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Visual Web Developer Express vs Microsoft Expression Web Designer RRS feed

  • Question

  • User1697577218 posted

    I would like to know what are the differences between VWD Express and Expression Web Designer ?

    I have played with both and they seem very similar, is there a comparison chart available or does anyone have any thoughts on this ?

    Thursday, September 28, 2006 6:32 PM

Answers

  • User-1363174918 posted

    There are huge differences. Expression is Designer-oriented too and has more advanced page layout and CSS tools, but does not include compilers, debugger and does not provide code intellisense. VWD and Visual Studio are developer-oriented tools, they provide advanced tools for those who are primarily writing code. Markup and script intellisense are approximately at the same level although VS/VWD better handle references and bin/App_Code.

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Friday, September 29, 2006 12:42 PM
  • User-1363174918 posted

    Either tool allows to you build any commercial Web site. Difference is in a set of tools provided in each product. VWD is essentially a Visual Studio variant so it comes with full set of code tools that always have been part of the Visual Studio: compilers, code intellisense, debugger, class libraries, testing tools, etc. EWD has different design surface with more advanced CSS and visual layout tools, some imaging tools, spell checker. EWD also has better integration with other Expression tools, such as Graphics Designer. EWD does not have debugger, C#/VB code intellisense, it does not have build or test tools.

    'Designer' is a person who is primarily working on a look and fell of the site: layout, fonts, styles, transitions, animations. 'Developer' is a person primarily working with code, databases, business logic, i.e. spending more time in code tools. In car manufacturing terms think someone designing car extenor and interior look vs. someone who is working on engine, transmission, etc. Some people do both kinds of work, then they can use VWD and EWD together. VWD and EWD can exchange pages and both tools can open same Web sites. If you are working alone, you probably want to have both tools.

    Sure, some people would prefer a single tool under same IDE that would sport combined functionality, it is a valid request. But remember - Swiss Army knife type tool may become really complicated and in fact, less convenient to use than a simpler tool. Not mentioning CPU and RAM load.

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Monday, October 2, 2006 12:37 PM

All replies

  • User-1363174918 posted

    There are huge differences. Expression is Designer-oriented too and has more advanced page layout and CSS tools, but does not include compilers, debugger and does not provide code intellisense. VWD and Visual Studio are developer-oriented tools, they provide advanced tools for those who are primarily writing code. Markup and script intellisense are approximately at the same level although VS/VWD better handle references and bin/App_Code.

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Friday, September 29, 2006 12:42 PM
  • User-1363174918 posted
    Besides, VWD Express is free while Expression is not.
    Friday, September 29, 2006 12:43 PM
  • User527241208 posted

    I, and I suspect a lot of others, are still confused by the relationship between the VS programs and the new Expression programs - or if there even is any relationship aside from the fact that they all use asp.net.

     I cannot even get a handle yet on what will be the "preffered" way to develop a website - start with VS2005, do the page layouts etc with Expressions Web, or start the new web with Expressions and use the asp.net tools in VS, or ???

    VS seems to make a lot of files - such as project files - that EW does not use. So if you work on a site started in VS, some of those files don't seem to get updated. And not even sure if it matters.

    Some clarification on exactly what is what and how best to develop a web that is primarily designed in Expressions would be helpful.

    Sunday, October 1, 2006 4:19 PM
  • User410177200 posted

    Hi,

    I've been teaching myself VWD for a few weeks now. I heard about EWD recently and downloaded the beta version, it seems like some kind of hybrid between FrontPage and VWD.

    I have read with great dismay that EWD is meant for 'designers', and VWD is meant for 'developers', given that both programs are meant for the design and creation of websites how should one choose between them?

    • What is the diference between a 'developer' and 'designer' when it comes to website design? 
    • What kind of website can be designed on VWD that can't be designed on EWD?
    • What can VWD do the EWD can't?
    • If I wanted to build a dating website, which package should I choose and why, and why is the other program less suitable?

    It is my intention to specialise in the design and build of websites that have a database (dating types, eCommerce, real-estate etc) and I need to know where I should be focusing my learning.

    I'd be most greatful if one of the ASP team could answer my/our questions.

    Michael

    Monday, October 2, 2006 11:03 AM
  • User-1363174918 posted

    Either tool allows to you build any commercial Web site. Difference is in a set of tools provided in each product. VWD is essentially a Visual Studio variant so it comes with full set of code tools that always have been part of the Visual Studio: compilers, code intellisense, debugger, class libraries, testing tools, etc. EWD has different design surface with more advanced CSS and visual layout tools, some imaging tools, spell checker. EWD also has better integration with other Expression tools, such as Graphics Designer. EWD does not have debugger, C#/VB code intellisense, it does not have build or test tools.

    'Designer' is a person who is primarily working on a look and fell of the site: layout, fonts, styles, transitions, animations. 'Developer' is a person primarily working with code, databases, business logic, i.e. spending more time in code tools. In car manufacturing terms think someone designing car extenor and interior look vs. someone who is working on engine, transmission, etc. Some people do both kinds of work, then they can use VWD and EWD together. VWD and EWD can exchange pages and both tools can open same Web sites. If you are working alone, you probably want to have both tools.

