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When moving from Expression Web, is it better to go to WebMatrix or Visual Studio? RRS feed

  • Question

  • User-1641374649 posted

    I've been writing ASP.NET Web Forms apps for many years. I honestly don' t know how many I've written. In the last year I started to learn ASP.NET MVC. I've taken a few courses on MVC and hope to continue with it. I like it much better than Web Forms.

    However in all of that I've also written some web sites using Expression Web (EW); most recently EW 4. However, now that I've got a new computer I really don't want to put EW onto it. There's a lot that EW doesn't have, which I find makes it difficult to work with. However I've got a few web sites I've written over the years using EW which need to be maintained and updated. I thought that perhaps Microsoft's WebMatrix would do the job, so I downloaded it and installed it onto my new PC. Then I opened up one of the EW websites locally to do some editing. It was OK, but there was one thing that WebMatrix didn't see to work well with, and that's EW's idea of dynamic web templates (DWT) (which have always looked to me to be basically Web Forms' master pages). When I opened up the .htm pages to edit them with WebMatrix, if they had DWT's in them, then WebMatrix would just go ahead and let me edit them like it was any ordinary file. EW wouldn't let me edit non-editable regions that inherit from DWTs and I don't believe Web Forms lets you edit the non-editable regions in pages that inherit from master pages. (Well at least not in design view.) And I'm also not sure that WebMatrix knows how to deal with EW's project concepts.

    So this leads me to ask, would I be better off using Visual Studio (either 2013 or 2015) instead of WebMatrix to edit and maintain old EW websites? All of the pages in the EW websites that I work on are ordinary HTML pages - they're not .aspx pages. But it would be handy if VS understood what a EW project was like and what DWT's were like. If I could edit the EW web site like as a Web Forms app, then that will work fine for me.

    So which should I use for moving away from EW, but leaving at least the basic parts of it there? This has other ramifications because one of the EW websites I work on, the other developer is devoted to EW. He won't move away from EW. So I'd like to be able to work with him on it, but leave it so that EW will understand any new web pages I add, be able to work with the DWT's that he adds and so on.

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 12:22 AM

Answers

  • User-821857111 posted

    WebMatrix is definitely the wrong tool for you. 

    All of the pages in the EW websites that I work on are ordinary HTML pages - they're not .aspx pages.
    From the sounds of it, you will have to continue to use EW to manage those sites. If you can convert* them to proper web forms sites, then you can use Visual Studio. 

    *Rewrite

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 2:22 AM

All replies

  • User-821857111 posted

    WebMatrix is definitely the wrong tool for you. 

    All of the pages in the EW websites that I work on are ordinary HTML pages - they're not .aspx pages.
    From the sounds of it, you will have to continue to use EW to manage those sites. If you can convert* them to proper web forms sites, then you can use Visual Studio. 

    *Rewrite

    • Marked as answer by Anonymous Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 AM
    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 2:22 AM
  • User379720387 posted

    EW is just old stuff.

    Unless you need a dynamic website, you might as well go to Wix. It doesn't have some of the refinement you can have with EW, but it is a lot quicker.

    Monday, September 21, 2015 8:10 AM