Moved my WordPress blog to Windows Azure

Since a few months I was contemplating on moving my WordPress-based blog to Windows Azure Websites. Although I was pretty satisfied with my current hoster at the time, I felt it was time to put more of my online presence in the hands of Microsoft. Call me stupid, but hey - I’m a fanboy you know 🙂

Why Azure?

I used to host my blog on Linux. That was the natural choice when going for WordPress. However, the web-based management tools and the overall experience never appealed to me. I was looking for simplicity and because I already had an Azure account the choice was clear. I won’t say that the design of the management interface was the key driver for me to switch but I have a low tolerance level for messy interfaces.

The providers that I used throughout the years WebHost4Life and HostGator were pretty decent, but above all cheap. And you know you can’t have “fast”, “reliable” and “cheap” in the same sentence.

After some research I discovered that some of my influencers already took the dive: Jeremy Thake and Chris Johnson changed their WordPress blogs to Azure too and also John Papa (for you developer types) showed many people the way forward.

As a platform, Azure already had his problems. But I’m confident enough that Microsoft put enough eggs in this basket to build my online presence upon it.

And, you have to admit the monitoring interface alone looks really slick - if you ignore the “Preview” label that is 🙂

Windows Azure performance metrics

Who do I rely on for hosting my stuff?

And now for the techies amongst you, these are the providers I trust my precious data to:

If you would wonder what other tools I use to manage my day-to-day life, I’ve got a blog in the making that provides you with all the gory details…

Blogging software is a solved problem

As a SharePoint consultant, I looked at using this for my blog when switching from some years ago but quickly turned away. If you’re serious about blogging there is only one platform: WordPress. It not only provides tremendous flexibility in configuration and customization, the real power is in the plugins. These are the ones I use:

My theme is the Genesis-based “eleven40” by StudioPress. It’s a nice clean theme with lots of carefully chosen whitespace. Did I mention it is a real “responsive” design?