Wednesday, October 03, 2012 4:04 PM
I have a website I started in 2000 and have frontpage 2000. I upgraded to 2003 one time but it screwed with my cart so I had to go back to frontpage 2000. I want to find a new program to use that hopefully will be around for awhile as I have about 5000 items to transfer besides the website..(ecommerce) I know alot of hosting companies are phasing frontpage out so I want to find a new platform that is easy to use as im not a tech person. SOme people are steering me towards wordpress but I dont know what will be easiest to use and also if the new microsoft product will work. I had also used jbots plus 2004 for my floating or popup windows but it seems not to work on windows 7. Will I need to start from scratch or is there a way to easily move the website information? Any help is appreciated...please help. If you want the web address i can supply that. I want to revamp the site somewhat but its too large to just start over.
Wednesday, October 03, 2012 6:04 PM
Unfortunately, the short answer is, "FrontPage is dead, and there is no equivalent."
We don't know what comprises your current site (post a link to it), but if it uses FP webbots extensively, or the Navigation View and Shared Borders, or the DRW, then you're probably looking at a rebuild. The good thing is that, except for Shared Borders, you can probably open your site in EW and start working with it straightaway. (If you use Shared Borders, you'll need to use FP to remove them—EW4 barfs on Shared Borders and hoses pages containing them.)
EW permits many of the other FP features, in the sense that it will allow you to load the pages into its interface. Most, however, can neither be edited nor created anew, so, basically, what you have now is what you will continue to have until you can get those features replaced by more modern, non-proprietary, standards-compliant equivalent constructs.
Microsoft Support has created a white paper, at Prerequisites for Using Microsoft Expression Web, that was written for folks like you coming from FP, to give you a realistic view of what you need to learn to use EW. Unfortunately, that is not a list of suggestions; those are requirements, so you have a bit of a learning curve ahead of you.
Fortunately, it is not rocket science. Any reasonably literate adult willing to take the time and make the effort can learn it. But, it does take time. OTOH, you can leave your site up, just as it is, and begin replacing parts of it, a little at a time, as you learn the technologies. To begin, see the Learning Resources and Reference Sites section of the Forum FAQs and Guidelines - Start Here, for a list of free training resources. You will nee to learn HTML and CSS, so pay particular attention to the free w3schools courses at http://w3schools.com/html/ and http://w3schools.com/css/. To learn how to apply those technologies using EW's visual interface, see Cheryl's excellent "Build a Basic Web Site" video tutorial, at http://by-expression.com/post/2009/09/22/Basic-Website-Tutorial.aspx.
Between them, they will give you most of what you need to know to use EW effectively. For specific information on converting an FP existing site, see Migrating from FrontPage to Expression Web and Expression Web for FrontPage Users (but ignore the bit about XHTML Strict, which is now moribund, and which was never necessary to begin with).
Yes, there is a lot to learn, but it is doable, and if this is your livelihood, it is worth the doing. It would be nice to be able to point to another application similar to FP that you could just transfer to, but such an app does not exist. Hell, FP could never have existed if there had been any viable browsers other than IE at the time. In today's world, with five major competing browsers, each with multiple versions, as well as hardware platforms ranging from smartphones, to tablets, to netbooks, to ultrabooks and laptops, to monster workstations with 2580 x 1850 pixel, 32" monitors, there is simply no way for a product such as FP to possibly exist. Sorry, but that is just the way it is. So, time to get to work, and Good Luck! We're here to help when you run into barriers. ;-)
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