This article is intended to give you some background information about Microsoft WebMatrix and why I have chosen to use it for my Web projects. It includes instructions for where to find it and how to download and install it.

Just because it’s simple doesn’t mean to say that you can’t use it as the first step towards more complex web design and development.

I like it because it’s a really quick and easy way to get a synchronized local and remote web development setup up and running. Almost straight away, I can, at the touch of a button, download and install one of several ASP.NET open source web application (such as MojoPortal) and get it running locally with a MS SQL Database.

Once you have your website up and running locally, you can publish it to your hosted website. This should be very simple, but there are a couple of gotchas. This series of article should help you navigate safely around those.

The first issue is making sure your host provides you with the required functionality. If you’re using ASP.NET web hosting, you will have that.

WebMatrix supports two protocols for web hosting: WebDeploy and FTP. FTP does not support publishing of MS SQL databases, so you should use the WebDeploy protocol.

In order to publish your website, you will need to enter the publish settings for WebDeploy. You can enter the settings manually each time you publish, or create a publish settings XML file.

If you later want to switch back to developing or maintaining your website locally, it’s a straight-forward task to use WebMatrix to download your published site. You should note that uploading or downloading an MS SQL Database through WebMatrix replaces the entire file (it does not merge changes), so you should not work on your local and remote websites at the same time.

WebMatrix itself is installed through Microsoft Web Installer. Click on the ‘install WebMatrix’ button and follow the instructions via
this link.

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