Welcome to Shaun Luttin's public notebook. It contains rough, practical notes. The guiding idea is that, despite what marketing tells us, there are no experts at anything. Sharing our half-baked ideas helps everyone. We're all just muddling thru. Find out more about our work at bigfont.ca.

Upgrading the MuddlingThru.ca Blog to Orchard 1.9

Tags: orchard, orchard-cms, orchard-1.9


Speed up the site and make it more readable.

  • Use Orchard 1.9 instead of Orchard 1.8.
  • Use Sql Azure instead of Sql Compact.
  • Use a larger font, calmer background color, and simpler layout.
  • Keep the existing simplicity and print layout.


First, export content from the existing site, using the Import/Export module. We did this in segments.

E.g. First, export the Blog.

  • Blog
  • Blog Archive
  • Blog Post

On each export, we also included:

  • Metadata
  • Data
  • Only Published Versions
  • Site settings
  • Roles


  • Create a staging deployment slot in MS Azure.
  • Create a staging Git branch.
  • Connect the staging deployment slot to the staging Git branch.
  • Download the Orchard Source (31 MB) into local Git staging branch.
  • Create a custom deploy.cmd script for Orchard.proj that targets Precompiled.
  • Add, commit,  and push the staging Git branch.
    • Force add the media/Media source files (because our global .gitignore ignores Media directories.)
    • git add **/src/**/[Mm]edia/* -f
  • After Git Deploy has finished (about 30-minutes the first time), navigate to domain-staging.azurewebsites.net, which will show the Orchard Setup page.
  • Create a new SQL Azure database.
  • Link the database to the Web App.
  • Continue thru Orchard Setup
    • Use the new SQL Server database.
    • Choose the Blog recipe.
  • When setup completes, go to the Dashboard > Modules > Import/Export > Enable.
  • Once enabled, import each export.xml file that we created in the first step.
    • We did the imports with the Orchard command line interface.
    • It's also possible from the web user interface, though we needed to increase the executionTimeout in the web.config.
  • Our import took about 5-minutes.
  • Finally, copy across the Media directory from master to staging.


  • Replace the /lib directory with a Nuget packages.config file. Alternatively, can we just delete the /lib directory and have Nuget work anyway? I.e. read the *.sln file?
  • Speed up the deployment.
    • Remove modules we aren't using, so the Azure Web App doesn't need to build them.
    • Create multiple deploy.cmd scripts, for different scenarios (e.g. just deploy static files with no build.)