Later Today: ASP.NET Tutorial 2: Introduction to C#

ASP.NET Tutorial 1: Intro to Visual Studio/Visual Web Developer

This is what the Visual Web Developer 2008 Express Start Page looks like. It’s not nearly as spiffy as Visual Studio 2010′s, but it works well enough.

Visual Web Developer 2008 - Start Page

Visual Web Developer 2008 - Start Page

By default, Visual Studio will save your projects to your documents folder under \Visual Studio 2010\WebSites\ followed by the project folder itself. If you’d prefer saving your project somewhere else that’s A-Ok, it won’t make any difference to Visual Studio.

Visual Web Developer 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 create a much more simple default website than Visual Studio 2010. It’s not a big deal either way – if you’re using VS2010 and you WANT the simpler website that VWD2008 creates, you can select “Empty Web Site” from the New Web Site screen. If you’re using VWD2008, this still isn’t a big deal – it means less for you to worry about while you’re learning (for advanced developers, VS2010′s approach saves time by creating some additional files for you that you’d previously have to create yourself).

This is what VWD 2008′s project screen looks like:

Visual Web Developer 2008

Visual Web Developer 2008

The page properties element is the code that looks like <%@ Page Language=”C#” at the top of every aspx page. You can see it for yourself by going to the Solution Explorer and double-clicking on Default.aspx to open it. So long as you are using Source view, it will be on line 1 in the Text Editor.
The site item in Solution Explorer can be found at the very top of the Solution Explorer. It will have a little earth icon next to it followed by something like C:\…\MyWebSiteName\
Every post on this site assumes that you are already very proficient in core web design skills (HTML, X/HTML, and CSS). If you’re not, I highly recommend doing some X/HTML and CSS tutorials before continuing with the tutorials on this site. is an excellent free resource for learning basic web design as is (which requires a monthly subscription).

Prerequisites: Must have any recent version of Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer installed (ie: Visual Studio 2008/2010 Professional or Visual Web Developer Express 2008). Tutorials on this site assume you already possess basic core web design skills (X/HTML, CSS).

Click here if you need help installing a free version of Visual Web Developer.

This tutorial is intended to familiarize you with with interface and basic functionality of Visual Studio 2008/2010 or Visual Web Developer 2008 Express. Topics covered will include interface, terminology, and configuration. This is only a quick overview intended for those new to the software. More advanced tips will be included in future posts.

To get started, click on a section header below (ie: “ > Interface Overview“) to expand it.

> Visual Studio / Visual Web Developer Versions

This section explains the differences between the pricey full versions of Visual Studio and the free Visual Web Developer Express.

> Running VWD for the First Time

This section explains initial configuration of VWD, and how to create a new project (needed to follow along later).

> Interface Overview

This section gives a brief overview of the VWD/Visual Studio interface.

And that’s Visual Studio/Visual Web Developer in a nutshell. There’s lots of little features I didn’t touch on, but most of them are simply subsets of the larger topics I did cover. Hopefully you now have a basic understanding of Visual Studio without having been overwhelmed with minute details, and I hope that figuring out the rest will come naturally. If not, future tutorials will include refreshers in the footnotes (at least for a while).

If you run into trouble or have a question, feel free to use the comments section below for help or email me directly.

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