All in the <head>

– Ponderings & code by Drew McLellan –

– Live from The Internets since 2003 –


On Windows Server 2003 Web Edition

10 June 2005

Today, Rachel’s company took delivery of a great little HP Proliant server for the purpose of ASP web development. You’d be amazed at how much demand there still is in the market for this sort of work, and as the projects get heftier, as do the servers. Suffice to say this HP is a lovely bit of kit and the mere fact that the driver CD includes both generic and some distro-specific linux drivers gives me every confidence that it’s a well thought-out product.

Anyway, the sad truth is that we needed to install Windows on it and because it’s for web application development, a fresh copy of SQL Server 2000. I hear there’s a new version of this around the corner, but as with any database server, adoption will not be hugely rapid, and 2000 is what the client runs.

Part of the company’s licensing package with Microsoft includes a version of Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. That’s perfect, I thought as we don’t need Active Directory or clustering or more than 2GB RAM for a small development server, and this Web Edition must be aimed at precisely the task we have in mind – serving web. So in went the CD, off went the installer and thirty minutes later it was done. Superb. And two hours later, I’d finished downloading SP1. A necessary evil, I suppose.

So the next job on the list was installing SQL Server 2000. In goes the CD, off goes the installer, and … nothing. The installer just quits. No biggy, thinks I, and off to Google I trot to find out what’s going on. And boy, let me tell you what’s going on.

You cannot install Microsoft’s database server on Microsoft’s web-optimized operating system. It’s deliberately crippled.

Dear Microsoft; WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING? I know that with a heavy site or web app you’d run SQL Server on a different box to IIS – just as you would with Apache and MySQL on Linux, but HELLO? Not every situation requires that, and have you noticed HOW POWERFUL COMPUTERS ARE THESE DAYS?

But that’s not really the point. The point is this. No matter what the recommended configuration is, the ultimate configuration is not for you to decide. That’s my job to screw up as I see fit. And deliberately disabling one product from running with another based on an arbitrary recommended use decision is just maddeningly dumb.

Microsoft. Here’s your sign.

- Drew McLellan


  1. § Peter Mount: I can just imagine the people in my local Linux User Group rolling their eyes about this. But it is a rude problem to have. I don’t like seeing people spending all that money and effort only to bump into a problem like that. So let us know how it works out. I really hope it works out OK in the end.
  2. § Drew: Well fortunately no money was wasted – just my time in reinstalling from scratch again. It’s just so frustrating!
  3. § Peter Mount: I’m glad no money was wasted, that’s no small thing. Have a nice cup of tea, or a pint of beer or whatever takes your fancy (no comments on that please).
  4. § David House: Damn it. Politics get in the way of everything, don’t they?
  5. § Rachel: Peter – your LUG can rest easy as the office it is going into is otherwise 100% Linux – Linux domain controller, file server and Linux on the desktop (all Debian). However, a lot of what we do is troubleshoot existing applications so when an ASP project lands on me I need a Windows Server to develop on, so its a kind of necessary evil.
  6. § Bryan Peters: The first time I install Windows 2003 Web Edition, I was stumped when I couldn’t install SQL. After reading the online MS documentation AFTER I installed it, I had the same reaction: WTF?

    But after reading some more about it, I realized what “Web Edition” means. It’s a web server, not a DB server, and in a properly configured network, the DB should never exposed to the outside world.

    Workaround: use 2003 Standard for everything. I think it costs the same, and lets you do everything on one box. And a tip for 2003 SP1 – be careful running the Security Configuration Wizard. Or don’t run it at all. If you’re troubleshooting legacy ASP, it’s better to leave the web settings alone. It’ll lock you down so tight you won’t be able to figure out why your ASP code isn’t working.
  7. § Danilo: Hey Drew,

    If you’re just doing development not production, or not large site production, MDSE will work on W2k3 Web Edition just fine. The hosting company I get a dedicated server from for a client has (had?) a default package that included MDSE preinstalled: ServerBeach
  8. § Peter Mount: Rachel – I’d love to completely change to Linux myself but I’m paranoid about cutting myself off from using MS SQLServer. Are there any online figures on database usage I can look at?

    I hope Microsoft is reading this blog. They should fix that version of Windows. It is rather a bad idea to cripple things like that.
  9. § jeremiah johnson: i can’t believe you fell for this, blogowner. perhaps i’ve been jaded by a decade of microsoft marketing, but i never fallen for the “this customized version is just for YOU!” versions of MS products, such as XP home, WS2k3 “anything but enterprise”, or any_product “Development edition”.

