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  1. #1
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    MS FrontPage Server Extensions now unsupported

    I still use MS FrontPage for my web site. When I tried to update my web site last week, it failed at the server end. After researching the problem for three days, my web hosting company says they can't fix the problem!!

    Today I was searching for a new web hosting company, and learned that the MS FrontPage Server Extensions are now unsupported by most web hosting companies. It seems that recent updates to CPanel required this change:
    "On March 19th, 2014 InMotion Hosting will be disabling the server-side FrontPage extensions on our servers. Any FrontPage user that wants to update their site, will no longer be able to publish with or utilize the features that FrontPage extensions allows for."

    A few of the companies said they will support MS FrontPage Server Extensions for existing clients, but not for any new clients.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

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    Smile A Work-Around for FrontPage Users

    Quote Originally Posted by rgrosz View Post
    I still use MS FrontPage for my web site. When I tried to update my web site last week, it failed at the server end. After researching the problem for three days, my web hosting company says they can't fix the problem!!

    Today I was searching for a new web hosting company, and learned that the MS FrontPage Server Extensions are now unsupported by most web hosting companies. It seems that recent updates to CPanel required this change:
    "On March 19th, 2014 InMotion Hosting will be disabling the server-side FrontPage extensions on our servers. Any FrontPage user that wants to update their site, will no longer be able to publish with or utilize the features that FrontPage extensions allows for."

    A few of the companies said they will support MS FrontPage Server Extensions for existing clients, but not for any new clients.
    I feel your pain, as my web hosting service made the change on their servers without any warning at all! Hundreds of FP users like us were left in the lurch. Needless to say, I was aggravated beyond belief when I saw the mess my once attractive site was in (www.slpa.info). I spent a lot of time complaining with customer support people at many levels and finally found a work-around myself, no thanks to customer support.

    I was able to enable the FrontPage extensions on my site (through Controlpanel) temporarily. I then used FP to copy (publish) all file folders associated with Frontpage (folders beginning with "_" ie. _borders, _fpclass, _overlay, _private, _sharedtemplates and most important, _themes) to my local site. I selected the folders on the remote site and "published" the site using the "remote to local" radio button. After the folders were copied to my local computer, I went back into Controlpanel and removed the FP extensions. Back in FrontPage, I could see that those folders were gone on the remote server. So.... with the FP extensions now disabled at the web host's remote server, I selected the local folders beginning with "_" on the local web site and published them back to the remote server (local to remote). Note that with the FP extensions removed, I had to set up and use FTP to publish as the FrontPage/Sharepoint publishing method no longer worked with the FP extensions.

    I found that with the FP extensions disabled, the folders created by those extensions were now back in place on the remote server. I loaded my site in a live browser and was delighted to find that my web-bot-created links all worked again and my theme was properly applied across the site.

    There were a few problems. Without the FP extensions loaded, as I said, I had to revert to using FTP (instead of FP or SharePoint services which no longer worked) to publish the site. It takes a little longer and FrontPage throws an error saying that the page(s) contain features not supported. Just choose ignore and away you go. Also, my viewer counter still doesn't work and I had to create a new feedback page. I deleted the former and the latter is better than the original.

    This all happened over 6 months ago and I am still using FrontPage features for my site design. It sounds complicated, but it's a workable solution. To summarize: Turn on FP extensions one more time in ControlPanel, copy all _* folders to local web site, disable FP extensions through ContolPanel, publish (through FTP) the same folders (_*) back to the remote site, and last, make minor changes necessary on your site like deleting the site counter, modify your feedback page which no longer works. My link menus and theme and even the picture gallery created with FP all still work and the FP extensions are no longer loaded. I was also able to avoid migrating my site to a different web hosting service. Hope this eases your anguish. Good luck.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    The problem with using FP (certainly the older ones) is that it produces poor code. E.g. your site when verified has 163 Errors, 13 warnings on it and a lot of css errors as well. FP was notorious for producing code which wouldn't render properly in more modern browsers. I see that you suggest that users of IE 9+ use compatibility mode (which MS had to introduce in their browser because of the poor code that FP produced). Users of other browsers probably don't have that facility. This will only get worse over time.

    Fortunately, MS now produces browsers which adhere to W3C standards much more, in common with Firefox et al. You really need to move away from FP and use CSS to format your pages.

    To see how your pages verify go to http://validator.w3.org/ and enter the url of each page you want to verify.
    for CSS verification see http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/.

    Hope this helps (and explains why MS have dropped FP).

    N.B. There are plenyt of guides to HTML and CSS coding - just Google for them. I'm told that Wordpress and Joomla are reasonable website creators as well.

  4. #4
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by access-mdb View Post
    The problem with using FP (certainly the older ones) is that it produces poor code. E.g. your site when verified has 163 Errors, 13 warnings on it and a lot of css errors as well. FP was notorious for producing code which wouldn't render properly in more modern browsers. I see that you suggest that users of IE 9+ use compatibility mode (which MS had to introduce in their browser because of the poor code that FP produced). Users of other browsers probably don't have that facility. This will only get worse over time.

    Fortunately, MS now produces browsers which adhere to W3C standards much more, in common with Firefox et al. You really need to move away from FP and use CSS to format your pages.

    To see how your pages verify go to http://validator.w3.org/ and enter the url of each page you want to verify.
    for CSS verification see http://jigsaw.w3.org/css-validator/.

    Hope this helps (and explains why MS have dropped FP).

