Honestly speaking, deploying or publishing a website to the target server can be tricky and annoying especially for technical novices and new starters. If you are suffering from the deployment process, you may refer to the following tutorial on how to use a useful tool named as WebMatrix to quickly publish a website. Now, further down and make your website viewable to other netizens.
Background Info about WebMatrix
Officially released by Microsoft in 2011, WebMatrix is a cloud-connected and lightweight web development tool for Windows operating system. As for the inbuilt functionalities, this application can not only copy your folders and files, but can perform database schemes, configuration transformation and even package dependencies.
When it comes to the system requirements, WebMatrix is compatible with various versions of Windows OS, including Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008/2012 R2, Windows Vista Service Pack 2/3, Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2, Windows 7, Microsoft .NET Framework 4, etc. Above all, this all-inclusive application is available for free download through the following download URL. Beware that, the installation would require your computer reboots.
Download URL: http://www.microsoft.com/web/webmatrix/
How to Deploy a Website via WebMatrix?
At this section, we are going to illustrate how you can perform deployment tasks by the use of WebMatrix. Note that, the whole process can be divided into five main steps, excluding the detailed procedures to set up a website.
Step 1 – Sign in WebMatrix
Assuming that you’ve downloaded and installed WebMatrix on a computer successfully, you can right-click its icon to make it work. If this is your first time to use WebMatrix, then this application will prompt you to log in personal account. Here, make a click on this “Add Account” button and you will be allowed to sign in by importing an account from a hosting provider. Note that, it is possible to register for a free account from one of WebMatrix official partners like DiscountASP.NET.
Alternatively, you can choose to sign in by using your Microsoft account or an organizational account that is offered by work. Given that you decide to use Microsoft Account, a dialogue box will appear on the screen as below.
Step 2 – Create a New File
After that, you will be taken to this Start screen where there are three different buttons, including “My Sites”, “New” and “Open.” Now, move your mouse over this “New” option and choose the “Empty Site” option. In the next screen, the “Empty Site” will show a new window, from which you are required to create a new site from all kinds of templates. Just make a click on the middle “Create a new file” link and make a selection of your favorite template.
It is recommendable to select “HTML” file type within the above “Template” section. Beware that, the file name can also be customized as you like. Since you’ve checked the “OK” button, you can get a series of HTML configuration codes as follows. Obviously, you have the ability to create any site title, body and head of your requirement. If you are a freshman and have little knowledge of scripting language, you can seek out professional help from the hosting provider.
Important to Note: One spotlight of WebMatrix is that it makes you get connected to a world of free and popular open-source applications, such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, nopCommerce, DotNetNuke, etc. In layman’s terms, you will be able to build up a WordPress or other application powered site by navigating to “New” > “App Gallery.” As is showed in below, there are up to 80 web applications, which are classified into multiple categories, including “APP Frameworks”, “Blogs”, “CMS”, “eCommerce”, “Forums” and much more.
Step 3 – Enter Publish Settings
The next step is to go to the next “Home” tab and expand this “Publish” icon. From this “Publish Settings” window, you will be asked to add your remote site via two different ways – “Import publish profile” or “Get started with Windows Azure.” Once you choose to import your publish profile, you will have to get the .publishing settings well-prepared from the hosting provider’s control panel. It is also possible to enter connection settings manually by clicking this “Enter Settings” link.
Let’s say you want to fill in “Publish Settings” by hand, and there are many blank boxes out there as is displayed. Here, select “Web Deploy” from the drop-down “Protocol” menu firstly. And then, input the actual name of your server, and in the meantime, enter your website account username and password. Please note, this “Site Name” is where your application will be uploaded to, and it shouldn’t be included with the prefix of http://www. Ensure that the URL format for your “Destination URL” is correct at length.
After done with all settings, do not forget to hit the “Validate Connection” button to save changes. If the ready-to-upload application requests a connection string, you can also obtain it from your control panel. Pay attention that, it is required to upload both your database username and password in this connection string.
Important to Note: On the other hand, you are able to import the previously-saved publish settings locally provided that you have enabled the “Web Deploy” function from the control panel. Taking the example of the simple-yet-powerful WebSitePanel here, you only need to fill in the account username and password within this “Web Publishing” tab that is normally located at “Web” > “Web Sites” > “YourSiteURL.” If done correctly, there will be a downloadable link for this newly-created “Publishing Profile” as follows.
Step 4 – Take Publish Preview
And next, click the bottom “Save” button, and Matrix will automatically upload certain files to your filled-in server to test whether this server is fully compatible with your website. Note that, all those files will be removed after this test, and the application pool settings will be updated accordingly to fit your local site. Before publishing, you can take a “Publish Preview” to check whether everything works fine as expected. For now, you can hit this “Continue” button to start publishing a site, but it is recommendable to re-test it by clicking the icon labelled “Run.”
Step 5 – Publish Your Site
After you’ve checked and tested all changes, it’s time to publish your great works now. Just click this “Publish” button in the same “Home” tab, and WebMatrix will show a processing log at the bottom portion of this menu page. Once this publishing is accomplished, there will be a successfully-uploaded log file, and you can click this “Open log file” link to know more details.