|FrontPage and EWD Tips|
Show us what you've got...
1. Did you know that while in WYSIWYG view, you can Ctrl + Click any link to open that page in your editor? This makes it very efficient when cross referencing pages and making edits back and forth between a master page and then subsets of that master page.
The above applies to insite links. When it comes to offsite links, you can also Ctrl + Click those and open that page in your editor (in most instances). This is great to see how a page is structured, what the html looks like, etc.
I should point out that I use an FP Include method and I can "see" my primary navigation elements in WYSIWYG view. So, if I were working in a particular sub-directory, I could Ctrl + Click my way through the links in the left hand navigation menu and make edits to those pages quickly without drilling down a directory structure. Try it! It really makes editing a breeze.
And by the way, why would I need a CMS if I have tools like FrontPage, Expression Web, Dreamweaver, HomeSite, etc. available to me?
Quick Tag Editor
2. Did you know that when you Ctrl + / (Reveal Tags) in FP2003 and prior, you can click on the element (click on the opening element) you wish to edit and Ctrl + Q to bring up the Quick Tag Editor? Your cursor is positioned right after the opening element ready to be classed, id'd, etc. Very handy and convenient when working in WYSIWYG (design view).
Editing at the Browser Level Using IE
While in IE, go to...
Tools > Internet Options > Programs > Internet programs > HTML editor
Depending on what you have installed on your system will determine what appears in the HTML editor dropdown menu.
When FrontPage and/or EWD are installed, you can make one of them the default editor by following the above instructions.
Now, go to IE and right click your toolbar.
> Select Customize Command Bar
> Select Add or Remove Commands
In the Customize Toolbar dialog that appears, choose the Edit button and click Add. That will now add the Edit button to your IE Toolbar.
What does this do? Well, if your FP Extensions are configured properly, you can now browse to any page within your web (using IE), click the Edit Button, enter your username/password and now edit live at the server.
Can you believe I still have a client that uses FrontPage Express in this manner? Yup, I set up the pages so they were bullet proof and he does his thing. ;)
What other benefits does this provide? Hehehe, it allows you to utilize FrontPage or EWD as a fairly robust CMS. There are document check-in and check-out procedures, etc. All sorts of neat administrative features. Set up your pages using FP/EWD .dwt's (Dynamic Web Templates) and you can easily create a CMS environment that rivals those discussed here regularly. ;)
Add SharePoint Services and I personally don't think there is a better CMS out there.
Add MS Content Management Server and you'll be in your own world. :)
FrontPage and EWD have a very powerful hyperlink verification routine that you can run on your web. The Verify Hyperlinks command is not easily findable and most are not aware of it. What I've done is customized my Standard Toolbar and have added the Verify Hyperlinks command to that toolbar.
While in FP, right click your toolbar space at top.
> Select Customize
> Select View
Scroll down the list until you see the Verify Hyperlinks command (it will have a chain link on top with a red check mark underneath). Click it and drag/drop it in your Standard Toolbar (or whichever toolbar you want to put it in). This is your one-click link verification routine.
While your web is open, click the Verify Hyperlinks command. From the dialog, choose which option best suits your needs. I typically Verify all hyperlinks on a regular basis. This keeps me in check just in case I broke something during an edit. ;)
Keep in mind, that the Verify Hyperlinks command will verify both internal and external links. Some external links may show up as broken and you will need to manually check those. Its a simple right click routine to do so.
Also, if there are broken links, and this includes files, images, etc., you can edit them right from the hyperlinks window.
Note: Larger webs with many internal and external links may take a few moments for link verification.
Well, there I was posting a tip today and I see someone felt this warranted a Front Page entry, thank you.
|Productivity Tips for Expression Web and FrontPage |
"Why would I need a CMS if I have tools like FrontPage or Expression Web available to me?"
I really like how the last question in my original post was quoted. I guess the pressure is on me to show how FP and EWD can be used as a CMS, eh?
Document Check-in and Check-out
While in FP, go to...
Tools > Site Settings > Check the "Use document check-in and check-out"
I also recommending checking the "Prompt to check-out file when opening a page"
What does this do? Once activated, your web is now under a check-in and check-out procedure. Each time you open a file, you will be prompted based on the status of the file. If it is available for editing, you will be given permission to edit. If it is not available, you'll get a message showing who is editing the file and you will have read only access.
Once you close your web, those files that you've checked out are now available to the rest of the editing team.
I should point out that these are "basic" features in FrontPage and EWD. You can expand your editing features by moving into a SharePoint environment. Or even better yet, an MS Content Management Server. I'm itching to spend some money and that MS CMS is on my list. :)
WYSIWYG only supports browers that are cookie and java enabled dont they? I notice google just banned my linux agent OPera I am really disapointed with this poor browers support.
