So I had a friend who runs a photography business, and wished a website to show off his work – but it required to be on a budget.
Could Umbraco be put to work here? yes, is the answer – after a bit of wrestling. He already had a domain name, so we just purchased the ‘Classic’ hosting package from HostForLIFEASP.NET (http://hostforlife.eu/European-Umbraco-741-Hosting) at €3.00 per month. That buys you the option to run up a websites supporting ASP.NET 4.6.1 and the latest ASP.NET Core 1.0, and using MySQL as the backend database (each website can also have multiple domain “aliases” pointed at it, so if you run a multi-site Umbraco installation, you can support more or less as many domains as you like).
Basically, the install process was a bit of a nightmare (I chose 4.11.4, as later versions can have a problem with the case sensitivity of MySQL database table names when running on Linux), but I got there in the end. You have to make sure you use CHMOD (via FTP) to set “write” permissions on the necessary folders. And, I had to use the cloud control panel to change the app pool to “isolated” mode. I also noticed these issues:
- During the install process, you might need to manually recycle the app pool if you notice any odd behaviour between installation steps.
Once you start working with Umbraco, you might need to recycle the app pool after you make a change to a template/masterpage.
I also found that when making changes to content and publishing, it wasn’t showing up on the front end until … you’ve guessed it… the app pool was recycled manually.
However, I managed to fix this by changing this setting to “True” in config/umbracosettings.config:
<!-- Update in-memory cache if xml file is changed -->
When the site first starts after a period of inactivity, the app pool start-up can take a few seconds, but once up and running, everything seems fairly impressive… especially for £35 a year. Now all I need to do is finish the site!
Had my first problem today, which was efficiently solved by HostForLIFEASP.NET’s support team within the hour. Umbraco’s built-in Url rewriting wasn’t working (yes, I know I blogged about it being unstable, but I only needed one rule to rewrite /sitemap.xml to /sitemap/). To enable Umbraco’s Url rewriting, you need to go to the Windows Configuration Options pane for your site in the Cloud Dashboard, look at the .Net Version page, and tick the box next to “Wildcard map to ASP .NET”.
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