Tech Junkie Blog: ASP.NET MVC 5 From Scratch : Create an ASP.NET MVC 5 Empty Project

Saturday, June 18, 2016

ASP.NET MVC 5 From Scratch : Create an ASP.NET MVC 5 Empty Project

A lot of people think that you can only create one kind of ASP.NET MVC 5 project, the one with the sample application.  But the reality is that you can create an Empty ASP.NET MVC 5, you just need to do more work.  However, it is cleaner and you can add what you need, instead of having everything in place already like the default template.  So you might run into more errors with the empty project, but I think you will learn more about MVC than if you just have the default template.  Plus it's more streamline.  I always start with an empty project on my MVC projects.  In order to follow this tutorial you must have Visual Studio 2013 installed.

Step-By-Step Instructions:
  1. Create a new project in Visual Studio call "MvcApp", by clicking on File → New → Project
  2. Select Visual C# → Web → ASP.NET Web Application, in the "Name:" field type the name "MvcApp", then click "OK"

 3.  On the next screen select "Empty" on the "Select a template" menu, then under "Add folders and core references for:", check the "MVC" checkbox.

Select Empty MVC template

 4.  Your empty ASP.NET MVC 5 project is created in Visual Studio 2013

Empty ASP.NET MVC project

5.  We are not done yet,  since this is an empty project we will get an error if we try to run the application.  Hit "Ctrl+F5" to run the application.  You will get this message

Server Error in '/' Application.

The resource cannot be found.

Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.  Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly.

Requested URL: /

Version Information: Microsoft .NET Framework Version:4.0.30319; ASP.NET Version:4.0.30319.34212 

The reason you are getting a 404 error is because there's no "Controller" or "View" to browse to.  Since we just created a bare bones ASP.NET MVC 5 project.

6.  So to get the application to run we will create a simple Controller and View in the MvcApp project.

7. Right click on the "Controller" folder and select "Add" → "Controller"

Visual Studio: Add a new Controller

8.  On the "Add Controller" screen type "HomeController" on the "Controller name" text box and select "Empty MVC controller".  We just want to keep things simple for this blog.  Then click "Add"

HomeController configuration

9.  You see the "HomeController.cs" class being added to the "Controllers" folder

HomeController configuration

10.  Double click on the "HomeController.cs" file and you will see the following code

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Linq;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Mvc;

namespace MyMVC4.Controllers
    public class HomeController : Controller
        // GET: /Home/

        public ActionResult Index()
            return View();


11.  Right click on the "Index()" method and select "Add View"

Add View To Index method

12.   Uncheck the "Use a layout or master page" checkbox. Accept the default settings, MVC uses conventions so the view has the same name as the method name in the "HomeController.cs" file which is "Index()", then click "Add"

Index View Settings

13.  In the "Views" folder you see that the "Home" folder has been created with the view "Index.cshtml", the .cshtml extension means that the view uses the C# syntax.

14.  Double click on the view "Index.cshtml" and type "Hello World" between the <div> tag like the markup below

    Layout = null;

<!DOCTYPE html>

    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width" />
        Hello World!

15. Press Ctrl+F5 to run the application, you will see the following.

Browse Hello World View

This blog is dedicated to getting developers started quickly with ASP.NET MVC by creating an empty ASP.NET MVC project.  By creating an empty project your are able to understand ASP.NET MVC at a deeper level.  Also you can pick and choose which features of ASP.NET MVC you want to use because you starting out with a clean slate.  So without further ado let's get to the blogs.  I will list the blogs in the order that I think will help build from one another.

