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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Angry Front Page obsolete?

    I'm getting tired of my web hosting company breaking the MS Front Page authoring feature. About once a quarter, I can't update my web site (my current situation). They eventually fix whatever they broke, but it is annoying when they say
    "Wait, what - you're still using Front Page??"

    The new MS replacement for Front Page is Expression Web. I'm not quite ready to buy into yet another 3rd party platform that MS purchased.

    I'm interested in hearing from anyone else out there who has migrated away from MS Front Page. What other software is commonly used to maintain / update web sites, which is comparable to Front Page?

    In other words, I don't want to step backwards to using a simple FTP program. For my needs, DreamWeaver is probably overkill. I'd prefer something that is a bit simpler to learn.

    One thing that I do need is the ability to easily transfer / convert all the files for my existing web site. I have 5,000 files which take up 1.3 GB on my hard drive. Most of that is data - I probably have about 500 html pages.
    Last edited by rgrosz; 2011-06-09 at 09:32.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Have you used any FrontPage WebBot components (FP: Overview of WebBot Components)? These usually appear in the HTML pane as a comment containing the word "webbot". If not, you are free to change everything. If so, you may need to manually re-code those features first, since other editors are unlikely to recognize them.

  4. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by jscher2000 View Post
    Have you used any FrontPage WebBot components (FP: Overview of WebBot Components)? These usually appear in the HTML pane as a comment containing the word "webbot". If not, you are free to change everything. If so, you may need to manually re-code those features first, since other editors are unlikely to recognize them.
    The main Front Page component that I use simply shows the "date last updated". I expected that I would have to manually replace that code with something else.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgrosz View Post
    The main Front Page component that I use simply shows the "date last updated". I expected that I would have to manually replace that code with something else.
    I moved from FrontPage 98 to Expression Web 1 awhile back. I thought it was a slight step backwards for my needs. Expression Web comes across as a serious authoring tool. I used the date last updated bot and of course Expression Web doesn't have that. What I ended up doing is doing a copy and paste from my other websites and it publishes just fine. I was also getting used to Image Composer. I felt it was adequate for my needs which weren't much.

    I recently bought a new computer and decided to see what was available on the Expression Web side. They are now up to Version 4 (which does have some minor drawbacks in layout compared to Version 1). It too is overkill for what I use it for.

    The package I ended up getting was Expression Studio 4 Web Professional upgrade. I got it for $50 through the Amazon Marketplace. With it includes Expression Web and Expression Design which takes the place of Image Composer. Both of these tools are overkill for the simple websites I manage, but at $50, I think it is a steel. Finally, as far as I know FP won't work with Windows 7.

    Bottom line: It is worth the jump. It will have a learning curve...how steep is depends on your knowledge going in and how much time you want to play with it.

    HTH

  6. #5
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Using Front Page nowadays is the approximate equivalent of using Windows 98 (and probably not even 98SE)...
    You can continue to use both, if you want.

    In the time since FrontPage was new and vibrant, Dreamweaver has come - and almost gone.
    BATcher

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  7. #6
    New Lounger
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    I have FP2003 on my Win7 laptop, integrates with Office '07. Works fine but it is obsolete imho. Looking at Coffee Cup software and asked for opinions on another post. Adobe software $ gave me sticker shock!

  8. #7
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    -On Soapbox-

    This is the problem with any code authoring software you spend hours learning how it works and its quirks only to have it inconsistently upgraded or discontinued. Not to mention the notoriously inefficient code they generate. My advice to all is learn the underlying technology {HTML, CSS, JavaScript in this case} it ain't rocket science.
    You probably won't invest any more time and you'll be mostly update/discontinued proof. Sure they have new versions and changes but the old methods are usually supported while transition to the new methods are adopted. As an added benefit you can do it the way you want it not the way the code writer wants to do it.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

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  9. #8
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    I'm just trying the 60 day trial version of Expression Studio 4 downloaded from MS web site. I have previously used FrontPage 2003 and another nice, easy Web authoring program called Actual Drawing that has most of the WYSIWIG features of front page but no code editor. But then Actual Drawing only costs $100 and still does a good job.
    Expression Studio 4 looks a lot like FrontPage 2003 with the same menus, dialogs etc plus a few extra features and a pretier UI. Searching the web shopping sites comes up with the cheapest at AU$144 for a boxed retail DVD, about half the price of the MS dounload. In my opinion it's worth upgrading and will do so when the trial runs out.

  10. #9
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    Expression Web is the replacement of FrontPage.

  11. #10
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    I still use FrontPage 2003 for all my web work. It may be old, but it is like an old shoe, it feels very good. I even write PHP code in it.

    However, I do not use the FrontPage extensions. This is what gets "broken" when you cannot publish. There are better free code on the net to do anything the FrontPage extensions do and perhaps better. Start publishing using the FTP function in FrontPage. It works just as well as using the FrontPage publishing feature.

    If you try to upload a large file and you get a timeout error, look at Filezilla to upload the stubborn file.

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  13. #11
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike-H View Post
    I still use FrontPage 2003 for all my web work. It may be old, but it is like an old shoe, it feels very good. I even write PHP code in it.
    If you are using the code view rather than the WYSIWYG features, you can easily work around the proprietary code that FP was designed to generate. Not everyone is prepared to dive in to that depth.

  14. #12
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the Host, mucking about with your code. I think I'd find another host. Eh?

    My own site host provides me space for my files and nothing else. They never mess with it.

    Having said that, a good friend and associate set up my one page web site for me, using Front Page,
    but didn't show me how to use it. So when I needed to make a little change and I pulled the page up
    with front page it came up in HTML mode, not WYSIWYG. So there I sat, trying to decipher HTML code,
    which I'd never seen before. Yoiks!

    But a few hours later, I finally figured out what was going on, and I was able to make the changes that
    I needed to make. Now I have no problem with it.

    I guess ignorance is Bliss, because I have no problems with Front Page now that I know better how to use it.

    Cheers Mates and Happy Holidays,
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  15. #13
    3 Star Lounger Jagworld's Avatar
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    Yep, I'm not very good using HTML code but can move around inside FP98/FP2000 (I have a small learning curve) obliviously it's WYSIWYG :-)

    Again, it's running it in my XP pro disk and don't even "Care to" know if it'll run in my win7 partition.

  16. #14
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    It's definitely time to break away from Front Page, for a huge variety of reasons. Web pages are increasingly being viewed on smart phones, tablets, e-readers. The OS systems vary widely, as do the browsers. Many of these devices rely on varying degrees of compliance with HTML5 and CSS3 standards to render pages as the author intended.

    But, the biggest reason lies in the fact that you have 5,000 files. Why?? You say that you probably have about 500 html pages. That's an even bigger why??? The sites that I build are quite modular. That is, there are lots of little parts that make up each page. But, even the biggest has only a fraction of the pages that you have.

    Styling and layout is handled by a couple of css files. Data is all in a database where it is easily entered and recalled to populate parts of a page.

    At least with Expression Web, the emphasis has been on modern web standards. There will be a learning curve, as there is with any new technology, but the interface appears to be similar enough to Front Page, that it shouldn't be too frustrating.
    Don
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  17. #15
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    I think the biggest issue is that many hosting companies no longer install Front Page Server extensions. Most of what they did can be reproduced quite simply with a bit of simple programming or javascript.

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