Challenges with Deploying Orchard CMS on Shared Hosting

imageThe web is still dominated by the old pal PHP. The widely adopted content management and blog engines such as wordpress, drupal, joomla and so many other matured platforms today powered by PHP. But it doesn’t mean microsoft lovers left alone. I wanted to add an CMS into my website and i wanted to go with one of the .NET based CMS due to personal interests. Orchard is one the best open source CMS available today developed with ASP.NET MVC framework.

I have evaluated some other options for this including DNN, Umbraco and few others but i fell in love with Orchard CMS quickly. Orchard CMS is simply superb and built with the robust MVC framework and backed by a decent community and resources.

After a lot of research i have picked Orchard CMS, but before implementing my idea, i have ended up in a bottleneck. The recent versions of Orchard CMS requires ‘Full Trust’ mode to run. Full trust mode is something the hosting providers (even the big boys like host gator or godaddy) won’t simply allow on the shared hosting environments. On shared hosting only applications compiled for Medium Trust are allowed.

Orchard team provides two reasons for this:

  • Full Trust applications perform better
  • Microsoft officially recommends Full Trust mode for all .NET applications


The web is full of small blogs and websites like mine. We can only afford shared hosting. It doesn’t mean no shared hosting providers allows ‘Full Trust’ mode. But it was hard to find one that is affordable yet without compromising on quality and performance. For example, Discount ASP.NET allows full trust application but they charge $10/month for windows shared hosting. Host gator or godaddy are way cheaper than this. We can also have Dedicated Servers and configure whatever security trust levels we want. But Dedicated Server Hosting is way expensive than Shared Hosting (easily could cost 5-10 times more than shared hosting).

As a result, i am in no position to make a huge investment for bringing in Orchard CMS. So I have decided to to consider other alternatives such as Blog Engine.NET (even though it is not based on MVC framework). In the long term, either shared hosting providers should liberalize the trust norms as per Microsoft recommendation or Orchard CMS should consider an option to run in Medium Trust level. Otherwise, Orchard CMS is always going to be difficult to implement for small bloggers like me.


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