|Converting a FrontPage site to PHP or HTML|
I have recently acquired a website that was built using frontpage and frontpage extensions.
I'd like to transfer the site away from the current host (my host doesn't support front-page extensions) and convert to standard HTML or PHP files.
Does anyone have any advice/tips? I've no idea where to start.
You have to start by deciding between html and php.
HTML is easiest in the short term: essentially you just scrape yourself (ouch!) and then the resulting raw html becomes your new pages. PHP is necessary if there are dynamic parts of your site: things that will be changing without your hands-on involvement.
If you don't already speak php, and you need to change the site right away, you can always put it into html for now, and then change it later. Or, ahem, slither into it sideways by moving from plain html to ssi's to php includes* to complete php pages.
:: pause here for someone else to insert plug for extensionless URL so user doesn't see the difference ::
* Pause here to ask the heavens where the blasted variable got to, if it's neither local nor global, because it can't just disappear can it?
HTML is the code that the browser sees, and it marks up the content as headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, forms, images and links.
PHP is a scripting language that runs on the server and can output HTML pages. The two things are not at all the same.
If the URL ends .html that might give a clue the site runs on static flat files. If the URL ends .php that might give a clue the site runs on a PHP scrript.
I already speak PHP, but know nothing about Frontpage and frontpage extensions - seems a bit Yuk!
Anyway, I have scraped the entire site and I now have a bunch of .htm files.
Still not too sure what the point of front extensions is if it's just html anyway...?
I'll be converting the entire site over to PHP (using includes).
This'll be fun! :(
The frontpage extensions allowed frontpage to manipulate common elements on multiple pages at the same time. For instance, the navigation bar could be defined as a common piece of code and frontpage would drop it into every page. If you edited the navbar, frontpage would update every page of the site without you having to edit every page individually. The extensions also synchronised the local copy of the site on your PC with the remote copy of the site on the server. There were many other functions available, most of them proprietry.
Nowadays, you're much better off to have the navbar as a small piece of code in a separate file and then use the PHP "include" directive on each page where that code should show up. PHP also allows a lot more things than frontpage could ever do.
Once you're fluent with PHP, learn mySQL or a later variant, so you can then move onto full CMS systems with the page content stored in a database.