September 2012 - Digital Tool Factory blog September 2012 - Digital Tool Factory blog

The Digital Tool Factory Blog

Tips and Tricks for running WordPress on Windows Azure

'factory at night' photo (c) 2008, Kazue Asano - license: recently decided to experiment with Windows Azure, and here are some lessons learned about running WordPress on Windows Azure.  I wish I’d known these things before I started.

  1. Getting an install of WordPress on Windows Azure is as simple as they say it is.  Moving an existing site over to it can be challenging.
  2. One thing they do not tell you – while you can run up to 100 Azure Websites, which could be WordPress, on a reserved Azure instance, you only get 1 MySql Database.  As in one for the whole account.  The one you do get seems to be very nice.  When I first discovered this I almost scrapped the idea, but then I came across this blog post on using one MySql database for multiple WordPress accounts.  All you have to do is change the line

    $table_prefix = ‘wpGP_’;

    and you’re all set

  3. You cannot change the maximum upload size – it is set at 2 megs and that is all you get.  Since you are more less running in shared environment, that is not a bad thing
  4. However, I was moving my personal blog, which has been running for over seven years, and my initial import file was 14 megs in size.  I fixed this by splitting the 1 xml file into 19 xml files.  Tedious, but not difficult.
  5. Once all of the posts were in place it was a simple matter of migrating plugins and settings.  Quite frankly I was thrilled with the performance and responsiveness.

All good so far, but then I ran into the largest problem, specifically CNames.  Windows Azure uses CNames for EVERYTHING, which should not be a problem, but I hadn’t gotten around to moving that domain off of GoDaddy yet.  While it was easy to add a CName for, it was NOT possible to add a CName for  This seems to be by design on Godaddy’s part.  I’m not sure why.  You can add a redirect of the domain in addition to changing the CName which is what I did.  Then you wait for two hours.

About a half hour in I lost my patience and moved the DNS over to Zonomi.  I was able to set everything up about five minutes and now I have a happy, responsive blog in the cloud.

Final thoughts about running WordPress on Windows Azure

I really like it.  The site is nice, fast, and responsive.  The permissions are configured properly out of the box and, now that I know all of these caveats, setting everything up should be easy going forward.

Sep 12

Written By Steve French


How to change the number of comments visible in the WordPress Admin

The Problem

'hiding in plain sight' photo (c) 2008, Kai Schreiber - license: have an old, established blog, and you left comment spam protection off (a tragic mistake).   I did this recently with one of my personal blogs and in very little time I had 15,000 comments pending in my spam folder.  I set about to delete the spam but found that I could only delete 20 at a time.  How could I change the number of comments visible in the WordPress Admin ? I looked everywhere in the option and settings and could not find anywhere to have the wordpress admin display more.  I even looked in the actual php files and could not find anything

The Cause

The option is actually hiding in plain sight.

The Solution

Click on “Screen Option” in the upper right” and in the box below “Show On Screen” and enter in however many you want to display.

Sep 12

Written By Steve French


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