Microsoft has recently released a new web development tool known as Microsoft WebMatrix. The main focus of the new product is to completely simplify web development and allow more easily accessible hosting options for a plethora of users. It’s a more complete web authoring tool for beginner web designers, with added support for easy-to-use web site templates, and third party web apps such as WordPress.
Microsoft boasts a long list of specific features included with the WebMatrix software such as full support with third party open source applications, easy coding and “hint” options, search engine optimization and support, and a well developed and intuitive user interface.
Microsoft has aimed to reduce the number of web development tools required to design and structure a webpage. They claim it’s quite a hassle to switch between different programs while working, and it most definitely is. But as taken right from Microsoft’s WebMatrix site, “Say good bye to switching between multiple applications just to perform common web development tasks. With WebMatrix, you’re always just a click away from easily editing your files, managing your database and modifying your server settings.”
Microsoft WebMatrix is certainly aimed at beginner coders with simple backgrounds in .NET and PHP coding. With the release of this new platform Microsoft also plans to bring these “noob” web development coders into the shining light of Microsoft Visual Studio, which will subsequently require an upgrade.
If you don’t already have a hosting account or hosting provider, Microsoft WebMatrix also offers a simple hosting gallery where users can browse web hosting providers and their included options. This of course is accessible any time, but is usually prompted once the user has completed building their website.
Microsoft WebMatrix is designed with a fully integrated database referred to as “SQL Server Compact”. Microsoft claims users can use the database and integrated coding to design their website and simply copy the database file to an online server with their fully designed website and everything will function normally. They even state that when you start reeling in some high traffic, you can simply copy the database to an SQL Server as well, which would most definitely make web development easier.
One of the best features of Microsoft WebMatrix however is the ability to quickly design a fully structured WordPress or Drupal compatible site (locally) in just a few clicks. If you’ve ever installed the related third party applications you know how much of a hassle it can be just to set the environment up. Microsoft WebMatrix allows users to locally create a WordPress compatible site in minutes with one of many pre-designed templates (which can later be customized). The best part about it, is that users simply have to copy over the working website directory to have a full featured WordPress site online. This in turn eliminates quite a bit of hassle.
The Microsoft WebMatrix workspace includes several advanced features of its own after your site has been published. To view the long list of features and options for yourself, visit the official Microsoft WebMatrix site.
Microsoft WebMatrix is completely free, and can be downloaded via the official site. To install it, users simply need to download the Microsoft Web Platform Installer and then of course open that up once it has completed downloading.