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To develop a website with the ASP.NET Web Forms framework, you actually just need the .NET framework (preferably the latest version) and a simple text editor, e.g. Notepad or which ever text editor you prefer. You can then write your code in the editor and use the commandline compiler included in the .NET framework to compile your code. Some people will even prefer this "back to basics" way of doing things, but I believe that ASP.NET is best programmed with a decent IDE.
Integrated Development Environment
IDE stands for Integrated Development Environment and is usually a combination of an editor, some sort of project management, integration with one or several compilers and much more. In this tutorial, we will use the free Visual Studio Community IDE from Microsoft - it's free, quick to install and easy to use! You can use an IDE from another vendor or even a simple editor, and you will still be able to follow most of this tutorial, but you will benefit the most by using Visual Studio Community. Using a good IDE will make a lot of things faster in the long run.
Download Visual Studio Community
So, to get started with this tutorial, go ahead and download Visual Studio Community from visualstudio.com. Here's a direct link to the download page:
As soon as you have downloaded and installed it, you are ready to proceed with the next articles, where we will create your very first ASP.NET website.
Not using Windows?
Don't worry, there's a version for macOS as well - just follow the link above and be sure to select the version of Visual Studio Community for macOS!