Developing and testing static web pages in Visual Studio


I'm trying to develop a static HTML + JavaScript web site using Visual Studio 2012 and, oh boy, am I having trouble getting the simplest things to work.

I have been using the following Visual Studio template on Visual Studio 2012: (it mystifies me that there isn't such a thing available by default).

I have added a js folder to the project in preference to the default lib.

I have edited the default index.html file and set it as the start-up page.

When I hit Ctrl+F5 to test the page, my web browser (Chrome) starts up and shows some unhelpful error gobbledygook. For example, trying use local IIS web server in the project settings, I get a web page starting thus:

HTTP Error 500.19 - Internal Server Error
The requested page cannot be accessed because the related configuration data for the page is invalid.
Detailed Error Information:
Module     IIS Web Core
Notification       BeginRequest
Handler    Not yet determined
Error Code     0x80070003
Config Error       Cannot read configuration file
Config File    \\?\C:\Users\Ralph\AppData\Local\Temporary Projects\Rawb\web.config
Requested URL      http://localhost:36263/rawb/
Physical Path      C:\Users\Ralph\AppData\Local\Temporary Projects\Rawb\
Logon Method       Not yet determined
Logon User     Not yet determined
Request Tracing Directory      C:\Users\Ralph\SkyDrive\My Documents\IISExpress\TraceLogFiles\RAWB-SITE

If I spoke ancient Mayan that might be helpful.

All that needs to happen is for the files and folders of my project to be copied somewhere (where?!) so the web server can serve them. Why is this so blooming difficult to arrange?!

I have tried every combination of project settings I can think of, I have spent hours googling for the right mystic incantations, and have had no luck at all. I don't care whether I use local IIS or the VS Development Server.

Can some kind soul please explain to me, in words of one syllable, suitable for a slow child, exactly what I have to do to be able to hit F5 in Visual Studio and see the fruits of my labour presented in a web browser? [Seriously, if you could mention every click, I would be eternally grateful: most "explanations" on the web assume some secret knowledge that isn't written in one place shorter than the Bible.]

asked on Stack Overflow Nov 5, 2013 by Rafe

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