    They’re ALWAYS crippled, they don’t EVER work like the real thing (as the devel editions would imply), and they FORCE you to buy the full versions of other software you need (such as SQL Server 2000, and a seperate server to run it on) if you don’t want to shelve the CD of the crippled version as well as all the money you spent on it.
  10. § Jon: It is very ironic. You would almost believe that even Microsoft did not want you to run the web server or database on Windows. It is music in the ears of the Linux nerds.
  11. § Nekrecart: A few months ago I was also looking at the web edition. But MS cleary states it’s limitations.

    Maybe you looked over it but then again the dedicated Datacenter (SQL server ofcourse) should have ring a bell. ;-)

    imho the webserver and the DB should ALWAYS be kept seperated, doesn’t matter how small the site is.
  12. § Small Paul: Ah, Microsoft. Like a little piece of doggie poop lying on the street, except this time all your clients, and half your family, and several websites, and every boss you ever have, force you to go step in it every single day of your life.
  13. § Dan: Question for anybody that can answer. Is the Web Edition capable of running Apache with MySQL and using languages such as Perl and PHP? I’m sure you are all saying why don’t you just use linux, you dummy. I actually need MS Office running on this machine. I guess that raises another question, can the Web Edition run Office?
  14. § Peter: Dan: One server that can run apache/mysql/php/perl and fullfill your MS Office needs is Mac OS X server.
  15. § FuckYouMS: Fuck you Microsoft, stop inventing bullshit because we are tired to learn any garbage you invented! Fuck you Bill Gate, there is nothing else than shit in your Fucking M$ Company.

    People hate you, don’t you think?

    Your Windows is more bullshit than any kind of science or technology!
  16. § Pissed off: I am so pissed. I installed VS.NET and now find out about SQL. It’s development.

  17. § mike: I am not defending microsoft in any way, but it clearly states that no apps can be installed. It is scrictly a web server. I am curious to know if php can be installed, but I doubt it.
    It is purely a pricing thing. Web Ed. is $400 US and requires no CALs. Standard is ~$1000 and requires CALs to the tune of $40 per.
  18. § andrew: Yes, very frusterating I can not install SQL server on web edition. It’s also annoying Windows 2003 Standard can handle up to 4 GB of RAM, but SQL Server Standard will only allow up to 2 GB. Common, shouldn’t these numbers match up? If your forcing me to use Standard edition, I expect to be able to use the full 4 Gigs of RAM!
  19. § andrew: mike:

    Yes, I’m running ColdFusion MX, and BlueDragon on many different Windows 2003 Web edition servers. No problems with them and I assume it would be the same for PHP.
  20. § Jason Kemp: I was burned by Web Edition too, although not for installing SQL Server. All I wanted was a print server. Just a little print server.

    Guess what else Web Edition won’t do. That’s right: print server is disabled too.

    Don’t know what MS was thinking with this product for real work. I now use my copy on Virtual PC as a test OS for development.
  21. § Mansoltech: I stumbled onto this page looking for info on Web Edition. Did you know that MSDE will install on it? I am not sure if that would help you or not.
  22. § anthony: M S D E.
    It’s free and the 2005 Express version is MORE than adequate for most web sites. Everybody chill & stop beeyatching.
  23. § FuckYouMS: Microsoft is a team of garbage men. They do inventing new useless garbage in an environment of bargabe, which they call it “Technology”, but I can’t see any improvement of my life men! It only costs me more trouble just like garbage.

    Please everybody who is reading this message, just stand up and let’s do boicot counter Micro$oft!

    Let’s see in 2007 or 2008 what kind of garbage OS are they going to invent, windows server 2007?! longhorn II? sorthorn?! middlehorn?! bullshithorn?! longhorse?!

    I gotta only one word for you MS: bullshit!!!

    Fuck you Bill Gate!! Fuck you all teams of Microsoft!!
  24. § DevBrain: Do you honestly believe that your ranting like an uncontrolled banshee is honestly going to solve anything? At least offer up an educated comment or else shut up!
  25. § Peter Mount: I agree with DevBrain. I like to come here for interesting reading not stuff like that.
  26. § Johnny: After I spent a while of search, finally I got the answer in this page, which is also deadly for me, no printer neither sql server in web edition.

