Microsoft® FrontPage® is to web development what Microsoft® Word® is to a created printed page of text. Yes, it is THAT easy. In fact, simply put, if you know Microsoft Word and Microsoft Windows Explorer (as opposed to Microsoft Internet Explorer) then you can build and maintain a web site.
Now you may choose not to do so, just like you may choose to dictate a letter to a secretary. The end result is the same though - you provide some input, and the end result is produced.
First, we'll give you an overview.
Microsoft FrontPage is a product like Microsoft Word that you purchase (we can arrange !), however unlike other products, it works best if the site hosting the web site has Server Accounts with FrontPage Server Extensions. They are NOT required, but if they are installed on your web host service provider (and a version installed on your PC) then creating and managing your web site will be a LOT easier.
FrontPage has two parts (earlier versions actually had two different programs you ran). One is the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, essentially the piece that looks and feels like Microsoft Word. And like Word, you type, insert pictures, tables, etc. FrontPage obviously needs smarts to make anything you put on the "page" into a format so that it can be transferred to and seen on the web. It does this using HTML.
FrontPage allows you to see the info in WYSIWYG or in HTML (it's the "source" code for web pages) or even in a "preview" of what it will look like in your browser.
Once you have a number of pages of content, you may wish to combine these pages in folders, or sub webs. This is when the Windows Explorer-like side of FrontPage is useful. If you know how to copy, paste, rename and generally move files around on your PC then you will find it very easy to do this with the pages to one or more web sites that you can create using FrontPage. (One BIG caution, don't try and copy, past, rename or move files that are part of your web using Windows Explorer, as FrontPage gets upset. You can view them in Windows Explorer, but don't touch !) FrontPage helps you link pages in your web to pages in other people's webs together using hyperlinks.
When this is all to your satisfaction, then comes time to publish the web. And this is when FrontPage really shines ! Traditional publishing meant you had to remember what pages you created or changed and make sure all those changes were moved to the public server of your web site. Not so with FrontPage ! In conjunction with the FrontPage Server Extensions residing on the public web server (see your web host service provider), it determines what changes have been made and only uploads the pages that have been changed.
Sure FrontPage can't do EVERYTHING you see web sites doing. (Each new version adds more and more things it CAN do ! Even to implementing an e-commerce store !). But it's certainly a great place to start to provide a professional and effective web presence.
So whether you choose to create, build and maintain your web site, or you allow us to create and build and you maintain, or we do the lot, Microsoft FrontPage is a key tool in ensuring it is done quickly, professionally and cost effectively.
For more detail on using Microsoft FrontPage, we can recommend a tutorial that will give you lots of detail on how Microsoft's FrontPage will help you publish your web site.
Or check out Tovegin's Easy Start Service.
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Created 27 July, 1997, last updated - 22 November, 2003