its IP address in my browser. When I do that it gives me the first website in the list. How can I tell it to give me some other instance besides the first one?
Sorry, I don’t know how to do that. Anyone else know? I would just assign to a different URL.
OK, that’s cool. Another way of asking the question is: what is the use of vhosts? How do they work in the wild?
Thanks for any insights. This AWS is new to me and I’m trying to learn a lot all at once.
May this will help? https://docs.plesk.com/en-US/12.5/advanced-administration-guide-linux/virtual-hosts-configuration/virtual-hosts-and-hosting-types/virtual-host-configuration-files.72064/
OK, I figured it out. If I had been going through the normal route of making domain names in DNS and pointing both website names at the same address, then it would have worked.
So since this is just for testing, added the following two lines to my etc/hosts file:
After that when I put http://website-1-name into a browser, the correct website comes up, and when I put in http://website-2-name, the other website comes up.
I still don’t know HOW it works, but at least it works. Thanks for your help.
how many subdomains does single ec2 instance can handle. i want to deploy an application with 300 subdomains, Is it possible with a single instance? If yes , then how which instance to choose and if not how many would be required and what size ?
This is a common question but the answer depends on what size instance you are using, how complex the site is (i.e., is it plain HTML or does it connect to a database, etc.) and how many visitors you expect to have at any one time.
I can say that an EC2 small instance that I used was able to handle a WordPress site with a few thousand visitors per day.