I started creating websites about 3 or 4 years ago now, but Microsoft Visual Web Developer really sparked my interest. It makes it quite easy for a programmer to create and publish a website. In addition, it provides excellent help topics, examples, and tutorials to help you along the way.
Visual Web Developer, or VWD for short, is based on Microsoftâ€™s ASP.NET. This is essentially a new version of ASP. It allows web developers to use Visual Basic .NET or C++ .NET to create very powerful websites. The possibilities really are endless.
VWD makes it possible and easy to combine web forms, code, databases, images, etc. into a nice website. It has an excellent organizational structure for the files in the website, making it easy to follow.
It is pretty simple to create and test a website with VWD. For example, if I want to create a simple website with one page and test it, I could follow the following steps. First, I would set up a new project. I simply need to fill in a name for it and select my desired programming language. All of the required files are created in a folder on my computer. A default page (automatically named Default.aspx) is created by VWD, and it is set to be the home page. More pages can be added easily as the need arises. To program the code, I can simply open the code editor for the page and start typing. After writing all the code and making any controls needed, I would test my page by clicking the 'View in Browser' button. The software that makes this work is ASP.NET Development Server, which is automatically installed on the computer with VWD. It sets up an ASP.NET server on your computer to basically serve your website to yourself as you create it. Then itâ€™s as simple as viewing the newly created page in the default internet browser. It works just like any website on the internet. This makes it very easy to debug.
The text editor is simply amazing. There is auto-capitalization of variables and control names, pop-up boxes that show possible choices for properties, etc. Squiggly lines similar to those displayed under words in Microsoft Word are used to show undefined variables, unused variables, and invalid names and expressions. Programming couldn't get any easier than this.
Things may seem rather confusing at first, just as with any type of software. However, I guarantee you will find this software very useful after you get used to it.
One nice thing is that there is a free Express edition available for download. This contains most of the features you would need. The paid version contains more advanced features.
This software is not really for someone new to making websites or programming, but if you are already familiar with these, then this may be for you.