What is the main difference between a static and a dynamic web page?
A static web page has content that remains unchanged between web requests, whereas a dynamic web page's content is generated each time the page is requested. The dynamic content is typically generated from user input, database data, or some combination of the two.
For an example of a dynamic web page, consider the official website for the National Basketball Association (www.NBA.com), which lists team schedules, ongoing game scores, player statistics, and so on. This site's web pages display information stored in a database. Another example is a search engine site such as Google, which displays dynamic content based on both its catalog of indexed websites and the visitor's search terms.
You mentioned that with Visual Web Developer we'll be using the ASP.NET Development Web Server. Are other web server systems available for serving ASP.NET pages?
The ASP.NET Development Web Server is designed specifically for testing ASP.NET web pages locally. The computers at web-hosting companies use different web server software. Many web-hosting companies use Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS), which is a professional-grade web server designed to work with Microsoft's dynamic web technologies—ASP and ASP.NET.
If you are running Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, or Windows Server 2008, IIS may already be installed on your computer. If not, you can install it by going to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs, and clicking the Add/Remove Windows Components option.
I encourage you not to install IIS and to instead use the ASP.NET Development Web Server unless you are already familiar with IIS and know how to administer and secure it. The ASP.NET Development Web Server is more secure because it allows only incoming web requests from the local computer; IIS, on the other hand, is a full-blown web server and, unless properly patched and administered, can be an attack vector for malicious hackers.