Church web site in Azure?


(Ben Fifield) #1

Anyone hosting a Wordpress site in Azure? It seems like a great use of the $5000/year non-profit sponsorship. I’m curious specifically about using the Web Service to host the site (for easy compute scaling) + Azure MySQL + Storage + CDN. Is it easy to grant access for deploying customizations eg. Ministry Platform integrations?


(Chris Adams) #2

I haven’t used it for web dev yet, despite the $5k/year sponsorship, we’re trying WPengine for a year first.

We do have (with the help of Ben Carlson) a Windows VM in Azure with site to site VPN between it and each of our campuses, and that has worked really well. The long-term goal is to have it be an off-site Domain Controller that runs RADIUS for WiFi authentication.

My only fear of hosting our site in Azure is if we get hit with a lot of traffic and exceed the $5k/year sponsorship. That, and I really don’t want to manage Wordpress security on our own servers regardless of where they are hosted.

I’m still a little curious about media hosting on Azure since we’ll have to pay for some hosting on AWS anyway, so we might as well go somewhere that gives us a $5k discount. :slight_smile:

Our Windows VM that currently does nothing but run Windows is around $80/mo.


(Justin Anzelc) #3

I’ve been curious about the cost. What size Azure VM is it?


(Optimus Prime) #4

We’re running an Ubuntu LAMP VM in Azure. There’s a guy in our church that maintains the site. The benefit to us is that we can also use it for our mailing lists. caryalliance.org

I don’t know enough about web stuff to say anything about Wordpress in Azure, but I can say that we are really happy with the website’s performance, and glad to save the money since migrating from Amazon S3 to Azure.


(Isaac Johnson) #5

I’ve done it for churches, nonprofits, and businesses before (in Azure and in AWS). I find it isn’t really worth it unless you need global instances and/or automated scaling of the VMs and database. If your church is humongous with site visitors from all over then, by all means, do it as an Azure web app because it’s easier to segregate the services and pull off there. Most churches don’t have the kind of reach or traffic to really make use of a full-fledged Azure web app, in fact, those 5 dollar instances on Digital Ocean or Vultr are really snappy for WordPress LEMP stacks with Redis caching and will balk at the amount of traffic that most churches generate. I would be inclined to use the 5,000 to lift and shift something else (ChMS perhaps?) and plop the website down in one of the other VM providers.


(Shawn Ross) #6

We use Azure for ChMS (Rock). 1 Azure VM for IIS, and AzureSQL for the DB. Works well. We don’t have our main site built in Rock yet, but it’s on the list for Communictions/Web team to do.


(Isaac Johnson) #7

Good choice, I probably should have mentioned earlier that stuff that needs a Microsoft stack (IIS/SQL Server) are great for lifting into Azure because you can just forget about CALs since licensing is included in the per hour cost for VM/SQL instances. Even at nonprofit rates, nobody likes CALs so it’s nice to be able to forgo them.