An apple orchard

Orchard CMS to Azure fast and frugal


Sometimes a small business client needs a simple content management system. Orchard CMS can handle complex workloads for enterprise clients. For smaller, simple situations we publish Orchard CMS to Azure in a fast, frugal way. Here is how to publish the most recent update of Orchard CMS to an Azure App Service using the Microsoft Web Platform Installer and Web Matrix.

Orchard CMS is an open-source content management system. As of this writing, it’s current version is 1.10.1.

The following publish procedures take me about 15-minutes from start to finish. These instructions assume that you already have an Azure account and kind of know your way around it. If you don’t, the instructions will probably take an hour.

From Microsoft Azure…

First, create a new App Service in Microsoft Azure.

  2. App Services > Add > …
  3. The rest is self-explanatory (thought see the aside below on resource groups and app service plans).

The new app service plan dialog asks for an app name, a resource group, and an app service plan.

Aside: Resource Groups and App Service plans

  • Resource Groups are logical groupings of resources.
  • App Service plans are server farms that host app services. The App Service plan determines the pricing.

I keep my simple client web sites in a single Resource Group called Default-Web-WestUS and in a single App Service plan called DefaultServerFarm.

Second, get the new App Service’s Publish Profile.

  1. App Services > {your app service name}
  2. Overview
  3. More > Get Publish Profile > Save
  4. This will put the publish profile into your download’s folder.

Overview, then More, then Get publish profile.

From your development machine

Third, create a new Orchard CMS site in Web Matrix.

  1. Download, install, and open the Web Platform Installer (WPI).
  2. Search for Orchard CMS in the WPI.
  3. Install it.

Search, add, and install the Orchard CMS.

Fourth, complete the Orchard CMS setup.

When the install finishes, it will open up the Orchard CMS in your default web browser. For my smaller client’s simple websites, I tend to choose SQL Server Compact, because it’s the least expensive option and the easiest to setup.

The Orchard setup asks for a site name, username/password, database, and orchard recipe.

Fifth, publish Orchard CMS to Azure

When the Orchard recipe finishes cooking, publish the Orchard CMS to Azure App Service.

  1. Open the new Orchard CMS site in Web Matrix.
  2. Click Publish > Import Publish Profile.
  3. Browse to the publish profile that we already downloaded in the previous steps.
  4. After Web Matrix has imported the settings, click thru the publish Wizard a few times.
  5. The publish takes about 5-minutes.

In Web Matrix, click Publish and then Import publish profile.

For questions or comments, send me a tweet @dicshaunary.