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WordPress Blog on Azure – full setup guide

You probably think about using Microsoft Azure to host your WordPress blog. Azure gives you great scalability features that are important if you want to scale up your website. There are also many other services that could be useful for your blog. I created a new WordPress blog in Azure and want to describe in this blog post, which steps I performed and what it needed to set it up to get a full up and running Azure blog.

Before creating the new WebApp required for the wordpress blog, I suggest to create the resource group at first. If you do this manually, then you can decide the location of the resource group, if you just create the web app and create the resource group during that step, the default location is US.

+ Create a resource – “Resource group” – set the properties and done

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Let’s encrypt for Azure WebApps

This blog post is a quick walk-through and will show how to use let’s encrypt certificates with Azure WebApps. As prerequisites I assume that the following things are done:

  • App Service and WebApp is already up and running
  • App Service is at least B1 (pricing tier Basic 1)
  • A custom domain is already configured

There are 3 main steps that I will describe in this post:

  1. Add service account and application to Active Directory
  2. Add the let’s encrypt site extension
  3. Force https (optional)

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Connect Azure App Service to virtual network

Let’s assume you have to read data from your on-premise network e.g. from a SAP, ERP or other system. It could also be that you want to have access to your virtual machines in your virtual network.
How to connect to your on-premise environment? Simple answer is: via VPN or ExpressRoute! But that’s just a part of the job, you also have to connect the App service to your virtual network at first. If the web app is in the virtual network, you have access to all resources in the network – virtual machines for example. If the virtual network is connected to your on-premise network, you can also access those resources. This blog post is about how to connect the app service to your virtual network and how to design the network. The VPN connection is not part of this blog post.

Overview

The connection between App Service, virtual network and on-premise network needs the following resources:

  • App Service + Web App/API App/Logic App/Function/…
  • Virtual network
  • Virtual network gateway
  • Point-to-Site VPN from Web App etc. to the virtual network gateway
  • Local network gateway
  • Site-to-Site VPN from Azure virtual network gateway to the local network gateway (VPN device)

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Automatically set Azure app settings

The bigger your applications are, the more settings you’ll have in the web.config file. If you run your webapp in Azure and there are a lot of settings, then it’s annoying to set all the values manually. It would be much easier, if Azure would automatically show all app settings in the section in the azure portal and you just need to adapt them. Unfortunately there this doesn’t work out of the box and therefore the application settings will look like:
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