Including External JavaScript and Stylesheets in a .NET Page

I’ve seen several ASP.NET developers architect their web apps so that the only way they can include page-specific CSS or JavaScript is via the code-behind file. That is a bad method because you generally want to keep as much display logic in the aspx as possible. It is actually very easy to structure your master page to allow page-specific CSS/JavaScript. You’ll kick yourself when you see this:

The Master Page

<%@ Master Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewMasterPage" %>

<html xmlns="">
        <title><asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="Title" runat="server" /></title>
        <meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
        <link rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/layout.css" />
        <asp:ContentPlaceHolder ID="Head" runat="server" />

The Page

<%@ Master Language="C#" Inherits="System.Web.Mvc.ViewMasterPage" MasterPageFile="~/Views/Shared/Site.Master" %>

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="Title" runat="server">
    This is my page!

<asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderID="Head" runat="server">
    <link rel="Stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/css/home.css" />
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/scripts/home.js"></script>

Yep…it’s that easy!

ASP.NET MVC Ajax Redirect

I’ve had several occasions where I have needed to make an Ajax request to a secure action on the server (i.e. an action that requires the user to be logged in). The problem is…sometimes the user’s session will timeout between the time they access the secure page and the time they make the secure Ajax request. My action notices this and redirects the user to the login page…but if its an Ajax request then a simple 302 redirect just won’t work. Here’s a method that will.

public class MyBaseController : System.Web.Mvc.Controller
    protected override RedirectResult Redirect(string url)
        return new AjaxAwareRedirectResult(url);

public class AjaxAwareRedirectResult : RedirectResult
    public AjaxAwareRedirectResult(string url)
        : base(url)

    public override void ExecuteResult(ControllerContext context)
        if (context.RequestContext.HttpContext.Request.IsAjaxRequest())
            string destinationUrl = UrlHelper.GenerateContentUrl(Url, context.HttpContext);

            JavaScriptResult result = new JavaScriptResult()
                Script = "window.location='" + destinationUrl + "';"

Now you can use the controller’s Redirect() function as usual…and it will automatically detect if it needs to perform a 302 redirect or an Ajax redirect.