    N.B. There are plenyt of guides to HTML and CSS coding - just Google for them. I'm told that Wordpress and Joomla are reasonable website creators as well.
    I agree with everything you say about sloppy, obsolete code and my "solution" is far from glorious. It did, however, provide me with an interim working site until I can do something better. It sounds like a complete rewrite of the code is needed on my site and I'm not a coder. I have only a working knowledge of html and that knowledge is probably as dated as FrontPage! Also, I maintain just this one site and it doesn't have to be that complex to meet our needs.

    I am looking for a WYSIWYG web design package that might import my site; then clean it up--probably too much to wish for. I know Dreamweaver, if I were a millionaire, can do that; but, probably, all those code errors would import as well. I don't mind learning something new; but I shudder to think about starting all over again. In the mean time, my site still works without FrontPage extensions and the FP "theme" actually results in a style sheet. I probably just didn't apply it consistently. As an editor, FrontPage is great for MS Office users. I just wish MS hadn't dropped further development and support of FrontPage and Expression Web software.

    If you know of a good solution or a reasonable path for FrontPage users to take without becoming programmers and starting from scratch, I/we would appreciate any suggestions you or others on the forum might offer. Thanks for your comments.

  5. #5
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    My Domain Host wanted me off FrontPage as they don't want to support FP extensions so I went with the free Expression Web 4 from Microsoft.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/down....aspx?id=36179
    I had another issue with FrontPage 2003, couldn't keep it installed when I installed the 64-bit of Office 2010 so change has been good.

  6. #6
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    I have used FP2000 for about 14 years, and still use it to this day. I have created and maintained more than 50 sites with it – for myself and others.

    "server extensions" are unnecessary. They were helpful for people who were intimidated by the thought of "programming". I don't blame people for feeling that way but the solution has always been pretty simple.

    You can continue to create web pages and full sites using FP. A few things will change – nothing major – nothing difficult. Windows Secrets readers are qualified.

    First, a little terminology. Don’t think “webs” think “pages”. You’ll be making pages that constitute your web, as before.

    You won’t be “publishing” your “web”. You’ll be “transferring files” from your PC to their corresponding folders on your host server. You use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software.

    I recommend FileZilla. It is free, very easy and not mysterious at all. If you can copy a file from one folder on your PC to another, you can use FileZilla. Your ISP will be glad to tell you the settings you need.

    <Here’s how to go about the transition>
    1) As a backup, copy your htm and/or html files, your images, and all “content” to a safe place, USING THE SAME FOLDER NAMES AND RELATIVE LOCATIONS.

    2) You can delete or ignore the “vti” type folders. They will serve no purpose any more.

    3) Test your web site using Windows Explorer or My Computer. Go to the folder that has “Default.htm” and double click on that file. (See? It works without all that vti junk.)

    4) Start FP. Hide all the items on the “View” menu, since they relate to “webs”, and what we do is “pages”.

    5) On the File Menu, open a web PAGE using “Open” – NOT “Open Web” (no more webs – only pages).

    6) Click on the HTML Tab, often, and look at the code that FP created. It is a good way to learn, and helps in troubleshooting.
    Here’s the big secret to HTML: Everything starts with <something> and ends with </something) And with that secret out in the open, I end.
    </Here’s how to go about the transition>

    Have fun.

    By the way, I use FP2000 on Win7 Pro 64bit version as a stand alone program, not as part of the Office Suite.
    Last edited by UncleStu; 2014-12-18 at 23:02. Reason: Added text

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  8. #7
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    Alternatives to FP range from Notepad++ (free) to Dreamweaver (not free - by a long way). You can Google for html editors - there's quite a few. Microsoft Expression Web 4 seems like a good free one (I haven't really used it so can't say more than that). It does enable you to see what tags are available.

    When you start building pages, consider having the FF extension Web Developer, that has many useful items for checking etc.

    When I was building our village's website, I used Notepad++ to write code (it colour codes the code). But I also ran Apache as a webserver on my PC - this allowed me to see pages as they would be seen online.

    Something to bear in mind - if your site runs to more than a few pages, then Server Side Includes (SSI) become very helpful. They are small bits of html which are included in each page. If you need to change something then it's only needed in one place, not every page. So having a header with your logo and menu as an SSI means you can change your logo, or menu items in one place rather than every single page.

    The other thing to note - learn HTML and CSS. You can do this with various tutorials online (W3C is a good source here). And steal HTML! If you find a layout you like use view source (it's better on the web developer menu) to see how it's created. Some pages are very complicated code - I ignore those - but some are relatively simple.

    One good site to look at is Zen Garden. It has pages which are all different, but the HTML code for each is identical. It's all driven by CSS (which is what CSS is for). That can give you some ideas.

    Good luck and happy coding.

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  10. #8
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    I have a solution for you, I had a client with around 25 FP sites, We moved them into a Windows 2008 vps (has to be none r2) based on what we are told by the hosting firm doing this for us resellerchoice they installed FP for me and all working now on my private server. quick an easy solution with no more worries of your host removing support.

    Best of luck.

  11. #9
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I did a Google search on "windows 2008 vps hosting", and started with this thread:
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1078375

    My web site currently has about 1.5 GB of data in 14,000 files, and hosting costs $12 per month. Looks like I have a LOT of research to find the "right choice" - meaning something reasonably priced:
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=104
    Rick Groszkiewicz
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  12. #10
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    Does that $12 monthly include the Domain Name cost? If so that's a decent price.

  13. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berton View Post
    Does that $12 monthly include the Domain Name cost? If so that's a decent price.
    No, I pay for registration separately through Dotster, which costs $38 for for two years. Still only about $13.50 per month in total.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  14. #12
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    I just paid $330 renewal to GoDaddy for five years cPanel web hosting plus domain name registration. That's $5.50 per month. That's up from the previous four years that cost $191 or $4 per month. Of course I paid up front, not monthly.

    Bill

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