There are several ways to create WordPress in Microsoft Azure cloud, using PaaS (Platform as a Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). I would like to share how I did it as a guide and show you how easy to create WordPress blog in Microsoft Azure using the cloud PaaS first. Cloud PaaS means that you only manage the application and the database. Azure PaaS is part of the Azure App Services and has the feature of elastic auto scaling, meaning you can configure the web app to automatically increases or decreases the server instances as required due to high or low traffic or by CPU performance needs. Therefore, you also only pay on what you use. In PaaS, the server infrastructure, networks, the middle-ware, the frameworks, etc. are all maintain by Azure app services. Since we only maintain the application and database, practically you can create WordPress web app in less than 5 minutes.
Well, 5 minutes is if you at least already know little bit about Azure or at least know some of the steps. But hey, I tested myself, I can create in less than 5 minutes with the condition that you already prepare for what you are going to enter, like the web app name, database name, site title, password, etc. If you are still thinking on what to enter on every step, than I believe the time will be more than 5 minutes.
Okay, this are the first title from four parts article. Here is the four title that I will create:
- WordPress in Azure | Part 1 – Create WordPress Blog in less than 5 minutes (Cloud PaaS)
- WordPress in Azure | Part 2 – Editing the WordPress PHP code using Git
- WordPress in Azure | Part 3 – Managing (Backup and Restore) WordPress MySQL Database
- WordPress in Azure | Part 4 – Configure Auto Scaling in Azure Web App
I assume that you already have an Azure account and a subscription or you can just use the Azure Free Trial for one month. You also may need to enter your credit card information for the free trial. However, the credit card will not be charge as this is used for security reason and verification purpose. Why, this is what I believe is, the cloud can be a precarious tools if the user intend to do bad things (e.g. creating a fraud website). We don’t want to be accused for that wrong doing. Anyway, the trial will finish after one month and you need to enter the credit card information again if you choose to continue using Azure. Otherwise, your subscription will be remove although you can still access your Azure account. Why I want to share this is to help beginners who wants to explore the powerful cloud computing of Microsoft Azure.
Creating WordPress in Azure PaaS
Let’s start creating the WordPress blog app now. Open your browser and go to https://manage.windowsazure.com to open you Azure account. You may need to sign in if have not yet logged in.
- Step 1, click WEB APPS on the left panel (see below image for the steps).
- Step 2, click the NEW or CREATE A WEB APP.
- Step 3, choose the FROM GALLERY one.
- Step 4, choose BLOGS on the left panel in the dialog page. See below image for this steps.
- Step 5, scroll down a bit until you can see the WordPress logo than select it.
- Step 6, before you click continue (the right arrow there), it is always a best practice to check the version and date release of an app. So you know which version you are dealing with later on. In my situation, the WordPress app version is 4.3 which is released on August 21, 2015. The version from gallery usually always the latest one.
Next, time to configure the WordPress web app.
- Step 7, enter the name of the WordPress app. You need to find a unique name since this will be the URL of the blog later. In my case I use wordpressblog1. The next selection is DATABASE. Choose to Create a new MySQL database. If you not already have MySQL database this is the only option you see, otherwise you will see the option to choose an existing database. And the REGION is Southeast Asia. Keep the other configuration as it is first for now. See below image.
- Step 8, check once again carefully and click the right arrow to continue with the next steps. You can always return back to this page after the next step.
And the final steps is to setup the database, in this article, I would like to use the free MySQL Database. The capacity is only 20MB and its a shared server. But, for starters this option is sufficient. You can upgrade to more high performance and increase the size capacity from the Azure Market Place.
- Step 9, enter the database NAME as you like and make sure is unique for you to easy identity the database. Than choose the REGION, which I use Southeast Asia for the database. The last think you need to do is to checked the ClearDB agreement. Azure works with ClearDB for the MySQL database, but you can also create your own database server using the Windows Server or Linux Server in a virtual machine. We will cover this next time. See below image.
- Step 10, Click it and done!
First Time Run
Once the creation process is done, you should be able to see the result something like below (remember your web app name may differ from my example). Click the URL link to open your first WordPress blog.
You will be redirected to WordPress installation page (youwordpressname.azurewebsites.net/wp-admin/install.php), something like below. Choose your preferred language and click continue. I recommend you to choose English (United States) for now.
Enter the Site Title as you like, Username, Password (DO NOT forget the password, at least for this stage), Your E-mail (Step 1) and click Install WordPress (Step 2).
Once the process is done, you should see the success information page, something like this.
And you are done! Congratulations, you just create your first WordPress web app in Azure. Let’s open the WordPress blog from it’s link. You can use other browser to check, your smart phone or you can use In Private browser. Here is what I get.
Well Done! and enjoy!