Read all of the other posts in our series on Creating Azure (hosted) WordPress Websites without knowing php or MySql!

Part 2: Azure Web App Service Restore

Azure App Service’s Backup & Restore feature is the easiest, quickest and most reliable way to backup & restore an Azure hosted WordPress website (or any Azure hosted website!) manually or on a configured schedule. The focus of this article is backing up WordPress websites hosted on the Azure platform (PaaS), though the information applies to any website hosted on Azure App Services.

While there are a number of options available for setting up WordPress website backups using plugins or 3rd party companies, Azure App Service provides convenient, accessible, automated and/or manual, Backup and Restore options on Azure S1 Standard App Service Plans and higher. The Restore option works seamlessly and effectively to restore a website when you’ve done something to lock it down, or break access – by overwriting the existing website or restoring to a totally new website. Backups are stored separately in an Azure Blob Storage container for easy access, not adding to the website’s file storage size.

The Azure App Service can backup the following website elements to an Azure Storage account and container:

  • The WordPress website’s configuration
  • The file content (posts, pages, media, etc) of the WordPress website
  • The Database connected to the WordPress website (we’re using the ClearDB MySQL database option in this article)

In Part 1 of this excerpt, we’ll manually do the first backup of a WordPress website before any plugins or extra functionality are configured, so it can always be restored back to this ‘start-point’ if necessary. (Or to be able to use this backup of the base configuration of the website, as a ‘template’ for other WordPress websites) It is a good practice to always run a manual Backup before making any additional changes to the WordPress website.

Part 2 will demonstrate using Restore and validating the restored WordPress website’s integrity.

The App Service Plan (which is the underlying Platform As A Service (PaaS), or the virtual machine resources the website is using), that we’re using for this article is  S1 Standard, which can be configured to run automatic backups.

We’ll need to have the following in place:

  • A General Purpose Storage Account and a Blob Container in the same Azure Subscription as the website, to hold the Backup files
  1. Create a Storage Account in ARM portal (Named in this example:

New > Storage Account > Create:

We chose Account Type – General purpose and Locally-redundant storage as the most cost-effective options. Also, using the same Resource Group as the website keeps all the resources for this project together:

2. Create a Blob storage container within the Storage Account, for holding the generated backup files:

Backup Configuration > Backup Storage > Select sitesbackup  Storage account > + Container > New Container > Create (wp-techsite-backup in this example):

Once the new Container is showing in the Containers blade > Select to assign this container to the Backup set:

With the Backup Storage container being set, the next step is to check the ‘Include in Backup’ option (to also include the website’s database in the backup)> Save:

We are only doing a manual backup now – the configuration of the automatic backups can be done at any time.

Run the first Backup and the list of available backups will display the first entry:

To view the actual 3 files included in the backup, navigate to the Storage Account Blob container used:

NOTE: At the time of this writing, it is still possible to build a WordPress website on a B1 Basic App Service Plan (which does not have the Backup and Restore feature included), and then temporarily scale up to a S1 Standard App Service Plan to run manual backups and to restore a backup. After running the backup or restore, scale the App Service Plan back down to the less expensive B1 Basic App Service Plan for running the website on. If you have more than 3 or 4 websites running on the same App Service Plan, then it IS more economical to use the S1 Standard App Service Plan, which can support up to 10 instances, plus offering more features.

NOTE: Each backup is a complete offline copy of your app, not an incremental update.

Part 2: Restore and validate website integrity 

Read all of the other posts in our series on Creating Azure (hosted) WordPress Websites without knowing php or MySql!