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WebMatrix is a lightweight, free, cloud-connected web development tool for Windows. It enables developers to create, publish, and maintain websites using popular open-source applications or built-in templates with great ease. It offers support for ASP.NET, HTML 5, Node.js and PHP and was developed to provide web developers with different capabilities, including coding, customization and publishing at single place.

Features of WebMatrix:

  • Supports open source web applications like ASP.net, PHP and more
  • Enhances developer productivity with tools for productive coding, including auto completion, code collapsing, syntax highlighting, and code validation.
  • Websites optimized for different platforms and devices, including mobiles.
  • Supports extensions to enhance its core functionality.
  • Supports website publishing on shared hosting, dedicated servers or Windows Azure.
  • Allows remote site download for quick local editing.
  • Integration with source control systems including Team Foundation Service (TFS) and Git.
  • Database manager for MS SQL Server, MySQL, SQL CE.
  • Performance reports and In-built search engine optimization feature.
  • Database and files installation tools.
  • Support for jQuery Mobile, jQuery, Sass and LESS.
  • Syntax highlighting and Source code completion for CSS3, HTML 5, TypeScript and JavaScript.
  • File transfer using Web deploy and FTP.

How to Create a Website in WebMatrix?

There are three ways to create a new site using WebMatrix.

  • Using an in- built template, which can be used as a starting point.
  • Create a site from an existing folder on your computer.
  • Using an OSS web application, which is a customizable application set rich in functionalities.

These are the steps to create a website from an OSS web application using WebMatrix:

1. Choose App Gallery on the WebMatrix Quick Start page.

2. Choose an application from the Site from Web Gallery wizard. All categories such as blogs, CMS, forums etc. can be browsed in the left panel or any specific application can be searched using the search bar on the top right corner. Sorting of applications is done depending upon the number of downloads.

Choose an Application from WebMatrix's Web Application Gallery

3. Installation process also varies according to the chosen application. In this tutorial, Joomla! is used as an example.

4. If there's an option of selecting more than one database, you can select it from the list or can use the default one. Then enter the admin password for the database (root for MySQL and sa for SQL Server).

Choose the Desired Database from Dropdown

5. Click on I Accept and accept the EULA for installing an application and any other dependencies. For instance, in case PHP or SQL Server was not deployed, then it would show in this list.

Click on I Accept EULA to start Application Installation

6. If any other application parameters need to be entered, then provide them and then click on Next.

Configure the Additional Application Parameters

7. Information about database connection is displayed on completion of installation. You may be asked to put this information again in some applications, so use Copy To Clipboard link to copy it.

Application Installation Process Completed Successfully

8. On clicking OK, the workspace is opened by WebMatrix for the site and it is also launched in the browser. Some additional steps may be required by few applications which can be completed by using the opened browser page.

Workspace Opened by WebMatrix for Site

ZNetLive is a certified Microsoft Gold Hosting partner and provides Webmatrix 3 free with every Windows hosting account.

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