Appendix B. Copying a Web Site

You’ll often find it necessary or convenient to make a copy of an existing web site—that is, to make a new web site that is the same as the original except for a different name. We do this frequently in this book when building up examples, layering functionality on to a previous example. In the real world, you might want to make a copy of a web site so you can experiment without breaking something that works. We often copy a web site at various stages of development to have an easy snapshot to refer to without having to go to the bother of restoring from backup.

Before looking at the different ways to copy a web site, it would be helpful to understand a bit about what actually constitutes a web site. However, if all you want is the cookbook recipe—the set of steps you need to follow to copy a web site—you can skip the following discussion and move on to the next two sections, “Copying the Web Site Without Using the IDE” and “Copying the Web Site with the IDE.”

Virtual Directories

Physically, what comprises a web site? Answer: a folder on the hard drive of the web server. If the server in question, such as Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Services), is operating outside the bounds of Visual Studio, Visual Web Developer, or some other development tool, then the folder containing the web site must be designated as a virtual directory—that is, a directory that is mapped to a web URL by the web server. When a user enters that URL into a browser, the request ...

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