Host WordPress website on Windows Azure

Article title seems quite interesting but before getting into the process, lets get familiar about the Windows Azure and the Cloud. Windows Azure is a cloud computing platform totally managed at high end Microsoft data centers. It provides a set of services that allows development, management, and hosting of applications off-premises and your application can be accessible from every corner of the world. Every blob hosted on the Azure storage is replicated into two or more servers which can be located at the diffident geographic locations to provide better accessibility of the content. Many organization prefer Cloud hosting over traditional hosting due to its extraordinary features although it costs little bit higher.

Any PHP coded website can be hosted on Azure servers through 2 ways. In the first traditional process developers need to transform their PHP application to the compatible Azure format using Windows Azure ADK for PHP and then the deployment process starts. This process is very lengthy and time consuming because developer needs to configure their PHP application accordingly to get compatible with Azure. To get rid of this, Microsoft has recently launched the service – Windows Azure Web Sites, which is still in Customer technical preview (CTP) and provides limited amount of configuration.

In this article I will explain the step by step procedure to host WordPress blog using Windows Azure Web Sites preview. Before getting started I assume you have a Windows Azure subscription. If not, you can have a free 3 months trial.

Windows Azure web sites gallery provides wide range of open source application which can be deployed on Windows Azure. Fortunately WordPress is in the list.

Windows Azure Web Sites is provided as a Preview Feature and after getting the free trial account you need to activate that preview feature. Follow the step.

  1. Navigate to and sign in with your Windows Azure account.
  2. Click preview features to view the available previews.
  3. Scroll down to Web Sites and click try it now.
  4. Select your subscription and click the check.

After activating the preview feature you will get the notification Email from Microsoft about the activation within a day or two.

Follow the steps to create a Web Site.

  1. Login to Windows Azure Management Portal.
  2. Click the New icon on the bottom left of the dashboard.
  3. Click the Web Site icon, and click From Gallery.
  4. Locate and click the WordPress icon in list, and then click Next.
  5. On the Configure Your App page, enter or select values for all fields:
    • Enter a URL name of your choice
    • Leave Create a new MySQL database selected in the Database field
    • Select the region closest to you
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the Create New Database page, you can specify a name for your new MySQL database or use the default name. Select the region closest to you as the hosting location. Select the box at the bottom of the screen to agree to ClearDB’s usage terms for your hosted MySQL database. Then click the check to complete the site creation.

After completion the above process Windows Azure automatically will initiate build and deploy operations.

Finally you have deployed your very own WordPress blog over the cloud. Navigate to your blog using the URL you provided in the Step 5.

If you are having any technical difficulties on the deployment process, feel free to comment below.

Happy Cloud Computing.


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