I'd like to check out WebMatrix for publishing our site to IIS automatically (right now, I have to zip it up, copy it out, Remote Desktop into the server, unzip it, etc).

However, every example I can find on how to setup WebMatrix involves Azure, or using a .publishsettings file that you'd get from your hosting provider. I'm curious if I can publish to a normal, every day IIS server running on Windows Server 2008. So far, all I've done to the IIS server is install Web Deploy, which I believe is the protocol that WebMatrix uses to publish.

When I enter the Remote Site Settings screen, I select Enter settings. I select Web Deploy as the protocol, type in my NT domain credentials (I'm an Admin on that server). I put in the site URL for the Site Name and Destination URL. When I click Validate Connection, I get:

enter image description here

Am I doing something wrong, or is this just not possible to do?

  • Mike, I don't really think SF is going to help you get the help you're looking for. Not to many admins have to deal with WebMatrix setups let alone integrating them with IIS. Oct 8 '12 at 20:19
  • @BrentPabst - I'll post on IIS.net as well then. I'm also not really married to WebMatrix, I just want something easier than zipping up files and copying manually. WebMatrix is just the first thing I stumbled across. Oct 8 '12 at 20:28
  • So what is it you are trying to accomplish then? Oct 8 '12 at 20:34
  • @BrentPabst - I want to be able to deploy changes to a web server with a single command. I also don't want to delete and re-create every file, since that takes forever. WebMatrix appeared to be a good solution, but there doesn't seem to be much support on it.. Oct 8 '12 at 22:50

You will have to enable it on the server. If you are on IIS 7 you can look here.

There are simpler ways to achieve what you want, for example you could enable (S)FTP directly in the folder from where you are hosting or so. If you already have the luxury of being allowed RDP access to the machine, you probably have enough rights to set it up in whatever way you want. Be careful though not to compromise security.

  • Yes, I'm looking for a solution much more efficient than FTP. It's great for deploying a site, but not really good for packaging and synchronizing changes. Though I guess I could script the whole thing and make it work, but WebMatrix and Web Deploy seem to do all of that for you.. I'll check out the link you provided, perhaps I missed a step.. Oct 9 '12 at 3:02
  • What exactly are you deploying? A website or Web application? Is it PHP or asp.net or something else? Are there databases involved? If you are downloading a standard open source CMS or so, tweaking it and uploading it then Webmatrix may be the way to go using the web platform installer. Easiest is to find a provider that supports it out of the box, then you will not have to bother about the server side and security aspects. Oct 9 '12 at 18:17
  • This is a web-based application written in .NET, and yes there's a database back end. I'm running this on virtual servers running IIS, not any sort of shared hosting provider. Oct 9 '12 at 18:23
  • If you've written it in .Net, then I don't understand why you wouldn't want Visual Studio express as Brent Pabst suggested. Any way, WebMatrix will go a long way and has a DB and code editor all nicely integrated into a simplistic GUI. With all of those products, WebDeploy is a great feature that will work with them all. Your virtual servers must be configured to support it though. Oct 9 '12 at 18:41
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    That's a pretty good idea! I could probably use branching to control exactly when things get propagated to production and what not.. Oct 10 '12 at 1:46

OK, it seems your question is more about the best ways to deploy web projects to a server. WebMatrix is one path, but I would recommend you at least pick up a copy of VS2010 Express or even better 2012 Express or higher. The updated web deployment and publish settings are more powerful than that of WebMatrix and allow for many additional options. There may still be some IIS setup to contend with but this is the proper track for a professional and automated track.

That being said, it is now possible to automate the entire release build and deployment to both Azure and IIS boxes as part of the build process. I'd check it out, do some research and come back with any questions. You have much more to gain going down this path in the future than sticking with WebMatrix.

  • I use VS2010 at work, but I don't find it very stable compared to VS2008 so I'm hesitant to upgrade. I'm hoping VS2012 is back up to par, because I'd love to use the .NET 4.0 features with my site! Oct 9 '12 at 3:00
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    Not sure what you don't find stable about it. Its worked fine for me for a long time. Either way 2012 is also stable but the UI takes some adjusting to. Oct 9 '12 at 12:27
  • VS2010 is a complete rewrite as a WPF app, and they took a lot of shortcuts to get that thing out the door on time. For me, I just find it too slow to really use. I've had to resort to using Notepad2 to edit .ASPX files, since the built in editor will take 1-2 seconds to respond to a single key press, and often times VS just vanishes while I'm editing. I have a friend who was a PM on that team during that release and she told me, "Yea I wouldn't use that version either" :) Oct 9 '12 at 18:47
  • Interesting, I've never had a problem with it or any of the SPs. I would love to replace VS2008 at work with 2010 or hell even 2012 at this point. Oct 9 '12 at 18:48
  • Yea I just decided to skip that version. Which is a bummer, because I really love the 4.0 framework and runtime. Oct 9 '12 at 19:04

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