How do I Create & Publish a Website Using Visual Studio Express?

Written by lisa m. mcmahon
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How do I Create & Publish a Website Using Visual Studio Express?
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Microsoft's web platform includes Visual Web Developer (a.k.a. Visual Studio 2010 Express), SQL Server 2008 Express Edition, Silverlight Tools, Internet Information Server (IIS) and ASP.NET Extensions. You can choose to develop in either Visual Basic or Visual C# in the same tool. In fact, your website can contain pages from both languages--just not on the same web page. According to Microsoft, you can publish websites to any host using the built-in "Copy Web Site" tools in Visual Studio Express. (See Reference 1)

Skill level:


    Create Website

  1. 1

    Click "Start," "All Programs," "Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Express," and then "Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express."

  2. 2

    Select "New Web Site" on the Start page of Visual Web Developer. If missing, click "File" and then "New Web Site."

  3. 3

    Select "Visual Basic" or "Visual C#" in the left pane under "Installed Templates" and then click "ASP.NET Empty Web Site" in the centre pane. If you have IIS installed on your PC, select "HTTP" from the Location drop-down list. Enter a name, preferably without spaces or special characters after "http://localhost/." Optionally, select "File System" for location, and browse to the folder you wish to store your website files. Click "OK."

  4. 4

    Right-click the top level under Solution Explorer, and select "Add New Item." Select the type of item you wish to create, e.g., ASP.NET web form, HTML page or Style Sheet.

  5. 5

    Create your page by dragging items from the Toolbox or by typing directly on the page. Add programming as desired. Save the page using "Save" from the File menu. Press "Ctrl" + "F5" to test and preview your page in your web browser.

  6. 6

    Repeat the page creation process until your website is complete.

    Publish Website

  1. 1

    Click "Copy Web Site" from the "Website" menu in Visual Studio Express.

  2. 2

    Select the "Connect" button above the two-paned publishing window. Select "Remote Site" on the left of the dialogue box. Enter the URL of the website destination on the right. Click "Open."

  3. 3

    Enter your credentials when prompted. Click "OK."

  4. 4

    Select the files on the left you wish to publish to the remote website. Use "Shift" + click to select contiguous files and "Ctrl" + click to select non-contiguous files. Click the top arrow to indicate you wish to copy selected source files to the remote server.

  5. 5

    Click "Disconnect" when you are finished publishing files to the remote server.

Tips and warnings

  • Microsoft Visual Studio Express is a free tool that can get you quickly started building web applications.
  • Microsoft requires that you register Visual Studio 2010 Express within 30 days of installation. The product is free once you enter your registration key.
  • FrontPage Server Extensions may be required in order to publish with the HTTP method in "Copy Web Site." FTP is an alternative.

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