How to: Manually create web templates

Applies to: yesVisual Studio noVisual Studio for Mac noVisual Studio Code

Creating a web template is different than creating other kinds of templates. Because web project templates appear in the Add New Web Site dialog box, and web project items are categorized by programming language, the vstemplate file must specify the template as a web template and identify the programming language.


Web templates must contain an empty .webproj file, and it must be referenced in the vstemplate file in the File attribute of the Project element. Although web projects do not require a .proj project file, it's necessary to create this stub file for the web template to function correctly.

To manually create a web template

  1. Create a web project.

  2. Modify or delete the files in the project, or add new files to the project.

  3. Create an XML file and save it with a vstemplate file name extension, in the same directory as your project. Do not add it to the project in Visual Studio.

  4. Edit the vstemplate XML file to provide project template metadata. For more information, see the example that follows.

  5. Locate the ProjectType element in the vstemplate file, and set the text value to Web.

  6. Following the ProjectType element, add a ProjectSubType element and set the text value to the programming language of the template. The programming language can be one of the following values:

    • CSharp

    • VisualBasic

      For example:

  7. Select the files in your template (this includes the vstemplate file), right-click the selection, and choose Send to > Compressed (zipped) folder. The files are compressed into a .zip file.

  8. Put the .zip template file in the Visual Studio project template directory. By default, this directory is %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Visual Studio <Version>\ProjectTemplates.


The following example shows a basic vstemplate file for a web project template:

<VSTemplate Version="2.0.0" Type="Project"
        <Description>A simple web template</Description>
        <Project File="WebApplication.webproj">
            <ProjectItem OpenInEditor="true">Default.aspx</ProjectItem>

See also