Prerequisites for Using Microsoft Expression Web

Microsoft has written a small FAQ page entitled, Prerequisites for Using Microsoft Expression Web all the better to inform you of the leap from FrontPage to Expression Web, especially as we move further and further away from the older versions of FrontPage that many still use, and specifically the bots. The Prerequisites are repeated below with some further explanations.

Q. “Is Expression Web a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) tool?”

CSS pseudo-element styles are used to add special effects to selectors and these cannot be seen in Design View, however it is easy enough to preview in the browser with Expression Web and if you want to fine tune there is always SuperPreview.

Q. “Is Expression Web the same as Microsoft FrontPage? Is it a replacement for FrontPage?”

Expression Web is the successor to FrontPage rather than a replacement and well, it all depends on HOW you used FrontPage. If you didn’t use any of the bots or very little then the transition will be much easier for you. However, many of the fundamentals of the menus and toolbars from FrontPage are still with us even if they are in different locations. One of the bots DOES remain with us, that is Page Includes and they are special case. If you want to Migrate from FrontPage to Expression Web our handy ebook walks you through the process.

Q. “Can I use FrontPage Server Extensions and still get point-and-click design elements without learning new design technologies?”

I personally dropped FrontPage Bots many years ago, as soon as I understood the power of Page Includes which led me to want better things of the program. However, I always had a great deal of trouble with using FTP in FrontPage and other third party clients. (Until I encountered – which is a free FTP program). So I continued to use fpse for the ease of use that publishing with http gave me. When I first got EW however and discovered I could use FTP in Expression Web and STILL work live, I dropped the fpse. There are some restrictions on working with a DWT based site live, however I get around that by working on the local site and then ftping the site back to the server, even if I have to download the site firstly. (It depends on whose site I am working on.)

Q. “What skills do I need in order to use Expression Web? Do I need to be a professional Web designer?

In my opinion, Expression Web is a great teacher and if you set Expression Web up correctly it will TEACH you as you work. Then you just need to think of what you can replace the bots you used to use with new technology. There is plenty of help and advice on the net. You do not need to be a professional Web Designer, far from it. What you do need to do is focus on the help you receive from not only within the programme. The Help is a great source of information, but the tutorials and eBook’s and videos that are available from Microsoft and the wider Expression Web community, many of which are free.

Q. “How can I acquire the skills I need to use Expression Web?”

The Microsoft article goes onto list some resources, which I have replicated below and added a few of my own.

What is new in Expression Web 3.0 Service Pack 2?

The two best things for me about this service pack are the fix for PDF files and now I can go update FireFox.

Issues resolved in this service pack

  • When editing PHP, files you may have been asked to update related hyperlinks on the page. If you did so, some PHP tags may have been removed. PHP tags are no longer removed when you update related hyperlinks.
  • When you renamed a PDF file from the Folder List, the PDF file became corrupted and could not be opened. PDF files now save normally.
  • Expression Web 3 would crash if the list-style-image property was used in a CSS file. Using the list-style-image property in a CSS file no longer causes Expression Web to crash.
  • SuperPreview sometimes crashed while launching because of a problem that occurred when locating Firefox on your computer. SuperPreview no longer crashes while locating Firefox.

    Expression Web 3.0 Service Pack 2

Improvements provided by this service pack

SuperPreview now supports Firefox 3.6. If Firefox 3.6 is installed on your computer, then it should be available in SuperPreview.

Installation details

Expression Web 3.0  SP2  is available on the Microsoft Download Center.

How to determine if Expression Web 3 SP2 is installed

In Expression Web 3, click ‘About Microsoft Expression Web’. If Expression Web 3 SP2 is not installed, one of the following version numbers appear based on your region and current service pack level:

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Version 3.0.1762.0

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Version 3.0.1773.0

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Service Pack 1 Version 3.0.3813.0

If Expression Web 3 SP2 is installed, the following version number appears:

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Service Pack 2 Version 3.0.3816.0 (see graphic)

NOTE: All languages offered with Service Pack 1 are now available for Service Pack 2, For a list of languages just click on the “Change language” drop down.

