Windows Azure Websites: -1

You should have by now – but if you haven’t – do try Windows Azure Websites. It is almost as usable as AppHarbor. Just register and start setting up your websites. For small blogs and wikis you can get away with internal storage and spend no money at all. No need for hosting ever again.

If you, as you should be, are writing your own web apps, you can connect your Bitbucket free private repo, or indeed your almost free GitHub private repo, or indeed a public repo directly to an azure website, so that you get CI whenever a commit is made in that repo. You can differentiate on branches so that the master branch triggers deploys to “production” and the staging branch, for instance, triggers deploys to the staging site. The possibilities are if not endless pretty huge.

The thing is, it works, although I’ve manage to upset the system by trying to do naughty things with weird Silverlight apps, but if auto deploy doesn’t work, manual deployment from Visual Studio still does. Even if auto deploy does work –  having CD from Git to the test site and VS -> Publish to your production site may not be such a bad idea, if you want to find a middle ground. Of course you are free to spend money if you like, but it is not necessary.

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