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3 Lessons from Hosting WordPress blog in Azure

I am hosting my WordPress website ( 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 ( 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.

15 thoughts on “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 ?

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • I have played with wordpress on azure, directly on, bluehost, godaddy etc.. I don’t like the cost on most of them. I don’t like the lack of plugin support on (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

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