Expression Web 4.0 secrets revealed

Expression Web users want to know how they can use their Access 2007 Database with Expression Web?

The answer before now has been pretty simple, you can’t without jumping through a few hoops. However all that is about to change when Expression Web 4.0 arrives. Better YET, if you don’t already have Expression Web 3.0 if you upgrade NOW, when Expression Web 4.0 comes out you get  EW 4.0 for FREE.

Its a simple matter then, to do the maths, if you don’t have Expression Web 1.0 or 2.0 then one of these qualifying products will also allow you to upgrade to Expression Web 3.0 for the price of $79 at the Microsoft Store, perhaps less elsewhere. You can of course buy the full version at $149

  • Any Microsoft® Expression product
  • Any Adobe Creative Suite product
  • Any Microsoft Office product

Or you might want to upgrade the studio version, and your luck is in because the Microsoft store are having a sale at 40% OFF the upgrade price.

Just in case I didn’t make that clear enough –

Full versions and upgrades to Expression Studio 3.0 and Expression Web 3.0 (or current owners) means you get Expression Studio 4.0 or Expression Web 4.0 for FREE when it comes out.

Justin Harrison the Program Manager for Expression Web has written a short tutorial about Using an Access 2007 database with ASP.NET 3.5 and Expression Web 3.0 to be followed up with steps on How to use an Access 2007 database as a data source in your site in Expression Web 4.0 which is much easier than the method he outlines for Expression Web 3.0.

Justin tells us that Expression Web 3.0 supports ASP.NET 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5., however these versions of ASP.NET do not support Access 2007 data connections.

The great news though is that ASP.NET 4.0 supports these data connections – and Expression Web 4.0 (not yet released) supports ASP.NET 4.0.

This is just one tidbit about Expression Web 4.0 and it bodes well for the other goodies that might be revealed. So get prepared and get upgraded now.

If you are still using FrontPage and are wondering how you are going to migrate your site to be ready, we have the solution for that too. Take a look at our Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web Ebook standard pricing is $29. However, if you download our Expression Web Community Toolbar, and enter our Expression Web Easter Giveaway you will be in with a chance of not only winning a full version of Expression Web 3.0 but our ebook and other prizes besides, the Easter Giveaway offer ends April 30th.

Express Yourself for less with Expression Studio

30% OFF Expression Web Studio and Expression Web 3.0. Limited time offer from Microsoft Online Store – USA only


30% discount is a limited time offer valid through Jan 8th, 2009 11:59 p.m.
Expression Studio 3.0 Full$599.95$419.96
Expression Studio 3.0 Upgrade$349.95$244.96

Includes Expression Web, Expression Blend, Expression Designer, and Expression Encoder

Expression Web 3.0 full version$149.00$104.30
Expression Web 3.0 Upgrade $79.00$55.30
Note: Prior to installing Expression Web 3, you will need to uninstall any trial versions and pre-release software

  • No promo code required
  • Discount applies before applicable tax and shipping charges
  • Limit 5 per customer
  • Not valid on previous orders or at Microsoft Store retail locations
  • Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion.

Expression Web 3.0 Service Pack 1.0 improvements and resolutions

Expression Web 3.0 service pack 1.0 is ready and waiting

How do I know if the service pack has installed?

On the Help menu click the ‘About’ selection:

If Expression Web 3 SP1 is not installed, the following version number appears:

(English Langauge) Microsoft Expression Web 3 Version 3.0.1762.0
(Non-English Languages) Microsoft Expression Web 3 Version 3.0.1773.0

If Expression Web 3 SP1 is already installed, the following version number appears:

Microsoft Expression Web 3 Version 3.0.3813.0

What improvements are provided by this service pack?


Add-ins are BACK – lets hope the developers get busy!

Root-relative links

Support for root-relative hyperlinks has been fixed, this is great if you are making a WordPress theme and using Expression Web to do it, now you don’t have to hardcode absolute links anymore!

