Visual Studio 2010 (and later) deployment overview

In Visual Studio .NET 2010 and later, you can create either a Web Site Project or Web Application project.  Each project has its own advantages depending on your needs. See this Web Application Project Vs Web Site article for a more detailed comparison.

 
Here's an overview and links to articles on how to deploy your application with each project type.

Web Site Project

You have 2 options to deploy with web site project:
  • Use "Copy Web Site" with FTP.
    • This method is ideal if you want to put the code files onto the server.
  • Use "Publish Web Site with FTP.
    • This method precompiles your application before deploying.
Web Site Project Knowledge Base articles:
How to deploy a Visual Studio 2010 Web Site Project using Copy Website feature
How to deploy a Visual Studio 2010 Web Site Project using Publish Web Site feature


Web Application Project

Using Web Application Project, you can either publish your web application using FTP or web deploy.
  • With FTP: all of your web site files will be copied using FTP.
  • With Web Deploy: your application will be packaged locally on your computer first and deploy using Web Deploy server technology.  See: http://www.iis.net/expand/WebDeploy.  
Web Application Project Knowledge Base articles:
How to deploy a Visual Studio 2010 Web Application Project using FTP
How to deploy a Visual Studio 2010 Web Application Project using Web Deploy