Develop an ASP.NET Website using WebMatrix
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by Vanessa Smith
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Install WebMatrix

To get started using WebMatrix, it must first be installed from Microsoft’s website. WebMatrix is a 15Mb download and installs quickly. If you don’t have the .NET framework installed, the install will be a 50Mb download, which includes WebMatrix with the .NET framework. A full WebMatrix installation includes IIS Express, SQL Compact Edition, and ASP.NET extensions that are used to develop ASP.NET web pages.

Go to this site and follow the “Install Now” link. The installation is managed by Microsoft’s Web Platform installer, which automates the download and installation process. During installation, a list of required components is displayed. If your system lacks these components, the installation offers to install them. Click the “Accept” button to begin installing these components. Follow the prompts until the installation process is complete.

Develop a New Website Using a WebMatrix Template

Following installation of WebMatrix, you’re ready to begin creating your first website. Start the WebMatrix application. The Quick Start screen displays. This screen provides four ways in which a Website can be created: from an existing website, from a web gallery, from a template, or from a folder. To create a new website from a template, perform the following steps:

1.        Select “Site from Template” from the Quick Start menu. The “Site from Template” screen displays.

2.       Single click the “Empty Site” icon to highlight it. This icon creates a new Website.

3.       Enter a name for your website in the “Site Name” field at the bottom of the window.

4.       Click the “OK” button. WebMatrix creates the new website and opens the WebMatrix main screen.

At this point, your website is ready to be designed, but because the new website is completely stripped of content, it would be helpful to explain a few parts of the GUI.

The lower-left portion of the WebMatrix main menu lists four workspace views: Site, Files, Databases, and Reports. Each of these icons activates a specific view associated with certain tasks. By default, your first view is the Site view. The Site view lets you define site settings. The Files view is used to add, delete, or update website files. The Database view is used to add, delete, or configure database content to the website. The Reports view is used to generate and analyze information about the website, such as data that shows how the website may rank with search engines. Each of these website views is essential towards creating and managing your website.

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