Microsoft Expression Web review: Microsoft Expression Web

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.0
  • Setup and interface: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Service and support: 6.0

Average User Rating

1.5 stars 2 user reviews
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Microsoft Expression Web design software supports XHTML, XML, CSS, and W3C accessibility standards; integrates with Expression Studio and Visual Studio.

The Bad Microsoft Expression Web lacks FrontPage's help for design beginners; is expensive; offers limited tech support; supports Windows only.

The Bottom Line Microsoft Expression Web is a solid Web site layout program that replaces FrontPage and offers tools for dynamic designs, although we'd like more help for newbies.

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Microsoft may not be the first name that comes to mind when it comes to digital design. With its rollout of Expression software, however, the company is vying to win over users of Adobe Dreamweaver and other tools such as Namo WebEditor. The $299 Expression Web, which replaces FrontPage, is the Web design application in Microsoft's new lineup.

To run Expression Web, you should have Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003 SP1 or newer, or the new Windows Vista. Make sure to check the ReadMe section of Microsoft's Web site before installation, as you may have to add Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 and uninstall any beta versions of Microsoft Office 2007. A trial download of Expression Web is available at CNET Download.com.

We spent about 15 minutes installing Expression Web. Once you have the program running, you can choose from a variety of templates to get started with a personal or professional Web site. We like that Expression Web includes templates for CSS designs as well as ASP.NET forms. Expression Web will also open an existing Web site or import one via FrontPage extensions, FTP, HTTP, or WebDAV. However, Dreamweaver CS3 does offer more template choices.


Expression Web looks a lot like Dreamweaver. When you insert an image, Expression Web prompts you to add "alt" tags to ensure that your page meets the latest accessibility standards.

The interface of Expression Web looks significantly similar to that of Dreamweaver. You can view code or design, or both. Page views, folders, tools and other elements are divided into panes that you can dock and drag and drop nearly anywhere on the screen.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Microsoft Expression Web

Part Number: UCQ00001
MSRP: $299.00 Low Price: $53.98 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC