Running WordPress with SQL Server on Azure

It has been more than a year this blog runs on Azure platform, since I moved from my Linux hosting (WordPress with PHP – MySQL) to Azure. It’s still WordPress (I love it) but sits on top of WAWS with MySQL. I have been experimenting to run WordPress on IIS with MySQL for quite a while, until I read that I can actually run WordPress with SQL Server instead of MySQL.

I’m a SQL Server guy, and decide it to give it a try. Running it on SQL Server means I can do query, tuning, and everything on database that I really familiar with. Running it with SQL Server is even easier now in Azure by using special installer developed by Brandoo.


Creating Azure SQL Database

So I started the deployment by creating an SQL database in Azure. It is and SQL Server engine, not MySQL. This is and empty database for WordPress storage in the next step.


You may choose Quick Create or Custom, whichever is convenience. Specify the new server If You never create any before.


Once the database is created, You need to take note of database name, SQL login, password and also server name. Those information will be used for WordPress configuration in the next step.


Install WordPress on SQL Server

I use WAWS to deploy my WordPress site. This is the fastest and easiest way to deploy a web site in Azure, because I do not need to bother with all underlying infrastructure. If You have not create one, You need to create a Web Site by selecting Compute > Web Site > From Gallery.


The next screen will show different types of web application available in Azure Web Site. Select Brandoo WordPress under Blog category. This distribution runs on SQL Server instead of default MySQL


The next dialog will ask for web site URL and database user name. Make sure to specify the same user name and password created earlier so You can connect to existing SQL database.


You will be connected to existing database, and WordPress installation should kick in. Once is completed, the website is listed in web site section list as follow:


You can browse to the web site URL, for example and the new WordPress blog will be loaded. As a proof that It really runs on SQL Server, open SSMS and connect to SQL database by using server name and credential created earlier.


Now I have created a new WordPress site on SQL Server. The next step is to import all of my blog contents from old site to new one. This is pretty straight forward by using WordPress importer/exporter plugin.

And runs on WP – SQL Server in Azure now :).

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