Creating master pages, CSS, skins and themes
Part two of a five-part series of blogs

How to create the perfect ASP.NET website, including using master pages, CSS style sheets, and whether to use skins and themes or not.

  1. Creating ASP.NET Websites using CSS and Master Pages
  2. Creating an ASP.NET Website (this blog)
  3. Creating and Using Master Pages
  4. Formatting Choices: HTML styles, Themes/Skins and CSS
  5. Creating and Applying CSS Style Sheets in ASP.NET

This blog is part of a larger online tutorial in ASP.NET.  We also run three-day courses in ASP.NET, and other .NET training courses.

Posted by Andy Brown on 01 May 2012

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Creating an ASP.NET Website

For those not used to ASP.NET, here's how to get started with a new website (call your site BlogExampleVB or BlogExampleCSharp, depending on your language of choice).

Creating the Website

This blog will use Visual Studio 2010, at the time of writing the latest incarnation of Microsoft's development software.  You can download Visual Studio Express free of charge.

The first thing to do is to create a new website:

Create new website menu

Creating a new website is fairly straightforward ...

In the dialog box which appears next, choose your options carefully:

New website dialog box

Choose the options as listed below

Here are the choices I would make:

  1. Choose a programming language (personally I'd choose Visual Basic).
  2. Choose to create an empty site, otherwise Visual Studio will fill your site with all sorts of clutter (see below).
  3. Choose to create a File System website, for an easy life.
  4. Choose where your website will go, and what to call it.

If you choose to create an ASP.NET Web Site, not an ASP.NET Empty Web Site, you'll get this clutter:

ASP.NET website default files

Visual Studio creates for you (among other things):


By contrast, if you create an empty website you'll just get a single file:

Empty website in Solution Explorer

Much better! You can now create the files and folders that you need.


Now that you've got a basic website, the next step is not to create a webpage.  Instead, you should first create a master page, as described in the next page of this blog. 

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