New Website from Expression Web templates

How to creating a new website from the built-in Expression Web site templates.

One of the most common questions I've seen from people first starting to use Expression Web (EW) is one of the following:

  • How to I get started?
  • I used Frontpage themes, is there some way to quickly get a site up and running and still look good using EWD?
  • Are there templates available?

The answer to each of these questions is more or less the same - Expression Web ships with a variety of web site templates designed for the typical needs the following categories of sites:

  • Personal
  • Event
  • Organization
  • Small Business

The site templates include style sheets with page layouts (and alternative stylesheets), commonly used pages for the type of site specified and a Dynamic Web Template to use to create additional pages that match the look and feel of your website.

The website Expression Designs was created using a slightly modified EWD template. This tutorial will show how it was created:

Step 1 - Opening the New Website Dialog Box

To reach the web templates you will need to open the New dialog box. You can do this in three ways:

  1. Use the drop down arrow to the right of the new file icon then select “Web Site”
    new page dropdown
  2. From the File menu double click on the New which opens the New dialog box and select the Web Site tab.
    seect website tab
  3. From the File menu use the right arrow to access the fly-out menu and select Web Site.

Step 2 - Selecting the Site Template

It does not matter how you open the New dialog box to the Web Site tab. Once you have done so you will see the following dialog box:

new web site choices

To deploy one of the included web site templates in your site:

  1. Make sure “Templates” has been selected from the left column options.
  2. Choose a template to use from the center column. As you move down the list thumbnails of the template home page will appear in the right column preview box until you see a template you wish to use. In this case “Personal 4” was chosen.
  3. Choose the location on your computer for your new site to be created. By default it will be in My Documents, My Web Sites, Site (with a number incrementing if necessary) or to the same folder as the last site you had open in EWD. If a website is currently open, the option to “Add to current Web site” will also appear, otherwise it is grayed out.

Once you have selected the template to apply and the location to create the new site, use the “OK” button to create a site based on the template. While the pages in the newly created site may vary depending on the template the files will be created along with the image files, stylesheet and dynamic web template.

folder list new filesUsing the Personal 4 website template expanding the Folder List show folders and files created in the following areas:

  • about_me
  • contact
  • images
  • links
  • photo_gallery
  • resume
  • styles - layout & three options for display
  • default.htm
  • master.dwt

You may need to change the name of default.htm to the default file name on your web server. In most cases that will be index.htm or index.html.

I would also recommend changing the name of the files in each of the sub-folders from the same name as the folder to the default file name since some web servers are configured to provide a file directory when there is no default document in the folder.

For that reason many people would add an empty file with the default file name in the image and styles folder.


You are now ready to add content to the pages generated and create additional pages from the Dynamic Web Template (DWT) generated when the site was created.

For more information on DWTs in Expression Web see Tina Clarke's free DWT ebook

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