This post is dedicated primarily to Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals.
As a MVP, you were granted with many benefits intended to enhance your knowledge of Microsoft products and technologies.
Specifically, you have been granted with Azure Credits and may be willing to take advantage of them to get your grips with Microsoft’ cloud computing platfgorm. But unless you are already familiar with Azure, it can be overwelming.
A good start (if not too simplistic, since Azure offer many other features…) is to host your Blog on Azure.
Moving away your blog from its free wordpress.com environnement to host it on Azure (wordpress.org) will help improving your blog’ features (custom domain, multi-language, customization…), and appeal for your readers, at a very limited cost : The procedure is not complex, but migrating a blog without jeopardizing your ranking / trafic involves several mandatory steps.
What are the benefits of hosting your blog in Azure ?
- To get a custom domain (not available in the free WordPress.com, unless you subscribe for their Personnel plan for 4€/month),
- To take advantage of thousands of plugins, not available in WordPress.com (unless you switch to their Business plan for 25€/month),
- To get a bilingual blog (with Polylang plugin for example),
- To be able to embed iFrames (my walkthrough below – written in OneNote – shows up with an iFrame for example),
- To be able to use Google Analytics,
- To take advantage of Azure features (backups, scale up…),
- To take full control on your blog, and customize it.
If you are up to the challenge, follow the 12 steps of my walkthrough below :
(Click on the ≡ hamburger menu on the upper-left corner to navigate into the notebook, and remove the left pane to exhibit the walkthrough full page ; or click on the link above my handmade’ OneNote logo to open the walkthrough in OneNote Online)
Please consider the following points : WordPress.org’ user interface being slightly different than WordPress.com‘ one, you may loose some features :
- My theme (« apostrophe 2 ») was not available anymore after the migration : I had to use « apostrophe » ; a solution may consist in downloading the theme’ files with a browser (outside the WordPress.org admin UI), and manually pasting them in the relevant folder, using WebMatrix (not yet tested) ;
- Probably related to the previous point, I was not able to customize the font of my blog’ title (no more “Font” menu in the apostrophe’ Theme/Customize menu ?!) ;
Also, be aware that you won’t be able to manage your blog from your PC while offline, or even with your smartphone, since most apps connect directly with wordpress.com.
You may not be able to advertise your blog posts directly on social media (via WordPress’ Publicize feature) because it would link to .azurewebsites.net instead of your custom domain : probably a wrong setting (‘home’ and ‘siteurl’ in the database ?) which I still have to figure out how to get solved…
These are obviously minor issues, but I wished you knew everything before taking your decision, and start your journey !
Was it worth ? Certainly !
I am happy to have discovered Azure, and getting familiar with its environnement. I am now eager to discover other features, like Virtual Machines…
Update 11/05/2018 : This post was featured in the Microsoft’ Friday Five (MVP Award Program Blog). Thanks to OneNote, I can keep the walkthrough updated seamlessly !