How to Download a Remote Site with WebMatrix

Version 3

This tutorial walks you through how to download a remote site using WebMatrix if you prefer making your changes locally and then publishing them back to the remote server when you are ready.

See the Video.

Editing a Remote Site Locally

1. Open the remote site hosted on Azure or other hosting providers in WebMatrix

2. Click the Download button to download a local copy.


3. The files are downloaded from the remote site to your local computer. After the files have downloaded, WebMatrix will analyze the files to determine whether the site depends on technologies that are not yet installed on your computer (for example, ASP.NET, PHP or Node.js).

If you are running an application from the Web Application Gallery that WebMatrix recognizes (such as WordPress, DotNetNuke, Joomla or Umbraco), WebMatrix will automatically install the required dependencies so that the application runs locally.


4. Continue through the rest of the wizard to install dependencies, download the database if one exists, and configure the local copy of the site.

5. You can make changes to the site, and then click Publish to publish these changes back to the server as needed.



What if my website is not running an application from the Web Application Gallery?

WebMatrix will detect if PHP, Node.js or ASP.NET is needed and download any databases found in the publish profile.

How does WebMatrix update the database?

If WebMatrix detects that the site is running an application from the Web Application Gallery, the application will be downloaded and your site will be modified to point to the local database automatically.

If site is detected as a custom site, then there are two ways that the database connection string can be modified. When the database connection details are stored in a connection string in a Web.config file, the connection string is automatically updated to point to the local database copy. When the database connection details are located in a location other than the Web.config, your site will still be running against the remote database and you will need to modify it manually.

Why is the Download button disabled for my remote site?

The download feature requires that the remote server be running Web Deploy, a new publishing protocol that supports database and website synchronization. Please check if your hosting provider supports Web Deploy.

If you’re running into difficulties when publishing to remote sites, read our troubleshooting guide.

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