WebMatrix Start Building Better Websites


Since the launch of the Microsoft Web Platform Installer there have been almost 2 million downloads of the 5 most popular applications. This made me curious to find out a bit more about what applications modern web developers are using to build for the web. This afternoon I tried my hand at installing and testing out some of the most popular applications in the gallery.


Watch: WebMatrix: uber geek in designer clothes

“Visual Studio 2010 looks like a dashboard. It's big and powerful and overwhelming. I tried to get my wife, then later my 10 year old nephew to make a website and it was a non-starter. It worked later with WebMatrix. This isn't for professionals, even though it has components that professionals will use. Pros will like a free file-based SQL Server, and a non-service version of IIS that's more compatible than the Visual Web Developer, and pros might like using Razor as an alternative View Engine for their ASP.NET MVC sites… read more

Here are some interesting WebMatrix tutorials that I uncovered:

  1. Get Started Using HTML5
  2. Learning the Basics of using the Twitter API in ASP.NET Web Pages with Razor syntax
  3. Retrieving Data from an RSS Feed using ASP.Net Web Pages with Razor Syntax
  4. Consuming and Storing Data from a REST Service with ASP.NET Razor
  5. Connecting the iPhone with ASP.NET Web Pages
  6. Adding a sleek gallery to your website using the Lightbox jQuery plugin
  7. Using the Flickr API on your WebMatrix website
  8. WebMatrix and Drupal: Build a site in 15 minutes

You may have heard the news that Scott Hanselman is coming back to New Zealand next Feb to speak at Webstock. Scott has written a cool post on WebMatrix and node.js: The easiest way to get started with node on Windows.

image Umbraco CMS 346,364 downloads

Terabyte was the 1st Umbraco CMS certified partner in Australasia they have a huge portfolio of sites created using this popular CMS. I particularly like their redesign of the flava website. bka Interactive, NV Interactive and Datacom also build a number of their websites using Umbraco. Check out Ben from bka’s recent post on Umbraco. Also check out the beta of the redesigned ASP.NET website at http://beta.asp.net. The new site is built on Umbraco check the post on Scott Hanselman's blog for more detail.

Try Umbraco for yourself it only takes a few minutes to get it set up.

imageKentico CMS 133,593 downloads

There are currently 8 Kentico partners in New Zealand. Keith Patton from MARKER in Auckland blogs regularly on the technical aspects of the platform. Richard Wright from Federation Media in Auckland shares his view on the Faceoff Between Umbraco and Kentico at Tech.Ed NZ 2010.

Join WebsiteSpark with Kentico Software in New Zealand and get a Free License of Kentico CMS Professional Edition.

imageSilverStripe CMS 83,871 downloads

Wellington based SilverStripe CMS became the first ever open source web app to become Microsoft Certified.

My favourite third party observation on this to date has been written by Scott Dahlgren over at thevarguy.com:

“For companies like SilverStripe, being aligned with a company like Microsoft creates huge momentum and opens up new markets and new customers that were not available before. For the end user, there is freedom to chose the best solution that fits your need. On the surface is seems like a win-win-win. I just hope it stays that way.

If you haven’t already check out SilverStripe on the Web Platform Installerread more

imageWordPress 480,514 downloads

WordPress started in 2003 with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing and with fewer users than you can count on your fingers and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world.

In this Video, Laurence Moroney, Microsoft shows you how to create a web site using WebMatrix and WordPress in just under 20 minutes!

imagenopCommerce 226,473 downloads

So far in this post I have focused mainly on CMS solutions. One of the pleasant little surprises I came across this afternoon in my experimenting was nopCommerce. nopCommerce is a secure, scalable and extendable e-commerce platform. It has user friendly administration tools to manage your storefront, customers, wish lists, discounts, and coupons. It also has flexible tax support, multi-lingual support, and hundreds of other features. Support for the most popular gateways: Authorize.net, PayPal, Google Checkout, and more. nopCommerce also runs in Medium Trust. Give it a try.

imageComposite C1 CMS 12,986 downloads

The new kid on the block - Composite C1 is a fully featured - free open source - web content management system developed for and by web professionals. Front-end and XSLT developers are highly empowered and able to control website look and feel down to minute detail. ASP.NET, Razor and .NET 4 developers have the latest technologies, a pluggable architecture and full LINQ data access at their disposal. A very flexible architecture, easy Windows Azure migration, both XML and SQL Server support, a lot of free easy-to-install add-ons. Give it a try.

Drop me a note in the comments if you’ve used any of these recently to build websites in New Zealand.