Category: Microsoft Azure Websites

How to use PHPMyadmin for your Azure Web App

Azure Web Apps provides an array of tools through the Site extension Gallery. One such tool is PHPMyadmin which allows you to access your database. Once you log on to the Azure Management portal, browse to your web app and view the application settings to link your MySQL database with your web app.

Add a connection string under Web App Settings as shown below.

phpmyadmin1

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Using Umbraco CMS with Multiple Environments on Azure App service

Why use multiple environments? Working directly on your production site is a recipe for disaster you may regress issues or create new issues/bug with your production site breaking critical or non-critical functionality. Once you have a broken production site, rolling out a fix could take from minutes to hours or days during which period your site is down.

More and more developers are using CMS based solutions for developing their websites. Umbraco CMS is one of the popular .NET CMS solutions used by many developers. In this blog post I will share with you how to setup multiple environments for a staging and production sites for Umbraco CMS on Azure Web Apps.

What you will learn

  1. Setup local development site
  2. Setup a staging environment
  3. Setup Courier2 deployment module
  4. Deploy from staging to production site

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10 Ways to Speed up your WordPress site on Azure websites

WordPress needs no introduction and is the fastest growing Open source CMS solution which allows you to quickly create dynamic website. The more plugins, content and customizations you add to your WordPress site, can start slowing your WordPress site. Slow page load times can impact your target user audience and discourage them from visiting your website again. A lot of search engines consider page load times as well when ranking results and can impact the visibility of your website on their search engine results. If you are running your WordPress website on Azure Websites and want to optimize it to obtain fast page load time, then consider implementing these quick and easy steps mentioned below to speed up your WordPress site.

1. WEBSITE AND DATABASE MUST BE IN THE SAME DATA CENTER REGION

When running your WordPress site on Azure Websites, make sure your database and website are in the same datacenter. Network latency can increase the page load time for your site if the website needs to go around the world to make a call to the database. Keeping the site and database components in the same datacenter will reduce the network latency and improve the page load time for your website.

2. DO NOT USE FREE MYSQL DATABASE

If you are developing the site, you can use the Free MYSQL database that come with WordPress install from the Websites Application Gallery. But this is not ideal for a production level site. The FREE database has:

  • Max 20MB storage for Database
  • Allows up to 4 connections ( max_connections)
  • Low performance

We recommend to use to a database that can handle your estimated user traffic from the various other options supported by ClearDB as seen here. To learn how to provision a database using Clear DB from Azure Store, click here. If ClearDB database option does not meet your needs, you can always setup an Azure VM running MySQL and use that server for your database. To learn how to install MySQL on an Azure VM, click here.

3.  OPTIMIZE YOUR DATABASE

WordPress auto-saves everything but the disadvantage with this is that your database gets filled with a lot of post revisions, trackbacks, pingback, comments and trash items quickly which needs to be cleaned up manually on a regular basis. With the database plan you are using with your Website there will be limitation to the storage size allocated to your database and you may hit this limit as well if the database is not cleaned up regularly.

WP-Optimize is a great plugin which allows you to routinely clean up your database making the database more efficient and filled only with what needs to be kept. It saves you a lot of time without doing manual queries to optimize and clean up your database. Continue reading “10 Ways to Speed up your WordPress site on Azure websites”

WordPress with Memcached on Windows Azure websites

Are you looking to improve the performance of you WordPress website running on Azure websites service? If yes, then what you need a cache to help speed up your website. If you website gets heavy traffic, it is optimum to set up some form of distributed memory caching mechanism.

Memcached is a general purpose distributed memory caching system. It is often used to speed up dynamic database-driven websites by caching data and objects in RAM to reduce the number of times an external data source (such as a database or API) must be read. Memcached system uses a client–server architecture. The Client which would be your website will use client-side libraries, in this case PECL memcached library to contact the servers which expose their service at port 11211. Each client knows all servers; the servers do not communicate with each other.

If a client wishes to set or read the value corresponding to a certain key, the client’s library first computes a hash of the key to determine the server to use. Then it contacts that server. The server will compute a second hash of the key to determine where to store or read the corresponding value.

Memcached Client must treat memcached server as a transitory cache; they cannot assume that data stored in Memcached is still there when they need it. MemcacheDB, Couchbase Server,
Varnish and other database servers provide persistent storage while maintaining Memcached protocol compatibility.

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