Windows Azure Web Sites are a new feature that let you host web sites on Windows Azure very quickly and easily.  You can have a new site up-and-running in less than five minutes!  The Develop and Manage centers on WindowsAzure.com provide a variety of resources to help you get started using Web Sites. 

Develop and Deploy Your Site

One of the cool things about Web Sites is that you can use a huge variety of tools to develop and deploy your app.  Across the .NET, Node.js, and PHP dev centers, we’ve included tutorials that show a full range of options.

Create a Site Through the Gallery

The easiest development and deployment tools are none at all.  Through the gallery in Windows Azure Management Portal, you can create and deploy a wide range of popular applications in less than five minutes, without any special software or tools beyond your web browser.  Check out the tutorials for Creating a WordPress site and Creating an Orchard CMS site for examples.

Deploy with Git, FTP, or TFS

You can easily deploy sites to Windows Azure using a variety of technologies.  The following common tasks and tutorials will help you get started quickly.

Develop and deploy with Visual Studio, WebMatrix, or Command-line Development Tools

If you’re developing in a .NET language, you can use Visual Studio to develop and deploy your web site. You can get Visual Studio development tools as part of the Windows Azure SDK all-in-one install.  (Click the big blue button on the dev center home page to kick off the installer.)

WebMatrix is a free, lightweight Windows-based IDE that you can use to develop web sites.  WebMatrix provides tight integration with the Windows Azure management Portal (you can even launch WebMatrix to edit a web site from within the portal), plus it provides useful development features including IntelliSense.  Check out the tutorials for .NET, Node.js, and PHP to learn more. 

The latest releases of the Windows Azure SDKs include command-line development tools that can be used on any platform—Windows, Mac, or Linux.  Start with the Node.js and PHP how-to guides for details about how to get and use the tools to create, deploy, and manage your web sites.

Manage your Site

Once your site is up-and-running, the Windows Azure Management Portal provides tools you can use to manage  your site.  The Web Sites Manage Center provides videos and articles that will help you make the most of the available management tools.  The manage center includes articles about how to configure, manage, monitor, and scale your site.

- By Molly Bostic, Sr. Managing Editor, Windows Azure