My site (RuslanY.net) is powered by WordPress and is hosted on Windows Azure Web Sites. I’ve migrated it from a private hosting to Windows Azure last year and since then I am pretty happy about the level or reliability and performance that I got on Windows Azure. The one thing that I’ve been missing though was the regular backups that I used to have when I self-hosted my site. I backed up the site content and the database regularly and those backups have saved me several times. Often when I upgraded some WordPress plugins, the newer plugin version got some bug or change in behavior that I did not like. On those occasions I just restored the site from the most recent backup that I took. I really wanted to have this capability even when hosting my site in Windows Azure.
That’s what prompted me and my friends (Bilal Aslam, Robert Lucero and Michael Dorian Bach) to develop a backup service for Windows Azure web sites. The service is called Cloud Cellar and is now live in beta at
https://www.getcloudcellar.com/ Continue Reading »
ruslany on June 27th 2013 in Other, WAWS, WordPress
Windows Azure Web Sites has recently been upgraded to a new version. Among all the improvements and bug fixes in the new version there is one change that fixes a known issue with update of WordPress plugins. There have been numerous questions about this problem at the Azure Web Sites forum. Continue Reading »
ruslany on March 20th 2013 in PHP, WAWS, WinCache, WordPress
I have not been writing any blog posts for a while. That was because for the past two years I have been busy working in a team that develops the Windows Azure Web Sites – a scalable web hosting platform in Windows Azure.
Now that the Windows Azure Web Sites (WAWS) is publicly available I decided to try to move my site from private hosting to Windows Azure. My site uses WordPress (with MySql database), PHP 5.3, WinCache object and user cache, URL rewriting and many WordPress plugins. With all these different technologies (many of which are not developed by Microsoft), I thought it would be a good test of how WAWS is capable of running web sites that use open source technologies. Plus I expect that my site will be more reliable and available, comparing to my previous private hosting.
I was pleasantly surprised that the migration from private hosting to WAWS hosting was relatively quick and simple. The site has been running successfully in a Shared compute mode for a while now and none of the site’s functionality has been lost or altered. In this post I’ll explain the steps I took to move my site to WAWS hosting. Hopefully it will be useful to those who are planning to migrate their WordPress based site to WAWS. Continue Reading »
ruslany on October 22nd 2012 in PHP, URLRewrite, WAWS, WinCache, WordPress
The WinCache Object Cache plugin provides a persistent memory-based backend for the WordPress object cache. An object cache is a place for WordPress and WordPress extensions to store the results of complex operations. On subsequent loads, this data can be fetched from the cache, which will be must faster than dynamically generating it on every page load.
The WinCache Object Cache for WordPress is available at the following location:
Note: if you use the old version that you have downloaded from blog post about how to Make WordPress faster on IIS with WinCache 1.1, then it is highly recommended to upgrade to the version from wordpress.org.
The plugin is based on the code written by Mark Jaquith for his APC Object Cache WordPress plugin. Thanks to Andrew Nacin for pointing me to that plugin and suggesting to publish similar one for WinCache.
ruslany on May 8th 2011 in WinCache, WordPress
The WinCache extension 1.1 for PHP has been released last year. Since then several customers reported a bug in the extension that prevents WordPress and other PHP applications from performing automatic upgrades of their plugins. This was reported on WordPress forum as well as on WinCache forum.
The new build of WinCache with the fix for this problem is available now at the following location:
The latest dev build at that location is a release candidate build. Several customers have already verified that this build fixes the problem and is running stable in their environments. Please try it out and let me know if it works or does not work for you. The things to try and to look for are:
- Try to auto-upgrade any of the WordPress plugins;
- After installing this build check the Windows Application event log from time to time looking for errors caused by module “php_wincache.dll”.
If you see any errors while using this build please let me know by leaving a comment here or in WinCache forum or by opening a bug in PECL bug database.
ruslany on April 14th 2011 in PHP, WinCache, WordPress
Microsoft has recently launched a beta release of a new project called WebMatrix. This is a complete web development stack that can be used to start developing and deploying web sites. One thing that may be not so obvious from all the existing announcements is the fact that WebMatrix has full support for installing, running and publishing PHP applications.
Here are the examples of how WebMatrix can be used to create and publish a PHP web site (using WordPress as a showcase). Continue Reading »
ruslany on July 9th 2010 in PHP, WordPress
This post used to contain PHP code for object-cache.php file. This code has been removed because it is out of date and has bugs. Instead, the latest version of WinCache Object Cache plugin from wordpress.org should be used.
This post explains how to improve performance of WordPress on Windows by using the WinCache Extension 1.1 – Beta for PHP. You probably already know that just by enabling the WinCache extension and without any code changes it is possible to get a significant increase in WordPress performance – this is described in details in PHP on Windows: The WinCache 1.0 Benchmark. But this can be taken even further by using the user cache API’s available in WinCache 1.1 release. Continue Reading »
ruslany on March 5th 2010 in PHP, WordPress
Today I have published a new release of the WP Silverlight Media Player plugin for WordPress. In addition to a few important improvements and optimizations, it contains a new feature that allows to track the number of times the video files have been watched and how many of those have been watched until the end.
Once you install or upgrade to this version of the plugin you should see a new menu group in the WordPress Dashboard: Continue Reading »
ruslany on August 15th 2009 in WordPress
Today I have upgraded my blog to the recently released WordPress 2.8 and to PHP 5.3 RC3 (VC9 Non Thread Safe build). If you are running WordPress (or any other PHP application) on IIS 7, then there are several reasons why it may be beneficial for you to upgrade:
- PHP 5.3 has a number of Windows-specific bug fixes and improvements that address stability and functionality problems which existed before when running PHP on Windows. For detailed list of all the changes and fixes, refer to the news.txt file included within the PHP zip file.
- PHP 5.3 has been compiled with the latest version of C compiler (VC9), which makes it run faster on Windows than any previous versions of PHP (which were compiled with VC6).
- WordPress 2.8 has built-in support for IIS 7 URL Rewrite Module. Refer to IIS 7 URL Rewrite Module support in WordPress 2.8 for more details.
Overall, the upgrade went pretty smoothly and the only thing that was different from the usual process of setting up PHP on Windows was the date.timezone setting in php.ini file. Starting with PHP 5.3, this setting must be explicitly set, e.g.:
date.timezone = America/Los_Angeles
After this successful upgrade I guess it is time now “to reward myself by reading that book or an article that I’ve been putting off, or simply sitting back for a few moments and let the world pass me by”.
Have you tried upgrading to PHP 5.3 on IIS recently? What was your experience?
ruslany on June 11th 2009 in PHP, URLRewrite, WordPress
I am pleased to let everyone know that WordPress development community has added a built-in support for IIS 7 URL Rewrite Module in the upcoming WordPress 2.8 release. Starting with version 2.8 the Permalink Settings page will allow you to easily configure “Pretty Permalinks” URL structure when WordPress is running on IIS 7 with URL Rewrite Module v1.1 installed.
Here is how the process of updating Permalinks structure will look like in WordPress 2.8 on IIS 7: Continue Reading »
ruslany on May 15th 2009 in PHP, URLRewrite, WordPress