Microsoft Expression Web 4, code-named Quartz, is an HTML editor and general web design software product by Microsoft. It is available free of charge and is component of the discontinued Expression Studio.
Expression Web does a good job of approximating what your page will look like in any particular browser. However, the Expression Web design surface does not fully support all code that you might be using. For example, CSS pseudo-element styles are not rendered in Design view in Expression Web. Therefore, it is not a true What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) tool. When you want to see exactly how a particular page will look in a browser, you should preview that page in the desired browser. Expression Web contains a robust feature-set for previewing in multiple browsers at the desired screen resolution.
Expression Web is not a replacement for FrontPage. FrontPage was a great product in its day, but the Web has evolved substantially since the days of FrontPage. The complexities of designing modern Web sites demand that designers learn a more complex tool. FrontPage and Expression Web have little in common. The FrontPage Server Extensions are considered deprecated technology and are being phased out of Microsoft products in favor of modern standards. Designers who use FrontPage Server Extensions components are likely to encounter problems with modern Web browsers. Many hosting companies are also dropping support for FrontPage Server Extensions due to the fact that Microsoft hasn’t released a new version in many years. Expression Web users who are using FrontPage Server Extensions for authoring Web sites by connecting to servers using HTTP should adopt modern technologies such as FTP (including SFTP and FTPS), WebDAV, or by using disk-based sites.
In order to be productive with Expression Web, you must possess the skills used in modern Web design. The following skills are required in order to use Microsoft Expression Web.
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) for styling page elements
- CSS for page layout
- XHTML / HTML
In addition to these core skills, you may also need to possess the following.
- ASP.NET or PHP knowledge for interacting with databases, implementing forms, using membership features for a login system, etc.
- Knowledge of Internet Information Services (IIS) configuration if using IIS instead of the Microsoft Expression Development Server.
Keep in mind that these are only some of the skills that might be necessary in order to use Expression Web. Users who do not possess the skills in the first list will have considerable difficulty using Expression Web.