I have been working on moving all of my web projects from Rackspace to Amazon for the last couple of months and yesterday I came across a newish Amazon service Lightsail. Lightsail is a managed VPS from AWS it bundles all of the core services making it very easy to deploy new instances. It is a little more involved than a standard host where you would have cPanel set up for you but much easier than setting up the whole environment from scratch.
For this first use I chose the WordPress AMI from Bitnami because I was moving this site which is built on WordPress. Set up of the instance was a breeze. You pick your instance type I chose WordPress but there are several others including a lamp stack and a bare ubuntu install. THen pick the size of the instance I chose the smallest which is only $5 a month and the first month is free! Then I assigned a static IP and set up a DNS zone so I could hook up my domain. You can also launch a SSH session right from the lightsail dashboard which you will have to do to grab your password. And at this point the instance was ready to go.
It was immediately obvious that the site was running much faster, I didn’t do any real tests but I would say conservatively twice as fast as on Rackspace.
So if your looking for a host and you are not afraid to get your hands a little dirty this is a great option. It is easy to initially set up but as your application grows you can add other AWS resources as needed.