Free WebMatrix | Professional HTML Editor from Microsoft
WebMatrix offers many features to help a web designer or developer be productive. When you launch the software, you have the option of creating a site using a WebGallery. This includes many of the most popular site creation software available. You can create a Drupal site, a Wordpress site, a Joomla site. There are software packages to create forums, ecommerce site or subsites, Wikis and CRMs like SugarCRM.
When you choose one of these software packages, they are downloaded to your machine and loaded into WebMatrix.
You can also choose to create a site from a template. These includes templates to a photo gallery, an empty site where you can develop everything form scratch, a bakery site template in case you want to setup a recipe or cooking site and also a calendar template.
You may opt to to open an existing site or browse all your sites.
The Configuration Panel provides tools to manage your files, create and manage your offline database. Actually this is a great feature, you can create SQL Server Anywhere Community Edition database that can actually be embedded into your site. This is great for offline content management and storage.
You can also configure your ftp connections, run a report to see if there are any broke links. In the Settings section, you can enable PHP support, althougth you need to download PHP and set it up on your system to be able to develop PHP applications. In the Settings, you can also configure any ssl security if your site needs that support.
Creating a Files
In the files section, you have several files for example in the Account folder for login, password management, style sheets that you can add or modify to design your site to fit your needs.
Creating and modifying a Database
One of the endearing features of this tool is the ability to add databases to your site for offline storage. If you choose the Starter Site template, WebMatrix creates a database for you. You can either customize this one, or delete and create a new one.
To add a table to the database, right click on the database name and add a table from the context menu. In the table definition page, several menus options are available to create columns, set data types and so on.
You can also add data to your database by right clicking on the saved table name and choosing data or you can select the data option from the menu in the table definition page. WebMatrix provides an easy to use SQL API.
Deploying an application
Deploying a site requires some simple configuration information and in most cases can be accomplished with a click of a button in the main menu.
In summary, WebMatrix offers some powerful features but it is not for novices as no WYSIWYG functionality. That said, if you need an application with offline capabilities which Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Internet Explorer offer, this may be an effective option. You could also use another HTML editor like Amaya or Kompozer if you need WYSIWYG functionality. I hope this information will entice you to have a look at WebMatrix for your web development work.