In Windows Azure, your WordPress blog can be up and running in only 2 minutes (if you click fast enough ;-) ).
This How-to helps you step by step to get it done quickly.
Your very first step would certainly be the signup for a free Windows Azure trial. If you don’t have it, sign up here: Free Trial – Windows Azure Though you need to fill in credit card information, this is a really free account. Your “spending limit” will be set to $0,00 by default, so unless you change this, you will never be charged for anything.
So, assuming you now have an Azure account,
1) Log on to the Azure Portal (https://manage.windowsazure.com/).
2) Click Web Sites in the left bar.
Windows Azure has a so-called Gallery, which offers you a variety of popular web applications, including WordPress. The great benefit of the Gallery is the installation-free creation of your web application.
3) Click at the left bottom on New, then choose Compute –> Website –> From Gallery
4) Type the URL for your blog (I chose itexperienceblog, so the final URL would be itexperienceblog.azurewebsites.net)
5) Choose the Region that’s closest to you, and click Create Web Site
A new window appears, showing you all web applications offered by Azure’s Gallery.
6) Scroll down, click WordPress, and click –> (next)
7) In the Configure Your App window, fill in the Site Settings fields. Assuming you don’t already have a database configured in Azure, leave the first 4 fields as they are…
In this same window, as you scroll down to Deployment Settings, Azure will ask you a lot of unique phrases / keys. You may skip these and just click –> (next). However, for security reasons it would be good to fill in the fields. You don’t have to remember the keys, you just need to make them complicated. If you ever forget to logout from WordPress somewhere, you can change these keys to invalidate all existing cookies. This means all users will have to login again.
Need inspiration for your phrases? Use WordPress’ Salt Generator:
https://api.wordpress.org/secret-key/1.1/salt/ and copy-paste.
8) Fill in the keys fields (authentication key, secure authentication key, logged in key, nonce key, authentication salt, secure authentication salt, logged in salt, nonce salt) and click –> (next)
While writing this How-to, I faced the following issue: Windows Azure doesn’t like some specific characters in the Key fields. So, if you see the same red exclamation marks, just replace the ‘ \ $ characters by something else :-)
9) In the New MySQL Database window, leave the fields default. Check the “I agree to ClearDB’s legal terms” box and click V (complete installation)
Windows Azure now asks you to be patient for 2 minutes, while it is creating your WordPress blog.
10) Wait for completion :-)
11) Your blog is up and running. Try to open it by clicking the URL.
12) WordPress now requires you to complete one final step: name your blog and choose a username / password to login. To get to this site, type http://yourblog.azurewebsites.net/wp-admin/ . In my case: http://itexperienceblog.azurewebsites.net/wp-admin/
WordPress is now completely setup.
You may have noticed that you cannot “browse” through the PHP-files from the Dashboard in Windows Azure. There’s no file explorer. Instead, if you need to modify files, you must use WebMatrix. WebMatrix is an sort of locally installed file explorer for Windows Azure. It allows you to browse and edit files in Windows Azure websites, as well as deploy websites to Azure.
13) From the Dashboard of your website, click Install Webmatrix
14) Follow the instructions. You’ll need to install a bunch of prerequisites as well for sue, so take your time.
15) Finished the WebMatrix installation? Launch WebMatrix, sign in with your Microsoft account, and you’ll notice the WordPress site you just installed.
If you can’t find the shortcut to WebMatrix (like I had), open WebMatrix from Windows Explorer. The default location to WebMatrix is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft WebMatrix\WebMatrix.exe"
In the screenshot below, you see the wp-config.php file with the authentication keys I supplied in step 8.
Well, I guess that’s it for this How-to.
Questions or comments? Please leave a message below! I’d like to hear from you!