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Free WebMatrix | Professional HTML Editor from Microsoft

Updated on October 20, 2011


Microsoft is known for great developments tools. Visual Studio’s suite of products always set the bar quite high for well architect-ed tools. So it is not surprising to see Microsoft offer a great tool to help developers and web site designer craft their web sites. Microsoft WebMatrix is a pure standard HTML tool meaning it is not meant for aspx applications or site. This tool is not for beginners as you need to know HTML, CSS and Javascript. It doesn’t include a WYSIWYG functionality. If you need to create an application with offline storage, this tools is create as it provides embedded database capabilities.

Quick Start



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.

WebMatrix Quick Start Page
WebMatrix Quick Start Page

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.

Most popular development packages available for Easy download
Most popular development packages available for Easy download
Create a site from a template
Create a site from a template

Configuration Panel



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.


Main configuration page
Main configuration page
Settings page
Settings page

Creating a Files



As with any other HTML editor, you can create any type of file that is required for your site: HTML, CSS, Javascript, XML. The Files panel provides a quick create buttons for each type of file, or you can add existing files, like images, audio and video files by right clicking on the root site name in the side panel or navigator and choose to add new files. Although no WYSIWYG is available, WebMatrix does offer code completion.

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.


File management
File management

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.

Manage your databases
Manage your databases
Creating and managing tables
Creating and managing tables
Using the SQL API in HTML pages
Using the SQL API in HTML pages

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.

Deployment page
Deployment page

In Summary

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.

Comments

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    • klanguedoc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin Languedoc 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Yes it is cool tool,...for the price ;). Thanks for you kind words.

    • DeepakTutlani profile image

      DeepakTutlani 

      6 years ago from Jaipur

      Amazing information....Great to read and use!!

    • klanguedoc profile imageAUTHOR

      Kevin Languedoc 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks back! :). I am going to start to build a java server this afternoon. Thanks

    • Drenguin profile image

      Drenguin 

      7 years ago from Somewhere

      Thanks so much, this is great info.

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