    The guy who spoke as uneducated boy even is not welcome, but I agree with his point of view, I’m going to try alternative way like linux…
  27. § Bruce Denham: Does anyone know whether the Macromedia’s Flex 1.5 app server runs on the Web Server version? I guess I’m wondering just what qualifies as an “application” when Microsoft says that: “Installations of non-Web serving applications are prohibited.” Since Flex 1.5 app server is indeed a Java app, I’m assuming that it qualifies as a web serving application. But one can never be sure…

    Anyone tested the installation of Java Application Servers (like JRun) and Java apps?
  28. § Rick: Like some others here I stumbled across this looking for some info on WE and I’m shocked at all the apparent IT ppl here who dont RTFM! The overview of WE clearly states its purpose and restrictions.

    Mike (July 17) nailed it on the head, its simply a web server for those who dont want/need to pay the outrageous prices for CAL’s (note that the W2K3 licensing model requires a CAL for all users who use any service residing on a W2K3 server). This is perfect for small/mid size orgs that need to throw up a web server for $400 (WE OS) and dont want to pay the $4000 for the external users unlimited CAL license thingy (needed if they install on W2K3 Standard/Ent/DataCenter and they want non-employees to connect).

    Yes, there is a 2GB limit, but its a WEB server!

    As someone else also stated, its probably not a good idea to put your SQL server on your exposed web server anyway (M$ security, ha!). Its not that difficult to run CGI scripts that query your back-end SQL server to display whatever result sets you need. Couple that with a quick and dirty sharepoint solution and you got what you need. If you need data on the server, install MSDE and just replicate the tables/data from your main SQL server to the MSDE database.

    On the downside, this statement from their web site needs more explaination: “Client access licenses (CALs) do not apply to Windows Server 2003, Web Edition. However, Windows Server 2003, Web Edition, can be used as the scale-out front end for applications such as Windows SharePoint™ Services and Windows Rights Management Services. In these scale-out configurations, Windows Server CALs and/or Exchange CALs may still be required.” May still? In what cases?

    That is all. Have a nice day!
  29. § Rich: FuckYouMS sounds like someone that was fired by MS
  30. § Charles: I have just installed CFMX7 on web edition and everything seemed fine…. until I went to the CF Administrator and it said I had not installed the verity search service.

    Well, it seems that the verity install has been separated out into an independant installer in CFMX7 and, unfortunately web edition sees this as an attempted application install so stops it, even though the search engine service will only respond to a request from a single instance of Cold Fusion.

    So it looks like I am going to have to install the search engine on another server or go for a W2K Standard license.

    I have logged the issue with Macromedia but they are being equally unhelpful as they are refusing to consider the verity install as an ‘installation fault’. Once the CF Administrator is available on the web server they say the installation is complete. Damned if I am going to pay for a support credit though.
  31. § Charles: Rick, are you sure about your view of the CAL requirements btw. For all previous versions of Windows accessing the web server as a visitor has not been considered as using a CAL (and thats the same when SQL Server is being used as a backend to IIS). The need for operating system CALs or SQL CALs is only when someone is accessing the server through shares or an application front end.

    Web edition has the same SMB limit of 10 connections as workstation which is why they don’t need to force you to buy CALS – the limit is enforced by the networking components.
  32. § khare: I’ve got a dedicated server set up with windows 2003 web edition and php installed working with IIS instead of Apache. It works fine.
  33. § Ben: khare,

    Same here, but if you want to connect to a MS SQL Server with PHP (using the mssql dll), you need the MS SQL Client Tools – which you can’t install on Windows 2003 Web Ed.!!
  34. § Migs: This suck! Win2003 Web Edition without SQL Server, Microsoft clearly stated on its limitation that SQL Server cannot be installed in Win2003 Web Edition. Why? Because they are afraid or they sucks in handling “SECURITY” issues.
  35. § OMG: Omg.. Okay.. first off this Windows Server 2003 Web Edition is just pure bullshit.

    I ordered a brand new dell server. My sale rep says, Hey Rick would you like to add WS 2003 Web Edition… I say.. Umm.. I havent read up on that yet.. what is it? He said it is a more souped up version of server 2003 for webservers…(I thinking well that is just perfect.. this is going to be a webserver.) said sure add it to the server… (Almost 400.00 bucks)

    So.. yeah I got the bullcrap wrapped up in my new server and it is pure shit….

