PSD PhotoShop to HTML is bad practice

Quick and Dirty? - Part 1

Expression Web in a practical test

A wide variety of approaches and tools exist for creating websites. This ranges from the creation of individual pages using a text editor to the programming of complex websites with a database connection. The Expression Web tool is somewhere in between. It promises the easy creation and maintenance of websites of medium size and complexity. Can it keep that promise?

You know that from other industries. Three lawyers and four opinions. Or from the field of medicine: If you ask three men (or women) in “white”, it can happen that you get different statements about the best possible therapy. So it is in highly specialized fields. In the area of ​​web presence development, too, opinions on the right technology could hardly diverge further. Some swear by the completely manual creation using an editor and pure HTML code. The other extreme is the direct access to a content management system (CMS), no matter how clear the website is. So far, programs that suggested to the user that creating a website do not require any knowledge of web technologies have often been criticized. With these tools, it was also possible to create professional-looking websites. However, the user had almost no control over the generated (HTML) code. Its structure was often confusing and difficult to maintain. The compatibility with different browsers and systems was not always the best either. This was largely a consequence of the fact that the standardization guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) were not always meticulously implemented.

Microsoft Expression Web, member of the Expression software family (box: "Software family: Microsoft Expression") is a professional tool for creating websites. In a dual view, it offers both the undeniable advantages of a WYSIWYG web editor and complete control over the generated code. Changes in the code view are immediately visible in the DESIGN view. This also applies to the opposite way, i. H. Adjustments in the design lead to an automatic adjustment of the source code.

Software family: Microsoft Expression

Microsoft Expression Blend is a software family for creating images, graphics, HTML pages, user interfaces and entire websites. It contains four applications: Expression Blend, Expression Web, Expression Design and Expression encoder. With the Expression series, the software company is targeting developers and designers in the multimedia sector and is thus primarily competing with the software house Adobe Systems with its Dreamweaver product [1].

Microsoft Expression Blend

This is the central element of the Expression family and serves as a design tool for the interactive design of graphical user interfaces based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF). It works as a WYSIWYG editor for XAML, the markup language for WPF applications. The design options go well beyond those of the Visual Studio 2010 designer. A mutual exchange of the created project files is possible. The operating concept is primarily aimed at the designer and not the code-oriented approach of a software developer.

Microsoft Expression Web

This product is a development environment for websites. It is the successor to Front Page, but based on a new code base and concept.

Microsoft Expression Design

Expression Design is an image editing program. It is used to edit both vector and raster-based graphics. The graphics created can be saved in various formats, including: in the format for Photoshop (PSD) or in XAML. XAML can be used directly in the Expression Blend and Visual Studio 2010 applications.

Microsoft Expression Encoder

Multimedia and the web belong together. Expression Encoder is the tool for creating and editing multimedia content. Standards are used for this.


The following pages follow:

  • Installation of Expression Web
  • Program interface
  • Collection of content: text, graphics and tables
  • Central element: the use of CSS
  • Streifzug: Overview of important program functions
  • Conclusion

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