Microsoft has introduced this week a website-building tool for those new to web design -- or users looking to edit blog templates based around platforms such as WordPress. It's a coding tool, not a visual design tool like Adobe Dreamweaver, but it's aimed at users looking to get more techie with their web design.
Debuting today, WebMatrix is "a new tool to make it easier for people to build websites," said Microsoft's Brian Goldfarb, director of web platform and tools. Geared for students and new developers, WebMatrix is a text-based tool for writing code.
The free tool supports ASP.Net and PHP development. Users could write applications like a Facebook Like button or a Twitter search capability, or start an application from scratch.
The tool, however, lacks more sophisticated capabilities of Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE, such as debugging. "People get started [with] WebMatrix, and when and if they're ready, [they can] begin using Visual Studio to take advantage of more advanced features," Goldfarb said.
Developers can start with an open source application, such as WordPress, Joomla or DotNetNuke, and use WebMatrix to download and configure these applications. Also, tools are provided for building a website, including a web server, database and framework.
WebMatrix has been downloadable in preview form at the WebMatrix website.