WordPress is the most popular open-source Content Management System (CMS) in the world. It support customization, plugins, themes, and many other features. It’s a great tool to choose for hosting a website, blog, or other types of websites. Most commonly it’s installed and hosted using a Virtual Machine; which can also be done within the Microsoft Azure cloud. However, WordPress can also be hosted using a Platform as a Service (PaaS) hosting option using Azure App Service. This will eliminate the need to manage any Virtual Machines / Servers, enabling you to more easily and securely host WordPress in Microsoft Azure.
WordPress continues to grow in usages to host websites on the Internet. When it used to be primarily used by bloggers, it has grown to be used by all types of businesses; such as e-commerce, news, online stores, and more.
WordPress is used to host 43.2% of all websites on the Internet; this is up from 39.5% in 2021.W3Techs, 2022
Let’s take a look at the steps necessary to get setup hosting WordPress using Azure App Service!
Benefits of Hosting WordPress in Azure App Service
Using Azure App Service to host WordPress sites can provide several benefits
The following is a highlight of the benefits of hosting WordPress using Azure App Service:
Azure App Service allows for easy scaling of resources to handle increased traffic or usage.
- High availability
Azure App Service provides built-in mechanisms for ensuring high availability of your WordPress site, such as automatic failover.
- Easy deployment
Azure App Service provides integration with popular source control providers, such as GitHub and Bitbucket, making it easy to deploy and manage updates to your WordPress site.
Azure App Service includes built-in security features, such as SSL support and Web Application Firewall (WAF) to protect your site from common web vulnerabilities and attacks.
- Monitoring and troubleshooting
Azure App Service provides monitoring and troubleshooting tools to help you keep track of your site’s performance and identify and resolve issues quickly.
Azure App Service allows you to pay only for the resources you use, making it a cost-effective option for hosting your WordPress site.
Install WordPress in Azure App Service
Using Azure App Service to host a WordPress website can be a great way to reduce the overall maintenance as compared to using a virtual machine for hosting. This will enable you to worry less about the hosting of WordPress, and give you more time to focus on your business, content, or other priorities of your website instead.
Let’s look at the steps to get WordPress installed using Azure App Service!
Step 1: Sign up for Microsoft Azure
You need to have an active Microsoft Azure Subscription in order to create cloud resources, such as setting up Azure App Service to host a WordPress web site.
You can sign up for and create a new Azure Subscription at https://azure.microsoft.com
Step 2: Choose WordPress on App Service in Azure Marketplace
Within the Azure Portal, click on the
+ Create a resource option on the homepage, then search the Azure Marketplace for
WordPress on App Service. There are WordPress Virtual Machine options in the marketplace as well, be sure to choose the
WordPress on App Service option from Microsoft to follow the steps in this article.
Click on the
WordPress on App Service option and then click
Create to get started.
Step 3: Create WordPress on App Service
On the Create WordPress on App Service screen, you need to choose the following required options to configure things before the resource can be provisioned in your Azure Subscription.
These are the options to fill in:
- Resource group: Create a new resource group to organize the resources for your WordPress website to be organized within your Azure Subscription. Click
Create newand type in a name that you want here.
- Region: Choose the Azure Region (basically the datacenter) to host your WordPress website within Microsoft Azure.
- Name: Set a name for the default DNS name that is a subdomain of the
.azurewebsites.netdomain that will host the WordPress site initially. Keep in mind you can set a custom domain on the website later.
- Hosting plan: Choose a pricing tier, or hosting plan, to use for hosting your WordPress website within Azure App Service.
- Admin email: Set the administrator email address for your WordPress setup.
- Admin username & password: Set the username and password to set up for the WordPress administrator.
Next, there is a tab for some Advanced options that can be configured. If you don’t know what these are, you can just leave the defaults.
Once the configuration for the WordPress on App Service resources has be set, click Review + create, then Create, to initiate the deployment of the resources for your new WordPress website hosted on Azure App Service.
Once the deployment has completed, navigate to the new Resource Group that was created with all the new Azure resources for hosting your WordPress website on Azure App Service.
Here you will see multiple Azure resources that were provisioned and configured to host your new WordPress website. These will include a MySQL database for the database backend of WordPress, and the App Service resource that hosts the WordPress web application, among a few other resources created to set everything up.
Clicking on and navigating to the App Service resource will allow you to see the default domain name and other configuration options for the WordPress website. This default domain name can be used to access and use the WordPress website without needing to configure any custom domains. Keep in mind that a custom domain can be configured later as needed.
Step 4: Login to the WordPress website
Navigating to the Default domain for the WordPress website in your web browser will enable you to access the website. Also, accessing the usual WordPress Admin URL at
/wp-admin on the website will enable you to login. Initially, you will be able to login as the WordPress Administrator using the Admin username and password that was set when deploying the WordPress on App Service website. From there you will be able to configure and manage your new WordPress website as usual.
Configure your Custom Domain on the WordPress website
While you could host your website with the default domain name (subdomain of
.azurewebsites.net) of the Azure App Service, it’s really best practice to purchase a domain name from a registrar to host your WordPress website with instead.
To set up your own custom domain to be used with your WordPress website, then navigate to the Custom domains pane of the App Service resource that was created for your WordPress website. From here you can find the information you need, and a link to instructions on how to configure the custom domain for your WordPress website to be hosted at.
When configuring a custom domain, keep in mind that you will also need to configure an SSL / TLS certificate for the custom domain to ensure your website is fully secured as well. You don’t want to skip this step when configuring a custom domain.
Happy blogging and/or website hosting!