The first stage in the page life cycle is initialization. This is fired after the page's control tree has been successfully created. All the controls that are statically declared in the .aspx file will be initialized with the default values. Controls can use this event to initialize some of the settings that can be used throughout the lifetime of the incoming web request.
After initialization, page framework loads the view state for the page. Viewstate is a collection of name/value pairs, where control's and page itself store information that is persistent among web requests. It contains the state of the controls the last time the page was processed on the server. By overriding LoadViewState() method, component developer can understand how viewstate is restored.
Once viewstate is restored, control will be updated with the client side changes. It loads the posted data values. The PostBackData event gives control a chance to update their state that reflects the state of the HTML element on the client.
At the end of the posted data changes event, controls will be reflected with changes done on the client. At this point, load event is fired.
Key event in the life cycle is when the server-side code associated with an event triggered on the client. When the user clicks on the button, the page posts back. Page framework calls the RaisePostBackEvent. This event looks up for the event handler and run the associated delegate.
After PostBack event, page prepares for rendering. PreRender event is called. This is the place where user can do the update operations before the viewstate is stored and output is rendered. Next stage is saving view state, all the values of the controls will be saved to their own viewstate collection. The resultant viewstate is serialized, hashed, base24 encoded and associated with the _viewstate hidden field.
Next the render method is called. This method takes the HtmlWriter object and uses it to accumulate all HTML text to be generated for the control. For each control the page calls the render method and caches the HTML output. The rendering mechanism for the control can be altered by overriding this render method.
The final stage of the life cycle is unload event. This is called just before the page object is dismissed. In this event, you can release critical resources you have such as database connections, files, graphical objects etc. After this event browser receives the HTTP response packet and displays the page.