Web Application Versus Web Site - Course ASP.NET 4 and Visual Studio 2010 - Lesson 1 (free video)
In this video, we try to explore the difference between a web site and a web application. Although the structure of the site seems the same when we run it, there are key differences between the two. The major difference is that a web application has a project that holds the files together. I can easily right-click on a file and say “Exclude from project”. That option is not available in a web site. A web site is made of files and folder, but no project. So if I need to exclude a file from the web site, I have to either delete it, or give it the extension “.exclude”. In addition, a web project can be compiled into a single dll available in the bin folder. That is not the case in a web site. Every page will compile into its own assembly. If I need to open a web application, I can double click on the project. But since there is no project in a web site, I can select File->Open-> web site from a specific folder (where I originally created the web site).