Join Morten Rand-Hendriksen for an in-depth discussion in this video What is WebMatrix?, part of Installing and Running WordPress: WebMatrix.
Before we get started, it might be a good idea to clarify what WebMatrix is and how it works. Saying that we are running WordPress under WebMatrix is a bit imprecise. WebMatrix itself is a web development tool for most modern web languages. But when you install WebMatrix you're also installing the Microsoft Web Platform. That means you're installing a Microsoft web server on your computer as well as the Microsoft Database System called SQL Server and the web framework.
If you're familiar with open source systems like LAMP, and MAMP, and WAMP Stacks, this is similar except we're using the Microsoft framework instead. Now, open source users might get confused by this, because after all, WordPress runs on PHP and MySQL, and that's Linux-based frameworks, whereas the Microsoft Framework is .NET framework that uses different languages, and a different kind of database. Well, what's happened is Microsoft has embraced open source and made their frameworks accessible to open source.
So, even though you're running a Microsoft server with a Microsoft database, you can still run open source software like WordPress on it, and PHP, and everything works just fine. The benefit of running WordPress on WebMatrix on your computer is pretty obvious. Because WebMatrix is installed on your computer, you don't need Internet access to use your WordPress site. That also means that the site is only accessible from your computer, that is unless you've decided to make your computer a public web host, something I don't recommend you do.
By having WordPress running on WebMatrix on your computer, you can work with the files directly, and you don't have to keep uploading and downloading them to and from your web server. They are all there, ready for you to work with and experiment with. As an added benefit, WebMatrix is a complete web development and publishing application. So, once you have WordPress running, you can do all your work right in the application, and publish content to the web through it. That's something none of the other options can offer.
Before we jump in and install WebMatrix, one caveat. WebMatrix makes a lot of changes to your Windows configurations and installs a lot of software. This can, in some cases, make it hard to set up and configure other web server software solutions like BitNami or WAMP on your computer later. So, before you follow me down this particular rabbit hole, make sure WebMatrix is the solution you want to go with. Don't get me wrong. WebMatrix is great. I just want to make sure you're aware that this is a point from which a return can be a bit trickier than you expected.
- What is WebMatrix?
- Downloading WebMatrix
- Installing WordPress with the Web Platform Installer
- Running WordPress under WebMatrix
- Publishing WordPress from WebMatrix
- Uninstalling WebMatrix