PHP files that do not use the *.php file name extension

Adds support for Drupal and CakePHP template files. Expression Web 3 SP1 now recognizes .module, .install, .inc, and .ctp as valid PHP extensions.

Application color scheme

The black/gray skin has been improved – though the background on the folder list needs to be lighter. Plus you can select Windows colour scheme instead of the default, however the results might not be what you expect. Your Windows colour scheme might work on the rest of Windows, but it won’t always fully reflect what you expect within Expression Web, on balance I prefer my Windows colour scheme on Windows, and not the white out I get in Expression Web, so its back to the default black/gray for me. If you want to do some experimenting then go to Tools – Application Options – and tick ‘Use your current Windows colour scheme’.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 META tag and Web Slice support

New Code snippets include:

  • Meta tags specific to IE8
  • Web Slice code sample

To access them either press Ctrl+Enter in Code view or go to the Tools menu – Page Editor Options – Code Snippets

What issues are resolved in this service pack?

  • When you use the Undo feature and multiple tasks were undone.
  • After draging an image from the Folder List panel into the Code view of a page a invalid link is generated.
  • Enables you to select text in the Design view of a page more easily and more accurately.
  • Nonstandard or corrupted fonts that are installed on your computer caused a crashing issue.
  • Tags that begin with <?php are renamed after you rename a file.
  • Japanese characters are altered.
  • The source file is deleted after you copy a file from one instance of Expression Web 3.0 and then paste the file into another instance of Expression Web 3.0.
  • Restores the ability to drag files into a selected folder in the Folder List panel.
  • Enables connections to each destination without restarting the application when multiple publishing destinations are specified on the same FTP server and when only the user credentials are different for those destinations.
  • Workflow between Expression Web and Team Foundation Server has had several problems fixed.
  • Shows the correct file status in Publishing view after you publish a site.
  • Updates the file status and publishing log when you use the Publish Selected Files command to publish one or more files. Plus, the publishing progress is displayed in the Publishing Status panel.
  • Several fixes that make sure that pages accurately display in SuperPreview.

Find and Replace Bug
This was a bug inExpression Web 2.0 and 1.0 and in 3.0 before the service pack however this is now fixed.

In the Find and Replace Dialog box in the HTML Tags Tab, when using any tag such as for example Font in the Find Tag: drop down box, and using Remove Tag for the Replace Action: drop down box and replacing said font tags, instead of the font tags being removed, when the font tags are around a hyperlink, the hyperlink is removed, if you then apply the Replace action the font tag is removed but at the expense of the hyperlink.

What issues are not resolved in this service pack?

Doctypes and Thumbnails
This is a bug that has not yet been addressed if this happens to you, then please add your comments.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP Service Pack 3

Other language Expression Web 3.0 service pack 1.0 downloads (direct downloads)

WebSite Spark Launched

Microsoft today (Sept 24th) launched another spark program called WebSite Spark . This program targets Web Developers, Designers and small companies building sites and includes Expression Web 2.0 or 3.0 in the line of available software.

Eligibility Requirements:

At the time of joining the company must have the following criteria:

  1. Be a professional service firm whose primary business is providing Web development and design services for its clients, with
  2. no more than 10 members (including owners and employees).

In addition:

  1. To be eligible to continue to participate in the Program, the company must deploy a new public and Internet-accessible website developed using Program software within 6 months from Program enrollment, and report it and other new websites through the WebsiteSpark Portal.
  2. Companies do not have to be members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) prior to joining the Program, but enrollment in MPN is a feature of Program participation. Companies who are not already MPN members will be prompted to join during the WebsiteSpark enrollment process.

As part of the enrollment process you can pick either a network referral partner, or enter a referral code that you have received at an event or from a Microsoft employee. If you send mail to you can get a referral code quickly and use it to enroll. Whereupon you can use the download use the software immediately, as well as begin to participate in the network/partner opportunities.

