Hi all,
I have been writing several ASP.Net projects and they all turn out fine and run dandy. When I look at them it still seems like something is missing. It has no appeal at all, looks like I just wanted to do the web controls and jump right into the coding (which is true). Is there and tuts to make the web pages more eye candy and professional looking without having to buy a add on?


Basically what you are going to have to do is one of several things or a combo of both.

1) make some graphics on your own and implment using CSS or tables
2) Buy some templates and implement your controls into the templates
3) Find free templates and implement your controls

I suggest a mix between 1 and 3 That is pretty much how you are going to get nice looking sites visually.

commented: Great Advice +1

css css and more css!
your asp.net web sites should be split into 4 areas - the aspx page with just html (just what needs to be in the browser), the aspx.vb or cs code behind file with all the server processing, a folder full of css files (for presntation) and a folder full of script files (for javascript) if you use them.
Dont mix function with form (i.e dont put layout, colors and looks in the aspx/html page). This not only makes it easier to read and manage when you are developing but also easy to change things later.
As long as you organize everything correctly (personally i use divs) then you can place it where you like. And you can do some crazy things. Have a look at the home page on a site i built recently for a customer http://www.inspirationsbuyer.com which is all done using divs and css (with the odd javascript thrown in). Hardly anything is in a horizontal direction and took very little time to create.
CSS is VERY powerful when you know all the things you have to your advantage.
Also have a look at AJAX as this is a powerful tool and is free (the microsoft version is) and make sure you get the AJAX extensions and control toolkit ctp's. We are now building websites with the same rich ui as windows forms because of the power ajax gives us.
Both of these require time to learn and plenty of practice but will make site development much faster and easier to maintain and you will soon build your own library of tools.

commented: Great +1

Wow thank you both. Ajax was something I already read and heard about but thought it was something that I have to purchase.

Also the website looks wild and nothing like a standard asp page.

Thank you both for putting me in the right direction.

If you want to see some of the AJAX power then go the http://www.cloisonneheirlooms.com and look at the homepage there. It is a new wholesale site i am building for a customer and only the front page is ready.
The animation is done with about 5 lines of ajax.net code and the whole thing is done with divs and css with the odd script thrown in.

It so seems that AJAX goes far and beyond to stuff that you normally don't see for a normal webpage. I also found I guess the codename for AJAX and ASP.Net is Atlas. I was the book store the yesterday and saw a book in the programming section called Begining Atlas. I thought it was something about using Map Point in asp or something like that. Only if I woul of picked the book up..?..?..? Thanks

Atlas was microsofts name for Ajax.net when it was in beta. At the last minute (RTM 1.0 is out now) they changed it to ajax.net
There is a great sample website with ajax.net control toolkit with a webpage for all the controls and source code for each page plus documentation in the webpages for each tool :)

... or you could try Microsoft's Visual Web Developer 2005. It is free!

yeah, download Visual Web Developer and SQL Express as well as the Personal Site Starter Kit.