Tips and Tricks for running WordPress on Windows Azure

Tips and Tricks for running WordPress on Windows Azure

'factory at night' photo (c) 2008, Kazue Asano - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/I 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 www.moodyloner.net, it was NOT possible to add a CName for moodyloner.net.  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.

 

Written By Steve French

 

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