    However, now I dont feel to bad for ripping the standard off the web.
    – Sigh.
  36. § Greg Byte: I believe that Billy yust want to sell us another licence of win-2003 for de Data base.
  37. § zoira: Ah, Microsoft. Like a little piece of doggie poop lying somewhere on the carpet along the dark hallway on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You don’t know where it is. You might step in it. You might not. You might miss it this pass, but you are sure to step in it on the way back. Sooner or later, you will step in it. ~Zoira
  38. § mikie: man you guys whine alot …

    if you had read the documentation on the web server edition, you would know what it is designed for …

    what a bunch of pissers and whiners ….
  39. § stefanp: hmmmm – whiners .. pissers ….
    thats not realy true.
    its very stupid to release a web-server-edition where you cant use database-app from ms. you have to use a other product or forget web-edition.
    its a high risk problem to run a db on same server ????????
    omg – thats not the truth !! come on – thats only a thing of money and nothing else !!

    and ms wonder why they cant beat linux on web-services ??? lol ….
  40. § josh: Well guess what, i also encounter that same problem.
    Better still, Microsoft encourage people to upgrade from MSDE to SQL Server 2005 Express which apparently won’t install on Web Edition.
  41. § rob: just hit the same exact thing you did. i bought the MS Action pack which came with 1 license for 2003 Standard and 1 for the 2003 Web Edition. I did a quick feature comparison and said hmm… I obviously want to use Standard to set up as a DC with AD and Exchange. I can use the Web edition for our development SQL box since SQL requires Server 2003. Spent this morning blowing away the OS Dell shipped this box with, installing Web Edition, downloading SP1 with all the hotfixes. Went to install SQL, the saw the setup splash screen, then it just vanished. Stumbled upon this website while looking for help. I guess we’ll be using MSDE. Oh well.
  42. § Chinmay: I suggest DO HOMEWORK before you buy anything from Microsoft or any other company… and ofcourse none of them(including MS) are doing charity out there… its business… business and marketing.. so Watch Out!!!
  43. § Wayne: I got bit on this once, but if you really look at it, it makes a lot of sense. Microsoft got beat up for having a simple web server cost so much, so they made a scaled down version that had some limitations and cost a lot less.

    Yes, it cost less. That’s the key. So you can’t run SQL Server on it, you can’t have more than 2GB RAM, and a couple other limitations.

    I think they did the right thing. They opened up more opportunities for web farms (dual front ends for IIS or sharepoint or CRM) and not charging so much for so many redundant servers.

    So buy /install the OS that fits the need. Microsoft fits a need whether people think it’s the best tool for the job or not.

    And people who keep bashing microsoft with profanity and without valid talking points forget to realize—most people who need a computer’s resources do not have the talent or patience or hubris to learn linux, gnome, iptables, lpd, or any other advanced OS/GUI product.

    And isn’t it funny that the most vocal of anti-Microsoft people probably installed Linux on a single-boot CD with graphical front-ends and GUI tools and couldn’t run a headless system if their life depended on it. Or they just know one Linux brand and can’t navigate through SunOS, Solaris, Hp-UX, IRIX, AIX, MotorolaOS nor do they understand the differences between SYS-V and BSD-based Unix systems. There’s a whole new slew of unix-newbies out there who are just seething with hate for something so they learn a little unix and find themselves “1337” and wear t-shirts denouncing the stupid. I think there are a couple of levels that could be had here :)
  44. § Andrew Whewell: If you can live with SQL Server 2005 Express’s restrictions, which aren’t as bad as MSDE’s (e.g. there is no performance throttle) then you can install it on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition SP1. I would have thought that SQL Server 2005 Express would be fine for most web server work.

    I should qualify this by saying that Microsoft say that you can install SQL Server 2005 Express on WS2K3WE – ( I’ve not actually tried it yet! :-)
  45. § FoeniX: I have a website using sql server 2000, i moved it to sql server 2005 espress edition on a 2003 server web edition. And it works fine!
  46. § Ziga:

    People, read up on the limitations & requirements, before you buy.

    It’s like going out to the car dealer, buying a ferrari, and then bitching that you can’t seat 7 people in it…

    Different platforms have different purposes (and pricetags).
    Web Edition has a price of roughly 400 USD and has no cal requirements for web access. True, you cannot run a full-bread sql on it, but you can run MSDE od SQL Express, which should be more then enough for 80% of web applications.

    If you go with 2003 Standard (cca. 800USD), you can use that for web access where you have 0 authenticated (login in any way or form) users. As soon as you have authenticated users, you either have to purchase cals, or get an external connector licence, which costs cca. 2500 USD.

    Again – read up on the requirements & limitations, and get things organized in your heads before you rush out and buy the next cheapest thing that sounds like something you want.
    (A print server on a Web server? The “Web” in “Web edition” probably means something, eh?)

