A Tale of WordPress on Azure Websites 2


Years ago when I migrated this blog from the old “unNetwork.blogspot” to AtumVirt.com, I decided to use WordPress.  And why not?  Azure had a slick “deploy” feature for the website from the gallery, which promised to do the web hosting, configuration, securing, and updating.  Couple that with WordPress having update features and it would be a minimal investment of effort. 

As forward a few years – the blog has hummed along, I’ve have some fun, geeked out a bit and become a bit more Citrix focused.  In addition to all that, I’ve accumulated several semi-regular readers (yaaa) and get quite a few one-off visitors reading various content.  In short, my little blog “got serious” and I do enjoy putting time into making content available when I have time to work on it. 

So, imagine my anger when I received an e-mail that my database was full.  It isn’t the first time it happened, and I knew it was going to be problematic when I got the e-mail.  The WordPress website from the Azure gallery deploys using a MySQL database, which is a “marketplace” feature provided by ClearDB.  ClearDB has a variety of pricing levels for the services – the lowest of which is “Mercury” (poison…?!) which is limited to 5 connections and a whopping 20MB.  That’s not normally a problem as I hadn’t posted that much…but on a few occasions I went from 10MB to 18MB when I got some renegade spam comments the spam plugin didn’t catch. 

When you reach 20MB, everything changes.  Writes were disabled, making WordPress virtually impossible to administer – and somehow I had gotten to 28MB.  I struggled for several hours with the limited write access in wordpress trying to remove the spam comments, but alas, I got down to 20.1 MB before ClearDB locked me out.  I opened a support case asking for a temporary reprieve, but they just suggested I upgrade.

I’m fortunate enough to pay for my Azure services using Credit.  That means I don’t pay for the service out of pocket.  Marketplace services, however, cannot be paid using credit.  I found this out after ClearDB told me to upgrade and that it would simply use my billing for the subscription (which …I had plenty of Credit for).  Azure support promptly refunded the money to me, so props to them on that.

After hours and hours of trying to get WordPress going, being charged some cash, I decided – forget it, I’m going to migrate to MS SQL which is supported in WordPress.  There was even a gallery “Project Nami” install.  Bam – a few clicks later and a new WordPress instance is setup.

I exported my content to a file and imported to the new blog, did my best to replicate settings.  Along the way, I even configured SSL (provided by LetsEncrypt) using a totally awesome site extension for Azure

I’ll do my best to get the site polished up again here in the near feature – tweets, downloads, contact form and such.  Please let me know if you find any broken content. 

Warm regards, Preston


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