Microsoft announced release of WebMatrix Beta 2 and the Web Platform Installer is available for download at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=194638
WebMatrix is a free tool which offers developers a one-click solution to create, build website faster and make their job easier. It provides easy way to customize and build Web sites from popular open source apps like WordPress, Drupal and Joomla as well as a powerful tool to build sites from the ground up using ASP.NET, PHP, HTML and a number of other leading technologies. it also provides facility to publish websites with integrated deployment tools and gallery of hosting providers that meet their needs. this is a great tool for web developers who want to find a new and easier way of building web sites, or who want to learn how to build web sites quickly.
according to announcement made by Scott Guthrie on his blog, beta 2 have following new features and improvements along with the features of WebMatrix Beta preview.
Web Page Enhancements: WebMatrix supports building standalone ASP.NET Web Pages using the new Razor syntax. It includes the same syntax improvements (@helper, @* comment *@, etc.) that I mentioned above with ASP.NET MVC 3. It also now supports building pages using both VB and C#.
Improved Templates: WebMatrix includes template projects for common scenarios. The template projects now use HTML 5 and CSS 3 (and also work with down-level browsers). A new Wish list project template has been added with Beta 2.
NuPack Integration: WebMatrix provides NuPack integration and supports a web-based admin experience for installing libraries to an application you are working on.
Toolkit Support: We are delivering a toolkit (that can be installed via NuPack) that provides convenient helpers that can be used within ASP.NET applications. This includes helpers for Analytics, Facebook, GamerCard, Gravatar, LinkShare, Captcha, Twitter and Video scenarios.
WebMatrix also gives developers the ability to use Web helpers, which helps for complex coding like integrating Twitter, Facebook, using social links or video, and gives a single line-of-code solution. WebMatrix ships with dozens of helpers, and beta 2 gives developers the ability to create their own and share with a community of developers. Beyond coding, WebMatrix can also inspect the site in the same way that search engines do, in a process called Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and provide a report that contains advice and feedback in how to customize the site to make it rank as high as possible on places like Google, Bing or Yahoo!.
to know more about helper, you can read a nice post by James Senior New Facebook Helpers in WebMatrix Beta 2
WebMatrix start with the following screen, which allows you to to start development with Web gallery to use standard open source apps like WordPress, second it allow you to start with inbuilt templates like “Photo Gallery template, Wish list etc..or you can start with a blank website.
Links to some learning resources:
So download WebMatrix and start developing your website, free of cost.