weblogs.asp.net Now Running On Orchard and Azure Web Sites

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I’m incredibly happy to announce that my blog – and all 750 other blogs running under weblogs.asp.net – are now powered by Orchard and Azure Web Sites! That’s 750 blogs, all hosted in 4 Azure Web Sites all running on only one large virtual machine. A bit of nostalgia I’ve been blogging on weblogs.asp.net since May 2003 – over eleven years. Back then it was called Performance Statistics Here are our monthly estimated statistics for weblogs.asp.net: Bandwidth out – 17 terrabytes Page Views – 1.3 million Unique Visitors – 750,000 Visits – 1.1 million Here’s the thing: Azure Web Sites is fast and efficient. I was already convinced of that, having run a lot of sites on it over the past few years. But Orchard is crazy efficient, too. I did not know that. I recently saw Sebastien give a presentation on Orchard, and it blew my mind. If you had heard or read that Orchard is slow, bloated or inefficient, you owe it to yourself to look again. I’ve been shocked by how fast and efficient the current release of Orchard is. The Orchard output cache module includes pretty moderate caching but delivers pretty extreme CPU performance benefits, as shown in the CPU charts from the production site below. Notice we’re hovering around 20% CPU most of the time: Hosting Cost Summary It’s incredibly cheap to host all 750 weblogs on Azure Web Sites, SQL Database, Storage and Cache. Here’s a per-month cost estimate (keep the above stats in mind when you read these): Item Usage to Date Cost to Date Estimated Cost Per Month Data Transfer OUT (GB) – Zone 1 1428.41 (GB) 170.81 196.43 Data Transfer IN (GB) – Zone 1 1.21 (GB) 0.00 0.00 Database Units (in 10s) – Business Edition 0.54 DB Units (10s) 53.88 61.96 Storage Transactions (in 10,000s) – Data Management 323.84 (10,000s) 0.16 0.18 Basic (128 MB) – Cache 2.52 (128 MB) 31.52 50.00 Data Transfer (GB) – Zone 1 0.08 (GB) 0.01 0.01 Standard IO – Block Blob (GB) – Geo Redundant 1.92 (GB) 0.09 0.10 Large Basic Web Sites Hours – Web Sites 609.00 (hours) 187.20 215.28 Grand Total   443.67 523.47 This works out to under about 70 cents per blog per month, which is pretty impressive. What was changed in Orchard to support multi-blog Nothing! I’d been sneakily creating widgets for years by injecting HTML and JavaScript, but now there’s real support. Orchard has some nice widgets, and you can drop them into 19 different zones, as shown on the right. As I was beta testing, I asked Sebastien if we could move the comments from the content to an after content module so I could insert custom HTML widgets above the comments, and he set that up.  So far, the widgets have been incredibly flexible. No complaints at all there. Spam Control As I mentioned earlier, the spam was a bit out of hand before. Orchard adds ReCAPTCHA support. No messing around now, I can barely pass it. Social Media Tag support Orchard automatically includes support for all the fancy og:tags that are so hot these days. Sebastien wrote a post with more information. Custom Script Support I have already admitted to jamming script tags in HTML areas on the previous site. The new site includes the ability to add custom scripts for analytics, syntax highlighting, etc. It’s supported, and I can include them in the header or footer as appropriate. Site Nav Integration Now new pages can be integrated into the site navigation. Cool. More Goodness! There’s a lot more! If you’re running a blog that’s hosted on weblogs.asp.net, see the updated support here. If you’d like to learn more about Orchard – or contribute, as it’s an open source project – check out the Orchard Project. I’ll be posting more about some things I’ve learned in customizing my blog a bit, including the code formatting.

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Ana

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