  47. § Lenster:

    I have a Windows 2003 Web Edition installation that I help manage. And I installed MS SQL Server Express 2005 yesterday and it works just fine. It was my first time ever installing/using MS SQL Server Express 2005. The database management tool for creating tables and indexes is quite good. I was very impressed. I created my table definitions and indexes, then I hooked MS Access up to it to load the tables I wanted to use for my web application and that worked fine as well. By the end of the day, I had a simple a application processing data from the new much improved MS SQL Server Express. There’s my 2 cents.

  48. § Jason:

    I think people have got web edition wrong and I’m a linux fan. I have webediton setup with sql server 2005 Express (free). To give you an example I run an average of 200 queries a minute and peak of 4000 queries a minute. With express you are limited in the following way :

    – Will make uses of 1 CPU only – Max DB size is 4gig – Max memory for user queries is 1gig – No parellel queries

    btw there is NO limit on number of connections. This limit is reached by CPU power and the 1gig query memory limit set. I’ve not seen this limit me in any way with 15-800 users on the website. I’ve not run into any problems at all and you can even install the management control centre which is the same one used on Standard and enterprise. If what your doing requires more power then feel free to condemn me but dont argue with the facts that M$ and SQLEXPRESS 2005 makes a good combination.

    p.s It’s IIS wrapped with in OS and it is cripped to prevent you using it for anything other then Web usage. The hint is in it being called “Windows 2003 Web edition” :)

  49. § Warren:

    I agree with Jason. SQL Server Express is a great product, and is perfect combo to install on Windows Server 2003 Web Edition. Both were built for a specific market/user base, if you really need the extra grunt, be prepared to pay for it (i.e. enterprise editions). But you’ll be doing pretty well if you can max it out.

  50. § NoMoreMrMSGuy:

    Just stumbled in. We recently moved our site in-house so we could have more control over it. Got it setup and hosted on a Win2K machine running Apache2. All was fine for the first week and then – suddenly a huge drop in our sales was noticed!
    Much research later we found out that Microsoft purposely sets a 10 connection limit on Win2K and WinXP. So a huge portion of our customers – and the search engines – were getting bumped off our server!
    Round and round we went for days trying to find a workable solution. We were told to get Win2003 Server and it would solve all of our problems. But then we found out that we would have to pay $40+- for EVERY CONNECTION we wished to be available. So, to allow a possible 100 connections we were looking at $4K. WTF?!!
    Is MS crazy? Are the people that use Windows Server crazy? After all, many versions of Linux are FREE and can handle all the connections you can throw at it, limited only by your hardware/bandwidth.
    So, needless to say we switched and are now happy nix’ers. Sure it took me a couple of weeks to get the hange of it, after all I had never used any form of unix before. But it wasn’t that bad, and I sure like not being nickled and dimed (or in this case hundreded and thousanded) to death. We’re back up and profitable once again. Goodbye Microsoft. Goodbye Bill. And good riddance.

  51. § tenshin:

    Don’t like MS. Don’t buy it.

  52. § Gerald:

    Guys. I would like to ask if Windows Server 2003 Standard can be used as a web sever and use SQL Server 2005 for a data base and MS Visual Studio 2005 for application and web development. Are there any Cal requirements? What are my alternatives?

  53. § attila:

    Windows Server 2003 Web Edition was suggested to me to run my website, I never imaged that it would not support SQL Server, FOR CHRIST SAKE thought I purchased a server NOT HALF A SERVER. MS are bastards! ,its fucken useless crap. I cant run my website without a database!. MS you suck!!! Do not by this product!!!!!!!!!

  54. § tutti fruti:

    Has anybody installed apache on Windows 2003 server web edition?
    Please share expiriences.

  55. § Mike:

    Well what really gets me is not the pricing of MS software (hey Linux is free they say) it’s the complexity and ambiguity of the licensing.

    What is an application and what isn’t?
    Most web apps need a DB and why should I have to run two boxes?
    When is a CAL needed and when isn’t

    That’s the real beauty of Open Source. You make the rules.

  56. § Raj:

    Its get better with 2005 MS SQL and web edition. It does install however during installation it give a message that some features may not be aviable. Some ??? yea Some means ASP ,net database connectivity.

  57. § marshall:

    If anybody out there would actually buy something from microsoft without reading all the small print (and big print) then your plain stupid. I hire a server from fasthosts (web edition) and i installed MSDE and it all works fine, except no full text indexing. However i got round this by using the file system indexing service. Yes ms are bad because they are bullies and greedy mo fo, but they are here to stay, so get over it.