    Sure, some people would prefer a single tool under same IDE that would sport combined functionality, it is a valid request. But remember - Swiss Army knife type tool may become really complicated and in fact, less convenient to use than a simpler tool. Not mentioning CPU and RAM load.

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Monday, October 2, 2006 12:37 PM
  • User1272303263 posted

    Is it possible to bring the entire site in Visual Web Developer after it is created in Expression Designer.

    It would be nice to open the site created in Expression Designer and drag and drop controls after bringing it in VWD.

    Has anyone tried this.

    Thanks

    Thursday, October 12, 2006 1:27 AM
  • User-1363174918 posted
    It should work, I don't see why not.
    Thursday, October 12, 2006 2:46 AM
  • User-2060398685 posted

    Mikhail gave a great example of the difference between designers and developers.  If you are doing you own website or are a one man or small company I suspect that you often fill both roles.  But a designer, especially a professional, will have a much more extensive knowledge of colors, graphical design and general esthics (sp),  A developer would know coding, oop, database design (at least general) and security.

     For example, I am a fairly competent coder.  I could not design a nice graphic to save my life. 

    I also assume that Expressions would output normal HTML.  You could thus import this into VWD

    Thursday, October 12, 2006 7:53 AM
  • User-1125569016 posted

    For example, I am a fairly competent coder.  I could not design a nice graphic to save my life.   

     That probably describes many of us.   [:)]

    Thursday, October 12, 2006 8:15 AM
  • User297166512 posted

    My problem:  I have a huge - 36 Gigabyte - site.  Using first Frontpage and now Expressions.  My host is forcing a new server on me that he says "requires" MS VD 2008.  I am not sure about the "requires", that may be my word, or if he is just pushing it and touting its benefits.  The other sites on this server are professionally made and are beautiful.  Mine is 90% text and 10% images.  Nothing fancy.  No CSS or Style Sheets.  Don't even know what they are.  Except for the frames it is pretty much a large word processor file.

    I only have a few days, and do not have the new servers address yet, so I can't play around much.  The old server will be shut off this January 31st.  Many Veterans depend upon the site.

     I have downloaded and messed around with MSVD2008, and can't say I like it.  My site is pretty basic.  Using Frames is about the most complicated thing I do.

     I see that MSVD2008 will easily open all of my existing pages from the Internet without any problems, and I can make simple changes and save back.  I can open that same page in Expression, make a change save back and see it in MSVD2008.

     So I would like to know if I can transfer all my pages over to the new server and continue to use Expressions ?  

    To be frank, I am getting too old to change my methods in such a dramatic way.  If I can get it all working on the new server, and continue to use Expression, then I might have time to try to learn how to use MSVD2008.  While a simple site, major changes are made daily. 

    My existing site is www.IndianaMilitary.org  An example of the profession sites that are there, but not in competition is www.mutc.in.ng.mil  These are all military sites on military servers.  If it makes a difference. I have wireless connection at 2 M, on a good day.  When I attempted to download a small part of the site from the Internet, I gave up.  And that was the smallest piece.

     I'll appreciate fast answers.

     

     

    Thursday, January 15, 2009 4:58 PM
  • User410177200 posted

    HI,

    I can't see why it should make any difference whatsoever what you build your site with, I've checked the source code and it seems to be html - which any server should be able to serve (and Expression is a fancy version of VWD/VS anyway). If your provider is changing servers then surely it's his responsibility to move your site folder from the old server to the new one. What's the name of the company that's hosting your site?

    Michael

    Friday, January 16, 2009 7:01 AM
  • User813983478 posted

    The fact that two products exist is VERY confusing to those new to the field.  Personally, I think the they are two roads to the same end.

    Visual Web Developer is the end result of someone determined to integrate web development into Visual Studio on a formal basis and in a major way.  For those of us who started with Visual Studio 1.0, the current platform makes perfect sense.

    Expression, on the other hand, was created to replace FrontPage.  It is pretty cool too.  However, it really is simply a fancy word processor.  the fact that you can get it for free, and Visual Studio costs big bucks tells you something.  Expression is restrictive.  VWD gives you greater control and allows you to grow and grow and grow when you are ready to.

    I would opt for VWD, or both.  BUT never only Expression.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 7:54 PM
  • User-1363174918 posted

    Expression Web is not free. VWD Express is free (and it is a subset of Visual Studio).

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009 11:47 PM
  • User813983478 posted

    My apologies.  It was free for me.  For the general public it is very inexpensive though.

    Ultimately though, I have no doubt VWD will merge with Expression.  That is in the cards.  If it isn't I should indeed sell my MSFT stock because the company will have gone to hell.

    Thursday, April 30, 2009 12:21 AM
  • User-1607495290 posted

    Will my web site be taking a hit in terms of performance when I move to asp.net and visual web express. I was spoiled using a strictly html type web site with no dynamically generated pages or tables.
    I am looking to switch over from dreamweaver to expression web and visual web express. Can you give some brief advantages disadvantages as it relates to performance (page load time is very critical to me).

    Thanks in advance

    Wednesday, June 17, 2009 10:39 PM
  • User-1363174918 posted

    Try starting a new thread in ASP.NET / Web Forms / General. You may receive answers faster than when reusing old threads.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 1:38 PM