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What is WebMatrix and Who’s it for?

This post is going to introduce another web development technology, called WebMatrix. You can check it in feature lists of some web hosting providers and especially ASP.NET hosting companies, such as Host4ASP.NET and HostGator.

As a successor of ASP.NET Web Matrix, WebMatrix was released in 2011 and now the latest version is WebMatrix 3, released in 2013. According to the official explanation, WebMatrix is an open source web development tool to make it easy to create, publish, and manage websites. In general, WebMatrix runs on the Windows operating system. Note that WebMatrix 3 only runs on Windows 7 and newer versions.

In order to help you fully understand WebMatrix, we will review features of WebMatrix in below. Then we will give recommendations whether you should utilize this tool. Take a look:

Features of WebMatrix

  1. WebMatrix is lightweight and for free

The download size of WebMatrix is around at 15 MB, including a tool, SQL Compact Edition, IIS Developer Express, ASP.NET Razor View Engines, etc. Moreover, it is totally for free to download WebMatrix.

  1. WebMatrix supports popular languages

WebMatrix supports ASP.NET, node.js, PHP, and HTML 5. In addition to that, it supports emerging standards, web standards, and JavaScript libraries.

  1. WebMatrix offers 3 ways to create sites

From the UI of WebMatrix, you will see 3 icons to your right, which are respectively Site From Web Gallery, Site From Templates, and Site From Folder. You can take advantage one you like to create websites.


  1. WebMatrix makes it easier to install open source applications

WebMatrix supports users to install a wide number of open source applications by entering Site From Web Gallery on its UI. The applications cover popular,, nopCommerce, WordPress, Joomla and so on. You can quickly find out an application by the list, including such items like Blog, CMS, eCommerce, Tools, etc.

Furthermore, with WebMatrix, you just need to select which application to install. WebMatrix will do the rest work for you. Once you try to delete some core files of OSS applications, WebMatrix will alert you as well.

webmatrix applications

  1. WebMatrix offers features for mobile-friendly websites

WebMatrix supports you to design websites for the desktop as well as smart phones. To opitimize websites for mobiles, WebMatrix gives in-built templates. Additionally, it provides emulators and simulators, via which you can check mobile views of the site. More than that, WebMatrix 2 added code completion for jQuery Mobile.

  1. WebMatrix cloud features

With WebMatrix, you can publish your local website to the cloud of Windows Azure. So, you will synchronize your local site with the site in the cloud. You can also download your site from your hosting provider and you can also make remote site editing using WebMatrix.

Who should use WebMatrix?

We have already known WebMatrix features from the above part. With it, you can create a site easier. However, WebMatrix is not designed for every user. There are many web development tools and WebMatrix is just one of them. It does have targeted users.

If you are planning an advanced websites or you want to go with Visual Studio 2010, then WebMatrix is not for you. However, if you are just someone as following, WebMatrix will give you a lot and help you reach your goals faster and easier.

  • Newbies to web development;
  • Someone who prefers pre-customized templates to writing codes from scratch to create a site;
  • Someone who is going to transfer Classic ASP or PHP sites to ASP.NET websites;
  • Someone who is to create small to medium websites or applications;
  • Someone who plans to extend or customize an existing website.

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