FrontPage, Dreamweaver, etc can be appropriate tools for some sites - depends on what you are trying to do. A CMS like Drupal/Joomla/Mambo/etc is a very good tool for building community sites (members, logins, etc).
One of the things I really like about using a CMS is that I can add content from any machine on the net - login and there is a web interface to add articles, blog posts, images, tinker with the templates and layour, etc. Dreamweaver and Frontpage have to be installed on the computer you want to use - ok if you are always using the same machine, but a problem for travellers and collaborative teams.
Microsoft Content Management Server was a good product, unfortunately it is no more. It has been folded into Office SharePoint Server 2007.
"And by the way, why would I need a CMS if I have tools like FrontPage, Expression Web, Dreamweaver, HomeSite, etc. available to me?"
It depends on the type of applications you want to make available to your Web site visitors.
What type of options "wouldn't" be available if using these products?
Do you need to have FP extensions installed on the server to publish include functions with FP or Expressions? Can you still use FTP and still have all their features work?
[edited by: TammyJo at 3:17 am (utc) on May 14, 2007]
Check the following articles for valuable information:
2003-07-18 Interview - John Cox of Xaraya
Quote: "There is a fundamental flaw with the current systems, however, in that in order to extend the functionality, you have to have some knowledge of PHP. The more extensible you want to get, the more grief that you cause yourself at the time of upgrades..."
2003-12-04 Why use CMS and not static HTML pages
2004-04-01 Why Content Management Fails
2005-06-03 The BBC News website - under the bonnet
Quote: "The simpler the site, the cheaper it is to run. There are fewer elements which can malfunction on big days; and there are fewer parts which can be compromised by someone trying to gain unauthorised access."
2005-09-01 Plenty of Choice in Open-Source CMS
2006-01-12 Drupal VS. Mambo
Quote: "Now, when making any comparison such as this, the first thing to realize is that itís unlikely that one tool will fit every need and purpose. To an extent, comparing Mambo and Drupal is comparing apples to oranges. They are two very different systems, with widely differing goals and intended audiences."
2006-01-25 How to choose an open-source CMS [zdnet.com.au...]
2006-07-xx Using open source software to design, develop, and deploy a collaborative Web site
So, is there any wisdom in getting out of a CMS system that few know how to work with and redo my site in FrontPage?
Before having my site put into a CMS, I created and managed it using FrontPage. But the site grew large, was becoming unmanageable and navigation became weak, so I hired someone to put it into a CMS system.
As it turns out, the CMS in not what I expected. I don't enjoy working with it at all. If I have problems, with the exception of the person who developed it for me, I have no where to turn when that very busy person is unavailable. My technical skills are limited to basic html.
With FrontPage, I never failed to find a place to turn to when I was in a jam.
|So, is there any wisdom in getting out of a CMS system that few know how to work with and redo my site in FrontPage? |
Sure there is. You've used FrontPage in the past to manage the site so you are familiar with its workings.
What is it that you are doing that required moving away from FrontPage and into another CMS package?
I do believe that most of the major WYSIWYG Editors have the capability of fulfilling a CMS role. It all comes down to how your web is built.
For example, with FP you can use DWT's (Dynamic Web Templates) and create master pages that contain "Editable Regions". These regions are the areas that are open for editing by the various site editors. In some instances, the Editable Region allows the user to change the surrounding html element. In others, they cannot change the element, only modify the content between the opening and closing element.
The only drawback I see so far is that you'll need a copy of FP on the machine where edits are being performed. Unlike a CMS which allows you to login from an browser with a Internet connection. But, there are some neat third party plugins that allow you to do this. ;)
This one is more for the Server Administrator and/or for those who have direct access to their site(s) through IIS.
One of the biggest downfalls for FrontPage users are the FP Extensions. Some hosts absolutely refuse to install them, others are not 100% sure how to manage them. They can cause issues if the host is unfamiliar with how to manage them. And, an FP user could also cause issues within their own web if they do something incorrectly that requires the use of extensions.
I'll save the details on FP Extensions for another reply. For right now I want to focus specifically on problems "that may be" encountered by hosts after the FP Extensions are installed.
The quickest and most efficient way to solve a problem in your client's FP Web is to uninstall and reinstall FP Extensions. It is something you can do on a per site basis. In IIS, you right click your website and go to the All Tasks menu. Choose Remove Server Extensions.
Give it about 10-15 seconds to complete. Keep in mind that you need to do this rather quickly as your client's visitors may see a minor disruption in service while the extensions are being reinstalled. Use the same process above to Install Server Extensions.
