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I have a 500-page journalistic website, built entirely on Frontpage Express (yes, I know!).
Is there anything I can buy which will accept the pages I have and let me upgrade the whole thing to the 21st century, or will I have to start again from scratch?
Any thoughts would really help me.
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Just because you change the design of the site, or the technology that is used to serve it, that is no reason to start changing URLs.
That is, even if filenames change, the URLs do NOT have to change.
As in the same FrontPage Express that shipped with IE4 in 1997? That FrontPage Express?
Truthfully, that little editor is perfect for the small website. Blended with some server technology, you can whip out validated content in a heartbeat.
But, you can't rely on that to do anything other than your basic functions. I used it judiciously for a couple of years and still have a copy active on me system.
I use FP2003 almost exclusively with a little dab of EWD due to .NET development. FP2003 doesn't like some of the .NET stuff so EWD is the better editor in that instance.
I guess what kind of nags is that I know I'm going to have to rebuild maybe a dozen key pages, if only because screen dimensions and resolutions are changing, and I wonder if I will get better results on some newer editor.
Code bloating doesn't seem to have done me much harm over the years, but obviously I don't get CSS or anything like that.
I guess what kind of nags is that I know I'm going to have to rebuild maybe a dozen key page...but obviously I don't get CSS or anything like that
EW handles CSS quite well, and has some built in page templates for you to use.
However, I prefer to make my own templates, a basic CSS layout is pretty easy to design (if you decide to ignore older browsers). There are plenty on the net and in the CSS forum here that you can try.
EW provides some excellent tools for learning CSS, but if it does occasionally display things wrongly! But if you install Firefox to preview pages you can make sure things are displayed as they should be.
Just a dozen? I have FP 2003 and had to change about 1200 to get up to date with screen resolutions. Find and replace took care of about 800 to change the liquid layout to set page width, but the code is so screwed up the rest had to be done individually page by page. That may have much to do with the way I built the site six years ago and the tinkering i've done since. Expressions is over my head.
I feel your grief!
If you can find the original software on ebay or somewhere with the tutorial dvd, get it.
FYI, here is how Web Expression starts each new page:
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
For qualifying owners of:
Licensed copy of an earlier version of Expression Web
Adobe Creative Suite - any version Adobe/Macromedia Flash or Director - any version Adobe/Macromedia Dreamweaver - any version Adobe GoLive - any version Microsoft Office - any version Microsoft FrontPageŽ - any version Quark QuarkXPress - any version
EW can rewrite various aspects of your pages without telling you and without you telling it to. If you decide EW's methods aren't what you want, you could be left with a converted site with no way of going back.
With that warning out of the way, if your pages are basically HTML, you might well discover that your site is already 21st century.
Web pages are plain text documents. Different web design programs provide different features for editing the text in those documents. If you used a lot of FrontPage gimmicks (such as webbots), you might find you have some technical conversions to do. But if your pages are relatively plain, you might discover that they'll import cleanly into any editor you choose.
[edited by: SteveWh at 11:09 am (utc) on April 22, 2009]
Also, I stopped using the 'webbots' a while a go and have converted my site over to xhtml and css. As of today all my pages are validating but Frontpage keeps putting html code in where I don't want it.
I haven't loaded my updated site to the host yet. I've some work to do still and don't know if I should load it to the host while still using Frontpage or wait till I get EW2.
If FP is adding extra HTML code, it's probably because you have it configured that way. Look through your FP settings. It might take a while. Some of the options give FP "permission" to make code changes that you might not want it to make, but you can turn those features off.
Get the upgrade and order the physical disk, not a download version - the upgrade Expression Web originally came with a free training disk from Total Training. The training disk is easily worth $50 bucks and will give you a great running start. Between the disk and online videos, you should soon want to convert all the old FrontPage sites over to xhtml using Expression Web.