Setting up a WordPress website with Azure

  1. Start an Azure trial or sign-in into your Microsoft Azure management portal.
  2. Select WEB SITES and choose NEW > WEB SITE > FROM GALLERY
    AZURE_WP01-Azure-Website-Gallery-Wordpress
  3. Select BLOGS > WordPress
    AZURE_WP02-Azure-Apps-Wordpress
  4. Enter unique site URL at *.azurewebsites.net (you will be able to add your own domain name later). Choose MySQL database option and preferred region. Deployment Settings are optional and can be skipped.
    AZURE_WP03-Azure-Wordpress
  5. Setup your WordPress site by visiting your Azure Website’s URL http://*.azurewebsites.net in your browser.
  6. To setup custom domain name URL you will have to upscale from FREE to STANDARD. In your website menu select SCALE > STANDARD.
    AZURE_WP04-Azure-Wordpress-Custom-Domain-Name-Scale-Standard
  7. Select CONFIGURE > domain names > manage domains
    AZURE_WP05-Azure-Wordpress-Manage-Domains
  8. Enter your custom URL. You will also need to make a note of the CNAME record awverify.www.*.azurewebsites.net to verify ownership and the IP ADDRESS provided to update your DNS A-Record.
    AZURE_WP06-Azure-Wordpress-Manage-Custom-Domains-IP-Address-
  9. Go to your domain registrar control panel to modify the domain’s DNS Records.
    Add the CNAME record awverify.www.*.azurewebsites.net
    (Note: some registrars require Canonical names to have an extra ‘.’ at the end)

    AZURE_WP07-DNS-Records-Add-CNAME
  10. You will also need to remove any existing A Records and replace with a new A Record pointing to your Azure Website’s IP Address.
    AZURE_WP07-DNS-Records-ARecord
    AZURE_WP07-DNS-Records-Updated
  11. Once your DNS changes are in sync (usually 1-2 hours), you can update the domain settings in your Azure Website’s WordPress control panel to match your domain.
    AZURE_WP08-Azure-Update-Wordpress-Site-Address-URL
    AZURE_WP08-Azure-Updated-Wordpress-Site-Address-URL
  12. Finally, I would activate Settings > Permalinks using one of the presets or a custom structure. This enables a number of benefits including SEO friendly URLs so your keywords can appear in the URL address bar. Also advanced users can navigate using your URL address. Tip: for huge blogs it maybe advisable to start with a number (like %year% or %post_id%) for speed.
    AZURE_WP09-Azure-Wordpress-SEO-Friendly-URLs-Permalinks
  13. Just one more thing… It’s probably a good idea to backup your WordPress website so you can rollback if a WordPress update ever goes wrong. Azure BACKUPS is a new feature which automatically backs up to a STORAGE data service. When creating a new Storage component I would select a different region and set replication to ‘Locally Redundant’ which is the most cost effective option.
    AZURE_WP10-Azure-Backups

Thanks @plankytronixx for the Azure Websites bootcamp!

UPDATE: I also found this post very helpful in setting up advanced DNS settings for Azure Websites.

One thought on “Setting up a WordPress website with Azure

  1. Enabling additional WordPress Azure websites to reuse existing MySQL database – Deadlyfingers

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