ASP.NET Web Pages - Publishing the Website

Learn how to publish a Web Pages application without using WebMatrix.

Publish Your Application Without Using WebMatrix

An ASP.NET Web Pages application can be published to a remote server by using the Publish commands in WebMatrix (or Visual Studio).

This function copies all your application files, cshtml pages, images, and all the required DLL files for Web Pages, for Razor, for Helpers, and for SQL Server Compact (if a database is used).

Sometimes you don't want to use this option. Maybe your hosting provider only supports FTP? Maybe you already have a web site based on classic ASP? Maybe you want to copy the files yourself? Maybe you want to use Front Page, Expression Web, or some other publishing software?

Will you get a problem? Yes, you will. But you can solve it.

To perform a web copy, you have to know how to include the right files, what DDL files to copy, and where store them.

Follow these steps:

1. Use the Latest Version of ASP.NET

Before you continue, make sure your hosting computer runs the latest version of ASP.NET (4.0 or 4.5).

2. Copy the Web Folders

Copy your website (all folders and content) from your development computer to an application folder on your remote hosting computer (server).


If your application contains data, don't copy the data (see point 4 below).

3. The DLL Files

Make sure the bin folder, on your remote hosting computer, contains the same dll files as on your development computer.

After copying the bin folder, it should contain files like this:


4. Copy Your Data

If your application contains data or a database. For instance an SQL Server Compact database (a .sdf file in App_Data folder), consider the following:

Do you want to publish your test data to the remote server?

Most likely not.

If you have test data on your development computer, it may overwrite production data on your remote hosting computer.

If you have to copy an SQL database (.sdf file), perhaps you should delete everything in the database, and then copy the empty .sdf file from your development computer to the server.


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