Overview about Hosting on Azure

There are numerous hosting platforms that WordPress can use. In our case, for various reasons we decided to use the Azure cloud for hosting WordPress sites. We are familiar with virtual machines and the full LAMP stack, so we opted to build WordPress on a virtual machine and then take advantage of some of the managed services of Azure where appropriate. For installing WordPress on an Ubuntu VM, we followed the standard procedures, for example that given on the Digital Ocean write-up for installing WordPress on Ubuntu 22.

We also began to explore other options that Azure offers. For example, Azure offers managed MySQL hosting. This was an appealing option since in our case we wanted to host multiple websites. A managed database made database management simpler and offers a robust backup service. There are also cost savings for reserving the server for either a 1 year or 3 year period. However, the cost of the MySQL servers were quite a bit more than virtual machines of comparable specifications. So, we opted to keep the MySQL database running on the same server as WordPress. Over time, this may change.

Azure also offers server backups. We decided to use this service in order to add another level of assurance that our data and code was backed up. The Azure service backs up the entire server, however. So, if just one of the WordPress instances on the server begins to not work correctly, then it is not straightforward for the restore procedure to restore just one WordPress instance. So, this Azure VM backup service is only for worst case scenarios. Since we wanted to have redundancy in our backups, then we also created a manual backup procedure and in addition enabled a WordPress backup procedure from a third-party vendor.