WebMatrix Beta 3: Now available!


We’re pleased to announce that WebMatrix Beta 3 is now available for immediate download from the Microsoft Web Site.

Microsoft WebMatrix Beta 3 makes it easy for anyone to create a new web site, customize it, and publish it on the internet.

We’ve built WebMatrix based on the three main streams of work that Web developers do

1. Creating web sites:image

WebMatrix makes it easy for you to create web sites. Start with an open source application such as WordPress, Joomla, DotNetNuke or Orchard, and WebMatrix handles the task of downloading, installing and configuring the apps for you. Or you can write the code yourself using a range of built-in templates that help get you started. Whatever you choose, WebMatrix provides everything your web site needs to run including the web server, database, and framework. By using the same stack on your development desktop that you’ll use on your web host, the process of going live with your website is painless and worry free.

2. Customizing web sites

WebMatrix lets you customize any part of your web site. The lightweight editor supports commonly used web files such as HTML, CSS, ASP.NET or PHP, imageand makes you more productive with features such as color coding and tag completion. WebMatrix also includes ‘Razor’, an easy-to-learn, yet powerful programming syntax, and Web Helpers, which give developers a single line-of-code solution for complex coding tasks such as inserting twitter feeds, social links or video. Dozens of these helpers are included, and developers have the ability to create their own and share their work with the community. WebMatrix also provides a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) report that contains feedback to make your site easier to find on Google, Bing or Yahoo!



3. Publishing web sites

WebMatrix makes it easy to publish your site. If you already have a site, you can imageupload your files using FTP, FTPs or WebDeploy. WebDeploy makes the task even easier by smartly deploying only the files that have changed, automatically configuring your server, and synching your development machine with your live site.  If you don’t have a hosting provider, WebMatrix can recommend one with the right technology for your site.


Learn more

We have a wealth of great resources on WebMatrix, which a whole lot more on the way. To get you started though you can try these:

Create a web application from scratch using WebMatrix, ASP.NET Web Pages and ‘Razor’

Free ebook on ASP.NET Web Pages and ‘Razor’

API Reference Guide for ASP.NET Web Pages with ‘Razor’

Losts of WebMatrix walkthroughs


Frequently asked questions:

Does WebMatrix compete with Visual Studio?

No, WebMatrix works seamlessly with Visual Studio. Developers using WebMatrix, can also install the free version of Visual Studio, Visual Web Developer Express and then open their projects in Visual Studio. The code you write with WebMatrix seamlessly work with Visual Studio, and we anticipate this to improve throughout the beta process.

When should a developer use Visual Studio, and when should a developer use WebMatrix?

WebMatrix is a great way for developers to get started building web applications, and makes it simple to take advantage of the world’s most popular Open Source applications like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke and Umbraco. If developers want to use these applications, WebMatrix is a great place to start. WebMatrix is also a great way for new developers to see how simple, yet how powerful Microsoft technologies are for programming on the Web. It’s also a great place to start if you are looking for Web hosting, with integrated deployment tools to your host.

Visual Studio works seamlessly WebMatrix. You can install the free, Visual Studio Web Developer Express from within Microsoft’s Web Platform Installer, allowing you to use this tool to work on your WebMatrix creations. As you grow into needing more professional features, such as debugging, team management, profiling and more, you’ll see that there are plenty of Visual Studio offerings that work for you.

Is Microsoft competing directly with PHP?

No. WebMatrix is an easy way for developers to get started building websites on Windows.   It supports both PHP and ASP.NET and makes it simple to take advantage of the world’s most popular Open Source applications like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, and Umbraco. Developers tell us they want the flexibility to learn new technologies and WebMatrix provides a wide variety of options about how they build their sites.

Does WebMatrix work directly with NuGet (formally NuPack)?

Yes it does. With WebMatrix you can consume helpers, templates or other code published in NuGet. We’re continuing to improve the overall experience of doing so.

There’s a lot of technologies in WebMatrix. Which should I use?

Customers feedback has shown us the need to add features to ASP.NET that simplifies the learning experience and improves the ability to make web pages.  WebMatrix has many of the features, including helper libraries for common tasks like social integration, database access, and more as well as a the Razor syntax for ASP.NET which leverages existing ASP.NET technology and languages (C#/VB) to reduce concept count for getting started.  WebMatrix also includes rich support for PHP and makes it simple to take advantage of the world’s most popular Open Source applications like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, and Umbraco.  Developers tell us they want choice and flexibility and the ability to learn new technologies and WebMatrix provides a wide variety of choices about how they build their sites as a result.

Does WebMatrix work with HTML 5?

Yes. WebMatrix allows developers to write in HTML, CSS or JavaScript code. As such, developers can write in HTML5 code using WebMatrix, and browsers that support it will be able to render the HTML5 content. In fact, the templates built into WebMatrix for new site creation use HTML5. Give them a spin!

Does WebMatrix work with Microsoft technologies in addition to open source technologies?

Yes. In addition to connecting developers with popular and free open source Web applications, including DotNetNuke, Umbraco, WordPress, Joomla!, and more, WebMatrix works with Microsoft components including .NET Framework, ASP.NET, Silverlight, SQL Server, SQL Azure, Windows Server, IIS, PHP and MySQL.

What is the difference between WebMatrix, Web Platform and Web Platform Installer (Web PI)?

Microsoft’s Web Platform is a collection of technologies from Microsoft designed to enable developers to build webpages, sites and applications. Web Platform Installer (Web PI) is an installation platform. WebMatrix, and can be installed using Web Pl.  Developers can use WebPI to install the complete Microsoft Web Platform including IIS, .NET Framework, SQL Server, and Visual Studio.

Does WebMatrix support cloud development? If so, how?

Absolutely. WebMatrix is an easy way to build websites for Windows. These Websites can be deployed on any cloud that supports FTP deployment like Windows Azure.  WebMatrix also supports upsizing databases to SQL Azure.

I have more questions – where do I go?

Visit the WebMatrix forums on ASP.NET or drop me a line: lmoroney[at]microsoft.com