  1.  ASP.NET MVC 5 : Create an ASP.NET MVC 5 Empty Project  A lot of people think that you can only create one kind of ASP.NET MVC 5 project, the one      with the sample application.  But the reality is that you can create an Empty ASP.NET MVC 5, you just need to do more work.  However, it is cleaner and you can add what you need, instead of having everything in place already like the default template.
  2. ASP.NET MVC Empty Project: Add JQuery Library Using NuGet In this blog we will add JQuery to the empty ASP.NET MVC 5 project that we've just created.
  3.  ASP.NET MVC Empty Project: Add Bootstrap Library Using NuGet  In this blog we will add the Bootstrap to the empty ASP.NET MVC 5 project.
  4. ASP.NET MVC Empty Project: Add JQuery UI Library Using NuGet  In this blog well add the JQuery UI library to the empty ASP.NET MVC 5 project.
  5. ASP.NET MVC Empty Project : _ViewStart.cshtml The Default Layout In this blog we will build on our existing MvcApp project and add a default layout view to the project so that each page in the project will have a common layout. This is similar what you would a master page for in web forms.

  6. ASP.NET MVC Empty Project : Adding BundleConfig From Scratch In this blog we will add BundleConfig for the JavaScript libraries which includes JQuery, and Bootstrap that we've added to our MvcApp project in the previous blogs. A configuration bundle allows you to group files that belongs in the same libraries together so that they can called with just one line of code..

  7. ASP.NET MVC 5 : Configure The BundleConfig Class To Use CDN A lot of developers assumed that they can only configure the BundleConfig class to use only local resources in their MVC project. That is not the case, in fact it is quite easy to use a cdn version of your JavaScript libraries instead of the one in your local folder.

  8. ASP.NET MVC : Create A Responsive Layout With Bootstrap  In this blog we will use Bootstrap to make the layout look more professional and responsive, so that it can be viewed in any screen size in an ASP.NET MVC layout.

16.  Now that we have a working empty ASP.NET MVC 5 project, we need add the items to the projects using NuGet.


  1. Hello,

    I followed your tutorial step by step I still get The resource cannot be found.

    I don't know what seems to be the problem.

    I am using VS express 2012 but I have added the plugin to use MVC5 so I created an epmty mvc5 project


  2. What step are you stuck on? I used Visual Studio 2013 the full version so the steps might be a little different.

  3. Actually I think I was using Visual Studio Community Edition 2013 you can get it here at

  4. Hello,

    I have the same problem of Sabrine Azouz, in the step 15 when trying to run the application, get the resource cannot be found error

  5. I had the same trouble, but it went away when I restarted Visual Studio. I'm using VS2015 community, and everything works fine. Thanks Jason, great article.

  6. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been looking for a long time for a set of tutorials that starts without everything auto-installed, allowing you to add things as you need them so you understand what's going on. This is fantastic.

  7. Thanks for this. It was really helpful!

  8. Hey, I just wanted to mention that these instructions worked perfectly using Monodevelop 5.10 on a Fedora 23 box. The only deviation from these instructions that I had to do was to create a registry directory. Like so...

    sudo mkdir /etc/mono/registry
    sudo chmod uog+rw /etc/mono/registry/

    Thanks for your efforts in putting together this tutorial!

    1. I'm using Debian 8.x and the directory already exists.


  9. Thanks I've been looking for good tutorial that would start from scratch. Most of the books I see use MVC template..

  10. Thank u so much. Explained in such a easy and simple way. Really helpful.

  11. I am using vidual studio 2015.I have created mvc empty web application.
    I have created 2 webpages in aspx.also created controller for both.
    when i buld the project one page gets loaded successfully in browser.

    On click of a buuton on one page second page shuld be anchor tag does in html.
    Can you help me with that?

    1. I would recommend that you remove the .aspx page. Since this is an MVC application and razor is the view template that Microsoft is pushing. It would make your life a lot easier if you stick with razor

  12. thanks dude. I was going bonkers trying to get a simple one page mvc website running. This got me going in the right direction

  13. Really excellent tutorial gives very in-depth picture how actually thing works sir

  14. hello!!!
    It is really a great work and the way in which u r sharing the knowledge is excellent.Thanks for helping me to understand basic concepts. As a beginner in programming your post help me a lot.Thanks for your informative article

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  16. Very Nice blog. Really helpful information about ASP …. Please keep update some more…………

  17. Nice Post!
    Really helpful article which provide latest information about ASP.

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  18. nicely explain the process to create mvc project

  19. Nice and really helpful article to everyone... thanks for sharing your creative knowledge..keep updating such a informative Blog..
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