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3 Lessons from Hosting WordPress blog in Azure

3 Lessons from Hosting WordPress blog in Azure
5 (100%) 4 votes

I am hosting my WordPress website (http://scottge.net) in Microsoft Azure.   Microsoft Azure provides a very simple and straightforward wizard that allows you to create a WordPress website with just three clicks.  However, here are 3 lessons that I learnt from doing it.

 

Lesson 1:  The cost is not just from Microsoft Azure

At the beginning, I thought that I only need to pay for the Azure subscription in order to host my WordPress website in Azure.   It turns out that WordPress relies on a MySql database, and Azure outsourced the MySql DB to a vendor company called ‘ClearDB’.   The default free-tier MySql DB has only 20MB storage and limited connections.  According to ClearDB, this default free tier is just for test purpose.  It is really not good enough for any serious websites.

To upgrade the DB, you of course need to prepare an additional budget to pay to ClearDB.  Here are the basic options.   The $10/month DB server is what I am paying for today.

 

Lesson 2:  The out-of-box WordPress is not good enough

A default WordPress website created by the Azure wizard is called an out-of-box website.   Based on my experience, the out-of-box WordPress website is down (and gives visitors an 404 error) more than twice every day.  The following dashboard shows the server error frequency on Jun 25 and Jun 26.

In order to improve the stability, you must install the following plugin for WordPress in Azure:

1. Persistent database connection updater

This WordPress plugin automatically updates the MySQL database connection to persistent connection when user update the WordPress version from backend. This plugin is developed to use persistent database connection in Microsoft Azure environment for better performance with clearDB.  It’s a true must-have for WordPress in Azure.

2. WP Super Cache

This plugin generates static html files from your dynamic WordPress blog. After a html file is generated your webserver will serve that file instead of processing the comparatively heavier and more expensive WordPress PHP scripts.  It dramatically reduces the frequency for your website to connect to the ClearDB MySql Database.

 

Lesson 3:  The cost of a relatively stable WordPress website in Azure is about…

To save cost and maximize the stability, my WordPress website (http://scottge.net) runs in the Basic Tier in Azure with 1 dedicated CPU core + 1.75 GB RAM + 10GB storage.  My ClearDB MySql DB is configured to have up to 1GB storage and 15 connections.

The cost of this relatively stable WordPress website in Azure, with thousands of views every day, is about $56 / month for running the website in Azure + $10 / month for the database in ClearDB.   That’s about $66 per month.


Comments to 3 Lessons from Hosting WordPress blog in Azure

  • Hey, that’s a cool review, thank’s for your review ! I’m also planned to try azure on their free tier service, but looks like the mysql service isn’t enough . . how much does wordpress need for mysql connections and storage ?

    Ronan Harris October 19, 2015 10:45 pm Reply
    • Very true

      Blah blah August 24, 2016 8:11 pm Reply
  • Do you think his is a little overkill? $66/month is way too much for a few thousand views. I’m getting ~3,000/day at the moment, and use a $9 VPS from Vultr.

    bwhli November 19, 2015 8:24 am Reply
    • Over kill or not, it does the blog post does it says, explains how to get setup and what customizations to add. And there are reasons to host it on Azure especially if you integrate it with other services on Azure.

      dd January 9, 2016 12:35 pm Reply
  • Thanks for the post, this was helpful in getting setup.

    dd January 9, 2016 12:34 pm Reply
  • I hate to say it but you can host a complete WordPress install on a Ubuntu using Amazon AWS for free for a year. No additional costs. I just put up a low-traffic WordPress site and I didn’t have to worry about paying some 3rd party for DB space.

    We were interested in using Azure but this isn’t helping sell the service. It makes no sense to me why MS would 3rd party the db space.

    Bob January 14, 2016 2:21 pm Reply
  • I have now switched to Bitnami WordPress stack in Azure. Bitnami puts the wordpress site and the mysql database in the same box. It’s much faster. After moving to Bitnami WordPress stack in Azure, my monthly cost is reduced to about $15.

    Scott Ge February 25, 2016 10:33 pm Reply
    • Thank you for your write up. I am planning to switch from shared hosting to Azure. Is there a particular hardware set that you found adequate? Which one are you using for $15/mo?

      Thank you,
      Mark

      Mark April 10, 2016 5:29 am Reply
    • Hi scott sorry wich linux vm do you use? An A0 instance in the standard tier? I access tou your blog from mi ipad an observe good performance, i have the same idea of create an app service and a monthly suscription to cleardb but bitnami sounds great

      Guillermo May 1, 2016 9:07 pm Reply
      • that’s correct. I’m using A0 in the standard tier. 🙂

        Scott Ge August 5, 2016 9:51 am Reply
  • I have played with wordpress on azure, directly on wordpress.com, bluehost, godaddy etc.. I don’t like the cost on most of them. I don’t like the lack of plugin support on wordpress.com (but custom url and a pretty darn good service is $12 a YEAR) I suppose I’m done learning on all of them and just want the easiest to support long term. Right now I think that is on a vm I run which is really sad. Why isn’t there a provider out there doing a bulk service cheaper than I can myself…. and more secure. Most of this stuff is total crap on the security end of things. Suggestions?

    While on the subject of cheap and functional- currently in a year long slog to switch form godaddy/bluehost to namesilo after a bunch of reddit research. Anyone want to correct me before I make a mistake on total cost per year? I do mostly .coms and privacy on all. Some have a .net, co, biz etc. but for the most part my money is in .com

    Tex Maam March 8, 2016 9:01 pm Reply
  • Really helpful. I am currently with Bluehost and planning to move to Azure. But your article with approx pricing is really helpful to decide.
    Thank you.

    John Bhatt March 30, 2016 5:06 am Reply
  • Azure asks me to purchase a Virtual Machine for the stack for 90$/month, how did you get it up so cheaply?

    Daniel B April 1, 2016 1:24 am Reply
  • Actually, you can structure a wordpress network all across the Azure infrastructure by using SQL server, Times and performance are amazing that way.

    Daniel Fernando Lozano Navas August 6, 2016 8:12 pm Reply
  • AWS offer is great, but consider if you can join in Sparks programs. Great for startups and greater value over time or focus. https://bizspark.microsoft.com//#start-one. Get up to $750 per month of FREE Azure cloud services for 3 years; that’s $150 per month each for up to 5 developers.

    Zandi September 7, 2016 10:37 am Reply
  • Thanks for the great review. i was thinking about Azure pricing . it is just too expensive compare to other hosting companies. You can get much much cheaper packages out there. Any benefits of using Azure?

    Jason Kit October 28, 2016 1:53 am Reply
  • This is awesome… I want to setup a multiple blogs with azure but am wondering If I really need it. Is it worth the extra cost? Should I go with hostgator?

    Jumbo November 18, 2016 7:56 pm Reply
  • I have been battling with WordPress on Azure for a few weeks now. I am no PHP or WordPress expert, but my site will be running fine for a week and then, without any changes, will intermittently crash, drop style sheets and do all sorts of weird stuff. A restart seems to sort it out most of the time, but I have been through this a few time, removing plugins and reverting to the built in themes.
    Now I am getting ‘Fatal error: Cannot redeclare wptexturize() (previously declared in D:homesitewwwrootwp-includesformatting.php:41) in D:homesitewwwrootwp-includesformatting.php on line 41’ and similar things on random pages, when it was 100% fine last week.
    Any ideas?

    Nicholas Rogoff February 3, 2017 9:22 am Reply
  • Great one,, I really enjoyed. keep it up

    Mathew d odonell March 4, 2017 4:21 am Reply

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