Microsoft FrontPage ? An Introduction


Microsoft’s FrontPage editing tool is one of the most commonly used web site editing tools today. It is easy to learn and offers the flexibility to manage your website as it grows. Novice users are able to create attractive and functional websites, while more advanced users can accomplish more robust tasks such as working with CGI scripts and modifying the actual HTML of the web pages.

FrontPage is designed as a WYSIWYG application. WYSIWYG is an acronym for “What
You See Is What You Get”. This means you basically draw your web pages as you
want them to look and FrontPage generates the appropriate HTML to accomplish the
task. It is a well-designed Web page editor loaded with easy-to-use options and
page elements that allow users to create a decent Web site quickly. The application
is designed to mimic Microsoft Office in look and feel, while allowing users to
easily build Web pages with drag-and-drop functionality. With the software installed
on a user’s computer, they can quick develop Web documents with elements drawn
from other Office documents.

As your website grows the content contained within the site can become difficult
to keep updated. Keeping your sites content current is a time consuming task,
often considerably larger than the initial development of the site. The use of
FrontPage provides users with the power to easily manage content on a site-wide
basis instead of on a page-by-page basis. This eases the normally daunting task
of website management.

What makes FrontPage different from other Web design software is the inclusion
of unique server extensions that support special features that are not available
with other Web design utilities. For example:


‘Publish’ your website directly to your account, without any need for FTP.

2. FrontPage’s ‘Web-Bots’ make it easy to place things such as forms and guest books
on a site without having to learn complex scripting.
3. Edit your site ‘on the fly’, meaning that FrontPage can log you directly into
your site on the server to edit the pages in real time, rather than having to
make changes locally and then re-upload all the changed files.

FrontPage Server Extensions are server-side components that let FrontPage interact
directly with the Web server. Most web-hosting providers offer FrontPage Server
Extensions to their customers as an integrated part of their hosting packages.
Server extensions are native to the Windows hosting platform, but are also widely
available on various Unix hosting platforms as well. Through the server extensions,
users can upload and maintain their Web site directly through the FrontPage application,
without the need for a separate FTP application. Web authors can also utilize
other innovative features, such as traffic reports that can be generated daily,
weekly or month. These reports can track hits, referred domains, and search strings.
The software also allows Web authors to develop database-driven Web sites. The
Database Interface Wizard simplifies the creation of dynamic databases that can
interact with the Web site.

This is just a touch of what FrontPage can do. By using the features of FrontPage
to your advantage, you can easily make the creation and maintenance of your website
a much simpler task.