Microsoft Azure Web Sites Hosting Plan Modes

Normally in Microsoft Azure (nee Windows Azure), I run my blog in Shared compute mode, however I occasionally have to scale up to Standard if I hit the compute limits for Shared in a given time period. It’s a bit naughty perhaps but I’m not built of money so I need to look after the pounds where possible.

Today, I noticed that the site popped offline whilst I was working on something, the issue being what I was doing in the back-end of WordPress generated a big load which then tripped the Shared instance resources counter. I logged into the Microsoft Azure Management Portal, ready to increase the site level to Standard to notice that the Scale options for a Web Site have now changed, a new feature in Microsoft Azure Web Sites.

Microsoft Azure Web Sites Hosting Mode

Previously, we had three options for the Scale of a website in Azure, Free, Shared and Standard. Free was a great way to develop and test a site which didn’t need a custom domain name attached, didn’t need to be able to use HTTPS or where you generally weren’t worried about the performance. Shared stepped it up a level giving you support for Custom Domain Names however HTTPS support and some of the high end features such as Endpoint Monitoring where still out of reach and reserved for Standard.

After some poking around, I haven’t yet been able to find out exactly what the pitch for Basic vs. Standard is but looking through the settings in the Web Site settings panels in Microsoft Azure, I can see that SSL is available for Basic but Web Site Backups and Endpoint Monitoring are still reserved for Standard. I’ll see what else I can find out about this update and what exactly is in and out between Basic and Standard and update the post.

It’s also interesting to note that the Microsoft Azure Pricing Calculator hasn’t yet been updated to reflect the addition of the new tier with the calculator still only offering up Free, Shared or Standard as the tier options.

Microsoft Azure Pricing Calculator Web Site Tiers

There are other new features in Microsoft Azure Web Sites that I want to talk about but I’ll save that for another post later.


Richard works as a Cloud Consultant for Fordway Solution where his primary focus is to help customers understand, adopt and develop with Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and System Center. Richard Green is an IT Pro with over 15 years' of experience in all things Microsoft including System Center and Office 365. He has previously worked as a System Center consultant and as an internal solutions architect across many verticals. Outside of work, he loves motorbikes and is part of the orange army, marshaling for NGRRC, British Superbikes and MotoGP. He is also an Assistant Cub Scout Leader.