As it turns out, we’ve been hosting OnMSFT.com on Azure for a little more than two years, running on an Ubuntu 18.04 VM. Since it has been past time to update Ubuntu (and MySQL and PHP etc), it seemed like a good time to give the site itself a bit of a refresh too.
Thanks to Heather at RavenousRavenDesign.com, and the folks at GeneratePress, here we are today. The site is now running on updated “hardware,” an 8 core Ubuntu VM on Azure with 64GB RAM, the latest Ubuntu/Nginx/MySQL/PHP to run WordPress, and a theme from GeneratePress (we’re using “Dispatch,” modified of course) that’s built for speed and customization.
We’re still using Disqus for comments, and yes we still have ads (although this is fun, it’s not fun enough to do it for free). One big back end change for us is the introduction of RankMath for SEO. We’re firm believers that the best SEO is to write good posts, but navigating all the nooks and crannies of getting ranked on Google and Bing so you can find us when you need us is a daunting task, made a bit easier by RankMath.
We like WordPress, and love Azure, but migrating WordPress from one machine to another is not for the faint of heart. Still, we’ve come out the other end mostly unscathed, with Dark Mode intact (and a decidedly darkish Light Mode), a faster, more reliable site, and some room to grow.
Thanks for reading OnMSFT.com, we’re looking forward to bringing you the best in Microsoft-centric news and information for a long time to come. As always, not everything made it in to the shipping version, we’ll have an update ready in the next week or so. We’d love to hear your constructive criticism, let us know what you’d like to see and we’ll consider it.