If you have any problems enrolling, you can also send mail to ( and he can connect you with someone who can help, he is also on twitter  (@scottgu is his twitter name)

What you get:

  1. For design, development, testing and demonstration of new websites – for a total of up to three users per Web design and development company:
  2.  Visual Studio Professional
  3.  Expression Studio 2 or 3 (1 user) and Expression Web 2 or 3 (up to 2 users)
  4.  Windows Web Server 2008 or R2 (when available)
  5.  SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
  6.  For production use – that is, to deploy and host new websites developed using Program software – using a total of up to four processors per Web design and development company, of the following (physical or virtual) dedicated servers:
  7.  Windows Web Server 2008 R2 (when available)
  8.  SQL Server 2008 Web Edition
    Deployments may be on 4 servers or VMs of 1processor each, on 2 servers or VMs of 2 processors each, or on 1 server or VM of 4-processors.

How long for:

Eligible Web development and design companies can participate in WebsiteSpark for up to 3 years. On the first and second anniversary of initial enrollment, they must update their enrollment (e.g., confirm they haven’t gone public and their ownership hasn’t changed). You do pay a $100 program fee at the end of the three years

At the end of the three years, you can optionally choose to purchase all of the software in the program via a $999/year package. This includes 3 copies of VS Professional, 1 copy of Expression Studio (including Blend and Sketchflow), 2 copies of Expression Web, and 4 processor licenses of Windows Web Server 2008 and 4 processor licenses of SQL Server Web edition that can be used for production deployment.

Or, if you want to purchase only the production server licenses, you can take advantage of a $199/year offering that includes both 1 Windows Web Server processor license and 1 SQL Server Web edition processor license. You can buy the quantity you need of this package at $199/year each.

Microsoft Web Platform Installer 2.0 and Web Apps Gallery Launched

Just to encourage Web Developers Microsoft have also launched today their Web Platform Installer 2.0 which includes the framework, web server, database and tools you’ll need to build and run Web sites and applications on Windows and the Windows Web Apps Gallery

You can learn more about the other spark programs Dreamspark which is for full time students and Bizspark which is for startup companies building software products

Expression Web sales at Microsoft

Microsoft are having a sale of Expression Web 2.0 for the second time this year. Not only the full version but the upgrade and ALL the Expression stock keeping products TOO.

Which ever country you are in, take advantage as soon as you can as this is a limited time sale.

It pays to see if you are eligible to upgrade to Expression Web 2.0 you will be surprised at what comprises eligibility

Purchasing a copy of Expression 2.0 NOW will enable you to get Expression 3.0 (Due out July 10th) at upgrade pricing. There will not be a free upgrade/grace period option.

This is a quote from Renee Yong who is the product manager for Microsoft Expression in the US. I’ve asked for clarification about this. I’m not sure if that means you have to have Expression Web 2.0 ONLY for eligibility to upgrade to Expression Web 3.0

Webassist have extended their ongoing summer sale – but hurry!

Meanwhile, it seems you can make a savings all around. Webassist have extended their summer sale to the 5th of July so grab Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor for expression web addon while you can. Will you be able to use it in Expression Web 3.0? – well see my earlier posts on Expression Web Insights the answer is a probable no based on quotes from Microsoft personal. However that does not mean you cannot use tools as tools. You can still use this product in Expression Web 2.0 and lets face it, basic website templates written by Eric Meyer are a gift not to be sneezed at. You don’t even have to learn the program, just make a choice and tweak the css in CSS properties in Expression Web and your templates, like these free expression web templates by Pat Geary Microsoft MVP – Expression Web will be astounding too.

Migrating from frontPage to Expression Web Ebook on sale for the summer

So you have just saved some monies, want to save more in your quest for the perfect website? You have a great web editor and a great CSS template layout tool, but your old site needs cleaning before you can use the content, however your not sure just how to start? Fear not, our Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web Ebook will explain and guide you through the process in the easiest and fastest way possible. To celebrate summer we are ALSO having a summer sale and you can now obtain the ebook for $22 instead of the standard price of $29

A great time to save money and learn at the same time

The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog Badge

The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog asks you to show your support by linking to them

Download this Blog Badge Code code text file that contains the validating code for the badge and paste the code into your sidebar.php template. It will work for a self hosted blog or a third party blog like Blogger. This code is for a strict xhtml doctype (which most blogs are) and contains inline styles.

