How to Run WordPress on SQL Server: A Comprehensive Guide

It is possible to make use of SQL Server to run a WordPress site, albeit with a slightly complex and roundabout setup process in this guide

Updated on May 7, 2024
How to Run WordPress on SQL Server: A Comprehensive Guide

You might not realize it, but it is possible to use SQL Server to run a WordPress site, in this guide you’ll learn it, albeit with a slightly complex and roundabout setup process that requires patience and expertise to orchestrate correctly.

Of course, if you are well versed in the ins and outs of managing a server, handling everything from SQL server blocking to hardware faults and beyond, you may still be eager to take the plunge and attempt WordPress integration.

To that end, here are some tips on the options you have for achieving this, ranging from the straightforward to the more challenging.

Why Consider SQL Server for WordPress?

SQL Server, Microsoft’s flagship database management system, is known for its high performance, security features, and robust data management capabilities. For organizations that rely on Microsoft ecosystems or require specific features offered by SQL Server, running WordPress on this platform can streamline operations and leverage existing infrastructure effectively.

Step 1: Environment Setup to Run WordPress on SQL Server

Before diving into the technicalities, ensure you have a suitable environment for running WordPress with SQL Server. This setup requires:

  • SQL Server: Ensure SQL Server is installed and running. Any recent version should work, but using the latest stable release for better performance and security is always good.
  • PHP: WordPress is a PHP-based application, so you’ll need PHP installed on your server. PHP 7.4 or higher is recommended for optimal compatibility and performance.
  • WordPress Database Abstraction Layer: You’ll need a database abstraction layer to bridge the gap between WordPress and SQL host. One popular solution is Project Nami, a WordPress fork specifically adapted to work with SQL host.

Step 2: Install Project Nami

Project Nami is an invaluable tool for running WordPress on SQL Server, offering a seamless experience without altering the core WordPress code. Here’s how to get started:

  1. Download Project Nami: Visit the Project Nami website and download the latest release.
  2. Upload to Your Server: Use an FTP client to upload the Project Nami files to your web server.
  3. Create a SQL Server Database: Through SQL host Management Studio (SSMS) or a similar tool, create a new database for your WordPress site.
  4. Install Project Nami: Navigate to your website URL and follow the installation wizard, select SQL Server as the database, and provide the necessary connection details.

Step 3: Configuration and Optimization on How to Run WordPress on SQL Server Following This Guide

With Project Nami installed, it’s time to optimize your WordPress site for SQL Server:

  • Performance Tuning: SQL Server offers various tools and options for performance tuning. Use SQL Server Management Studio to analyze and optimize your database’s performance.
  • Security Enhancements: Ensure your WordPress site and SQL host database are secure. Implement security measures like firewalls, secure connections (SSL), and regular updates.
  • Backup and Recovery: Regular backups are crucial. Utilize SQL Server’s backup features to schedule automatic backups, ensuring you can recover your data if needed.

Step 4: Maintenance and Updates

Maintaining your WordPress site on SQL Server involves regular updates and monitoring:

  • Update WordPress and Plugins: Keep your WordPress core and any plugins updated to ensure compatibility and security. Project Nami updates parallel WordPress releases, so stay informed about new versions.
  • Monitor SQL Server Health: Use SQL Server’s built-in tools to monitor database health, performance, and security regularly.

Make use of comprehensive tools

Rather than having to start tackling the issue of getting WordPress and SQL Server to play ball with one another from scratch, it makes sense to take advantage of the hard work that others have already done to overcome it.

Project Nami is one such solution, built from the ground up to allow the SQL server to act as the app database on which WordPress operates.

Some conditions need to be followed and limitations to consider with this route; it is only compatible with SQL Server 2012 or later, so if, for some reason, your database is running on an older version, then it will not support it. However, the group to which this problem applies is vanishingly tiny.

Another issue to remember if you take this route is that not all WordPress plugins are supported since this is a forked version of the platform so compatibility is not guaranteed. Even so, the team behind this platform is constantly tweaking, improving, and updating it.

Crowdsourced support from users helps cover the cost. The good news is that the project is free to access and use. So, you can take it for a spin without committing any cash upfront.

Take a different approach

If you are willing to get your hands dirty and find a slightly fiddly workaround for getting WordPress to run on SQL Server, then this guide is worth considering in more detail.

It outlines the steps involved in effectively duping WordPress into accepting SQL Server. The database is in part by piggybacking on the implementation of MySQL that is on support.

The main downside of this approach is that it is used on SQL Server 2008. So your success at getting the desired results with newer iterations will vary.

WordPress on SQL Server: Use an alternative

Ultimately, you may decide that the hassle involved in getting WordPress to cooperate with SQL Server is too great. In this case, you will certainly be better off sticking with MySQL. The officially supported database management system that is in this particular CMS.

The advantage of sticking with MySQL is that it is open-source. So, it does not necessarily come with the exact costs as with Microsoft’s SQL Server. Indeed the Project above Nami is reliant on integration with Azure. This adds extra fees to the integration process, whereas the native support for MySQL in WordPress avoids these.

It is also possible to migrate from an SQL Server database to MySQL with comparative ease. Which could provide you with another way to embrace WordPress. Without having to find a workaround for the conflicts and incompatibilities. That exists between it and Microsoft’s platform.

It makes sense to let a professional assist you if you feel overwhelmed by any of this. With any kind of WordPress adoption or migration, this will iron out issues effectively.