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Making Old Site Built with FrontPage work with Expressions Web and Modern Servers without FrontPage Extensions RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi all!

    I'm looking to upload an old website I once hosted onto the GoDaddy server. This website is a frames website I built with FrontPage a number of years ago.

    Aside from that GoDaddy doesn't accept FP Extensions anymore, I'm finding that simply uploading this site as-is via FTP is not working. I'm uploading it to the correct place on the server, but it's not displaying. This is the error message I am getting:

    Server Error in '/' Application.

    Runtime Error

                 Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.            

    Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a <customErrors> tag within a "web.config" configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This <customErrors> tag should then have its "mode" attribute set to "Off".
    <!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->
    
    <configuration>
        <system.web>
            <customErrors mode="Off"/>
        </system.web>
    </configuration>
                      

    Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the "defaultRedirect" attribute of the application's <customErrors> configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.
    <!-- Web.Config Configuration File -->
    
    <configuration>
        <system.web>
            <customErrors mode="RemoteOnly" defaultRedirect="mycustompage.htm"/>
        </system.web>
    </configuration>
                      

    I am not remotely an expert at website building and operation, but the site as is previously functioned --- when I had FrontPage Extensions available.

    So my question is, I assume I need to rework the website in some manner so as that FrontPage Extensions are not needed on the server to make it viewable, correct?

    I want to maintain this site using Expression Web so I'm assuming I need to rework it within this program so that it will run appropriately.

    Is there such a thing as converting a page with FrontPage Extensions or am I looking at some type of a rebuild?

    As I know nearly nothing about how a server would know what which page of a webpage is the homepage to display, I assume that if I start a new web site with Expressions that this would take care of it for me. Under FrontPage I simply titled the main page as index.htm.

    Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:11 PM

All replies

  • You are getting an error that applies to an asp.net site.  Did you really create an asp.net site with FrontPage?

    If it is an asp.net site, you'd need to follow the first set of instructions (not the custom error page instructions) in order to see  the actual error and act on it.


    • Edited by KathyW2 Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:44 PM
    Thursday, June 19, 2014 6:43 PM
  • I have no idea what that error is or what it means. I just tried to upload a website I originally built with FrontPage. I ordered the Windows hosting plan.
    Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:19 PM
  • Read the error again. It is a set of instructions to enable you to see the real error, and, as I said, it applies to asp.net sites.

    Please answer the question in my first reply: is it an asp.net site?

    It would also help if  you post a link to your site (even though it is not working).
    • Edited by KathyW2 Thursday, June 19, 2014 9:57 PM
    Thursday, June 19, 2014 8:38 PM
  • I have no idea what that error is or what it means. I just tried to upload a website I originally built with FrontPage. I ordered the Windows hosting plan.

    You may not know what that error means, but what Kathy is telling you is that we do, and it is recognizably an ASP.NET error. This is incongruous because FrontPage uses/used Classic ASP, not ASP.NET (they are very different, despite the apparent similarity of names), and an error message of this type, specifically mentioning web.config (which has zero to do with Classic ASP) and with this wording, cannot have been generated by an FP-generated page, with or without the FPSE. That is why Kathy keeps asking you that.

    As far as the file name, it can be any of the names your server accepts as a default file name, usually "index" or "default," followed by htm/html/php/asp/aspx, etc.

    To check if the page you're trying to view is an ASP.NET page, open it in EW, then switch to code view (tabs at the bottom left of the page), then look up at the top of the page for a page directive, which may look like this: <%@ Page Language="C#" %>. Or, scan the code and look for "runat=server" directives, like this: <head runat="server">, or this: <form id="form1" runat="server">.

    If you find those things, the page is set up as an ASP.NET page, whether you intended it to be or not. This can happen sometimes if you drag an ASP.NET control from the Toolbox onto the page. No matter how it happened, the fact is that your error message is definitely an ASP.NET error, and that is completely incompatible with FP, so you need to figure out how that happened before you can go forward.

    Or, you can take the more straightforward approach, and simply recreate the site page by page in EW, copying your old content first into Notepad (to strip it of FP's junky formatting), then into a fresh page in EW, then reformatting it with modern CSS. As a newcomer to EW, especially coming from FP, you should avail yourself of the Learning Resources and Reference Sites section of the Forum FAQs and Guidelines - Start Here, starting with Cheryl's "Build a Basic Web Site" video tutorial, at http://by-expression.com/page/EW-Video-Basic-Website-tutorial. Download the tutorial and the assets file, which contains all of the text and graphics used in the tut. View it all the way through the first time, then unzip the assets file and watch it again, this time following along and building the site along with her (note that the Site functions shown under the File menu in the tutorial have been move to the Site menu in the later versions of EW).