  • In FireFox just copy the code that appears in the browser
  • In Internet Explorer – right click and View Source

The Microsoft MVP Award Team are also active on Twitter and Twibes

Expression Web 2.0 on sale

For the merry month of May ONLY – and ONLY in the UK you can now get the following Expression suite applications with 40% off the full price. Including Expression Web

  • Expression Web 2
  • Expression Web 2 Upgrade
  • Expression Blend 2
  • Expression Blend 2 Upgrade
  • Expression Encoder 2
  • Expression Encoder 2 Upgrade
  • Expression Media 2
  • Expression Media 2 Upgrade
  • Expression Studio 2
  • Expression Studio 2 Upgrade

If you are able to upgrade to Expression Web because you have EW 1.0 you are not the only users eligible to do so. Did you know if you have a registered version of any of the following products:-

  • Adobe Creative Suite – any version
  • Adobe/Macromedia Flash or Director – any version
  • Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver – any version
  • Adobe GoLive – any version
  • Microsoft Office – any version
  • Microsoft FrontPage® – any version
  • Quark QuarkXPress – any version

That you are eligible to upgrade to Expression Web and other Expression suite products, and along with 40% off the price makes that makes your purchase a very nice credit crunch saving indeed.

Expression Web 2 Beta

Yesterday Microsoft launched Expression Web 2 Beta available for free download

To submit suggestions and bugs, go to:

It requires .Net Framework 3.5 to be installed before it will install

If you have the private preview Expression 2 previews installed you should uninstall these before installing the Expression Web 2 Beta. However it can be installed alongside Expression 1 with no problems.

What is new in Expression Web 2 Beta?


  • Preview PHP pages
  • target different versions of PHP
  • Insert PHP snippets
  • customizable color coding in Code View
  • PHP IntelliSense (auto complete)
  • PHP includes – rendered in Design view.

Byte order mark options

Enables control over Bom insertion

Silverlight 1.0

Expression Web 2 Beta allows you to insert or Edit a HTML file generated by Silverlight

Flash and Windows Media

Insert Flash SWF and Windows Media files, edit and preview flash files in Design View or run any other type of ActiveX control.

Photoshop Import

Expression Web 2 enables you to generate a .png, .gif, or .jpeg file from a Photoshop .psd file and select the Photoshop layers you want to include or exclude from the image.


ASP.NET AJAX server controls that let you create web pages that include a familiar user interface (UI) elements.
ASP.NET AJAX server controls supported by Expression Web 2 include the UpdatePanel, Timer, UpdateProgress, ScriptManager, and ScriptManagerProxy controls.

To work with these controls in Expression Web 2, you must install ASP.NET AJAX or the .NET Framework 3.5. See Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or ASP.NET AJAX 1.0 in the Microsoft Download Center online.

Custom ASP.NET controls

Custom ASP.NET controls that you have placed in the BIN folder of your website. Preview custom controls and access the Common Tasks smart tag menu in Design view, edit properties, and use IntelliSense and syntax checking in Code view.
Third party custom ASP.NET controls can be used

ASP.NET data

DataPager and ListView ASP.NET controls.

To work with these controls in Expression Web 2, you must install the .NET Framework 3.5. See Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 in the Microsoft Download Center online.

FTP publishing

Set Passive FTP or normal FTP, and save your FTP user name and password.


The Design view in Expression Web 2 now renders the CSS overflow property.
As well as internal CSS files the Compatibility Reports now check external CSS files, for compatibility with the CSS schema you specify.

HTML file extension

Expression Web 2 lets you set your preference for the default HTML file extension.

Alphabetized HTML attributes

A new setting in the Code Formatting options in the Page Editor Options dialog box enables you to control whether HTML attributes are alphabetized or not in the code of your web pages. By default, tag attributes are now written in alphabetical order when Expression Web 2 adds HTML tags to your page. Existing tags in a page are affected by the new setting only if you apply the Reformat HTML command to the page. For more information,