  58. § bing:

    too bad some of the times u just got to make a decision, I hopefully can get a lot of free OS, database out there but what’s the use when your business suite can’t run on it or the support tools you need microsoft excel. Kinda of stuck at this point of time, can’t do without the business suite.

  59. § rajamyd:

    hi anybody installing mysql,apache in win2003 web edition if so ,please share the experience

  60. § Pete:

    What a piece of crap! I’m setting up an inhouse dev server, and figured “web edition” would be the way to go. I need the client tools installed to connect to our db server, right? I dunno….what a piece of crap. Good job MS. I guess we’ll go with the Std Edition, and its even better reason to move to linux! Heh, this is already going to be running a linux virtual machine!

  61. § Martijn Wismeijer:

    This is horrible!

    I bought an action pack only to find out the stuff is crippeled, have to call some b*tch at M$ every time I reinstall my dev server and now I found that my legal version of SQL 2005 standard edition does not work with Win 2K3 web edition!

    I see this as yet ANOTHER reason to migrate to linux. I hate linux but I hate the games MS is playing even more so I migrated my file server to FreeNAS, VoIP server to Asterisk (windows was crap at Voip anyway), firewall no longer done by MS IAS but by m0n0wall…

    If Micrsoft continues to screw their clients like this they are rapidly alienating their customer base.

    I have been a M$ fan since 1983 (MS-DOS) but found that in 2007 if you want to get the job done…. Better use (any flavour of) linux!

    Why should I install Apache on a web server? If I am moving to apache I might as well run it on a linux platform altogether.

    Greedy wankers!

  62. § Greg:

    Your blog post is one of the first things I came across after I encountered this issue. While my first instinct was to just drop the OS and go with a Linux alternative, I found that we had too many asp applications that would need to be ported over to the new platform along with our databases. Out of all the websites we host, only 2 had MSSQL databases, the rest were in MySQL. So I spent a month porting those two sites to use MySQL. Luckily PHP and MySQL install just fine under Web Edition.

  63. § Marshall:

    I use web edition, no problem, as a development server and production server. Just use Sql Server Express. If you need greater capacity, just install another instance. Alternatively you can use IBM’s free offering – Up to 2 processors (doesn’t matter how many cores) and 4gb ram.

  64. § Jeff:

    Actually you can use MSDE on Web Edition, it says this in the Eula if it used for the front end web application for authentication or other needs. We have this documented from MS as we sell Web Edition to customers for a small web store application.

  65. § Tim:

    What a load of tripe is being spouted here. It’s the web edition, you don’t install a full-blown massively scalable database on an entry-level web server. That’s what the entry-level database servers (MSDE for 2000, and SqlExpress for 2005) are for. These work just fine for small servers and for in-house development and testing.

    For everyone here who thinks you should be able to install the full version of SQL Server on Windows 2003 Server Web Edition: I’m glad Microsoft is protecting you from yourselves. Someone has to.

  66. § Akhilesh:

    With 2GB RAM support the cover is blown that it is a good web server.
    Face it, it is a crippled server to be used only as a static Intranet site of a small company.


Work With Me logo

At we build custom content management systems, ecommerce solutions and develop web apps.

Follow me


  • Web Standards Project
  • Britpack
  • 24 ways

Perch - a really little cms

About Drew McLellan

Photo of Drew McLellan

Drew McLellan (@drewm) has been hacking on the web since around 1996 following an unfortunate incident with a margarine tub. Since then he’s spread himself between both front- and back-end development projects, and now is Director and Senior Web Developer at in Maidenhead, UK (GEO: 51.5217, -0.7177). Prior to this, Drew was a Web Developer for Yahoo!, and before that primarily worked as a technical lead within design and branding agencies for clients such as Nissan, Goodyear Dunlop, Siemens/Bosch, Cadburys, ICI Dulux and Somewhere along the way, Drew managed to get himself embroiled with Dreamweaver and was made an early Macromedia Evangelist for that product. This lead to book deals, public appearances, fame, glory, and his eventual downfall.

Picking himself up again, Drew is now a strong advocate for best practises, and stood as Group Lead for The Web Standards Project 2006-08. He has had articles published by A List Apart, Adobe, and O’Reilly Media’s, mostly due to mistaken identity. Drew is a proponent of the lower-case semantic web, and is currently expending energies in the direction of the microformats movement, with particular interests in making parsers an off-the-shelf commodity and developing simple UI conventions. He writes here at all in the head and, with a little help from his friends, at 24 ways.