This usually solves 9 out of 10 issues that "may occur" within a FrontPage Web. The process of uninstalling and reinstalling FP Extensions is painless and takes less than a minute.
>>What is it that you are doing that required moving away from FrontPage and into another CMS package?
There was no requirement. In additon to what I've mentioned, I wanted to prepare the site so I could hand it over to a family member one day and that it would be easy to use. It is NOT easier to use than FrontPage, particularly considering the widely available help for FrontPage users.
|I wanted to prepare the site so I could hand it over to a family member one day and that it would be easy to use. |
Ah, now we need to define "would be easy to use". This all comes down to the individual.
If they are an avid user of MS products such as Word, Excel, etc., then an FP Web might be the best solution for them. But, their requirements will dictate the type of environment you build for them.
|It is NOT easier to use than FrontPage, particularly considering the widely available help for FrontPage users. |
I believe you'll find help for most packages out there. There are communities for each of the major products and users of those products are quick to help others.
In my personal opinion, most CMS packages are overly complicated for the "average" user. And I guess the person using the system can also complicate things even more.
Let's remember that all of this comes back to the individual and their requirements. In some instances, it is easier and more cost effective to build based on the requirements. This way you don't end up with all this additional functionality that is never going to be used. That complicates things. A FrontPage, EWD, Dreamweaver Web, can probably accomplish most of the "average" users requirements without overly complicating the process.
This is a simple one, get ready, here it is, while in FrontPage go to...
Tools > Server > Backup Website
Choose your backup destination and off you go.
I backup regularly and save the archive files. I do not overwrite previous backups. Yes, this does require additional storage space but it gives me "peace of mind" for some reason. ;)
Terrabyte drives are fairly inexpensive these days.
pageoneresults, I really am in tune w/ you FP comments. I've used FP for the past 6+ years and have loved it. But, is not FP going away? meaning that MS isn't going to manufacture/support it after this year and very quickly nor will anyone else? I've switch to DW and am there is a world of difference in user interface w/ that than there is FP. Plus, I can't seem to get IE to recognize DW as an HTML editor. Any ideas?
|But, is not FP going away? meaning that MS isn't going to manufacture/support it after this year and very quickly nor will anyone else? |
FrontPage will be around for quite some time. EWD (Expressions Web Design) is FrontPage's replacement from MS. It is pretty much the same as FrontPage with a few more bells and whistles. The same tips I'm sharing here, will apply to EWD also.
|I've switch to DW and am there is a world of difference in user interface w/ that than there is FP. |
Yes there is. One is Microsoft driven, the other is Macromedia driven. If you are an avid user of Macromedia products, DW is the way to go. If you are an avid user of MS products, FP or EWD are the way to go for many.
|Plus, I can't seem to get IE to recognize DW as an HTML editor. Any ideas? |
When you open DW, do you get a prompt asking you to make DW your default editor? If so, select yes. That should add it to the dropdown for HTML editors.
Thanks SSSSOOOoooo much for the tips. ;)
Does anyone have questions about FrontPage? If so, please do ask and I'll do my best to guide you to the correct answer. ;)
Looks like our FrontPage users have "jumped ship". There have to be some nagging questions in your mind about how to do something. Or, why is it doing something that it shouldn't be? Something? ;)
I think most have (or should) switched to Expression Web. The interface is similar and the html/xhtml code is much cleaner.
It took me a while to think of them, but I have my own tips to share.
Secure FrontPage editing:
- set up IIS to use SSL so your site can also be reachable at https://www.yoursite.com
- now have FrontPage connect to that address instead of http:
Poor man's development server:
- in IIS, set up a second website that responds to a different IP or port that is an exact copy of your site.
- now edit all files in FrontPage on that new site.
- when they look good and work right, you can publish the pages to your production site using the "remote web site" tab.
Nice effort and tips pageoneresults. I'd also like to see (if I haven't missed it already) a "tips for Windows 2003 servers" thread similar to this one. I'll do my best to take part.
If you manage your own linux box and update Apache you might find the FP server extentions stop working.
This means not even being able to publish to your site as well as forms etc ceasing to work.
I have found the permissions on the the Apache log folder (/var/log/httpd) have usualy changed and need chmod 755 to fix the problem.
This can be a problem when installing FP extentions for the first time as well.
When you want to import a website onto a computer for editing open it using "open site" from the file menu and then type the full address of the site you want in the box ie. http://www.example.com
Provided there are FP extentions installed you will be prompted for the username and password and the website will open for editing live in Frontpage.
Select "publish site" from the file menu and simply browse to the place on your hardrive where you want the site and click "OK" to publish it to your computer even preserving Navigation View.