Expression Web Myths
After talking to several PixelMill customers about Expression Web, I’ve realized that there are a lot of misconceptions and myths about Expression Web that are keeping people from even trying it out. Here, I’ll attempt to address some of the ones that have come up.
Myth #1: You must use Expression Web with ASP.NET web sites.
Many of the demo videos on the Microsoft site do show .NET web sites as the samples, but you can use Expression Web to manage any non-ASP.NET web site, just as you would use FrontPage! Expression Web is a general web editor that just happens to include support for .NET controls as well. You can completely ignore the .NET controls and just use Expression Web to edit your normal HTML/XHTML web site.
Myth #2: Expression Web isn’t compatible with FrontPage-built sites.
In general, Expression Web is fairly backwards-compatible with FrontPage-built sites. Expression Web works with webs and subwebs the way FrontPage does, in the sense that you can continue to open webs and subwebs (live off the server or on your local computer or development machine). The FrontPage webbot components can be double-clicked and modified within Expression Web.
The only thing that you lose in moving from Expression Web to FrontPage is the ability to change link bars, rename pages, etc. within Navigation View. This is because Expression Web encourages the use of CSS over Themes and encourages XHTML-compliant sites (FrontPage link bars are not XHTML-compliant). I’ve addressed this issue already in my webinars about going from FrontPage link bars to include pages (free webinar) and CSS formatted link bars (premium webinar) if you’d like to learn more about how to do that.
Myth #3: If I’m not using FrontPage, I should just switch to Dreamweaver instead of Expression Web.
It’s no longer true that Dreamweaver is the only “proper” tool to use for “professional” web developers. With Expression Web, it really comes down to a matter of preference. Expression Web gives you the ability to produce professional, validated web sites just as Dreamweaver would. FrontPage users will find the interface of Expression Web more familiar than Dreamweaver. In fact, Expression Web comes with better CSS management tools than the current version of Dreamweaver, with task panes that allow you to rearrange and reorganize styles in stylesheets as well as modify and rename them without mangling your code! Both pieces of software have their own strengths and weaknesses, but both can be used to make scalable, compliant web sites.
Any other gossip or myths you’ve heard about Expression Web that you’d like to share? Post a comment!