    This will give you a fair introduction to HTML and CSS, and to using EW's visual tools to implement them. You can then use the free self-paced, bite-sized mini courses at http://w3schools.com/html/ and http://w3schools.com/css/ to further your learning of HTML and CSS, or simply as reference material.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:27 PM
  • Index.htm reads,

    <html>

    <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=windows-1252">
    <meta name="GENERATOR" content="Microsoft FrontPage 12.0">
    <meta name="ProgId" content="FrontPage.Editor.Document">
    <title>Western Revival - Politics, Issues, Culture, Civilization</title>
    </head>

    <frameset cols="223,*" framespacing="1">
      <frame name="left" scrolling="auto" noresize target="introduction" src="menu_bar.htm">
      <frameset rows="42%,*">
        <frame name="rtop" target="rbottom" scrolling="no" noresize="noresize" src="WR-banner.htm">
        <frame name="introduction" scrolling="auto" noresize src="introduction.htm" target="_self">
      </frameset>
      <noframes>
      <body>

      <p>This page uses frames, but your browser doesn't support them.</p>

      </body>
      </noframes>
    </frameset>

    </html>

    Aside from that, keep in mind I've never had college training in this stuff. I was tossing around the idea that I'd have to rebuild the main index page and all of its frames, and then maybe I could paste the text from the old side pages which display in the main frame into the new website in EW? I know NOTHING about writing code.

    Friday, June 20, 2014 5:43 PM
  • You are getting an error that applies to an asp.net site.  Did you really create an asp.net site with FrontPage?

    If it is an asp.net site, you'd need to follow the first set of instructions (not the custom error page instructions) in order to see  the actual error and act on it.

    You could with FrontPage 2003 where you had the option to use ASP.NET with the database wizard though I'd be surprised to find someone using it with a frames based website.  I suspect that something is screwed up with OP's hosting if he really does have index.html and html only pages (nothing with .aspx file extension) and  you need to contact GoDaddy to find out what has gotten messed up with his hosting.

    Definitely rebuild without frames and there is a beginner tutorial for people migrating from FrontPage on http://by-expression.com (exact link in Paladyn's post) and other migration tutorials in the FAQ post at the top of this page. Most people on this forum are self taught or had minimal formal training so don't think it takes a degree in computer science, programming or design to create and maintain simple sites. However you will have to learn some basics of HTML & CSS in order to ask questions in a way that people who can answer them will understand the issue as well as for you to understand the response.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com

    Friday, June 20, 2014 6:25 PM
  • Do not just type your html in this forum.  That doesn't help us at all.  We need to see the entire site, actually as published, to help with a server error.

    Give us a link to the site - the page that is giving you the error.

    (Also, you cannot use EW without knowing HTML and CSS.  That's a simple fact, so you do need to be prepared to learn some basics.)

    Friday, June 20, 2014 8:10 PM
  • It's just a basic website, nothing fancy, so I was able to assemble it without great difficulty in FrontPage.

    I don't see where to verify my account, and it's not letting me post links.


    It worked perfectly for several years. Then it was down a few months and since then they aren't taking FrontPage Extensions. Getting it back up has been the problem. It doesn't work anymore.
    Friday, June 20, 2014 9:04 PM
  • Aside from that, keep in mind I've never had college training in this stuff. I was tossing around the idea that I'd have to rebuild the main index page and all of its frames, and then maybe I could paste the text from the old side pages which display in the main frame into the new website in EW? I know NOTHING about writing code.

    Well, that last one is a non-starter. EW is NOT  FrontPage, and you cannot use it like you did FP, working only in design view and not concerning yourself with HTML and CSS. Those days are gone, period. EW is a professional design/development tool, and you must understand HTML and CSS to use it. This is not optional.

    There are so-called WYSIWYG design tools on the market, but they produce crap markup that you can't even edit in an actual HTML editor, because it breaks the pages completely. In addition, the pages are inaccessible to vision-impaired users who need to resize text for comfortable viewing, which also breaks the pages when the text overflows their absolutely positioned elements. I haven't tested, but I would wager that they also score poorly on responsiveness, failing to resize correctly for tablets and smartphones.

    No, your best approach is to follow the advice I gave you previously—download, view, then work through Cheryl's video tutorial, using the assets from the assets file. It is really quite excellent, and I speak from experience. That will make you much more comfortable, both with EW and its tools, and with the idea of learning some HTML and CSS so you can use EW to rebuild your site. In all likelihood, you can then use one of EW's built-in DWT-based templates to rebuild your site by copying and pasting content from the old one to the new (realize that DWTs were actually introduced in FP back in 2000 or 2002, specifically to replace older, obsolete constructs such as  both Shared Borders and framesets)

    It's not that hard to learn HTML and CSS. They are NOT programming languages, but simply markup languages used to describe the content structure of a page and how it is to be displayed. Take an hour and a half to watch through the tutorial, and that will convince you that you can learn this stuff. Then another 2-1/2 to 3 hours to actually work through the tut, and you'll be ready to tackle the rebuild.

    And remember, if you run into a snag anywhere along the line, you have access here to some of the best resources you're going to find on EW and Web development, and we usually respond quickly, and work for free.  ;-)

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    • Edited by paladyn Friday, June 20, 2014 9:17 PM
    Friday, June 20, 2014 9:14 PM
  • Post the link. Leave a space where the "dot" belongs for .com, for example - just something so the forum doesn't assume it's a link.

    The silly requirement for new users to "verify your account" on this forum is the most frustrating thing, since we NEED links for website questions.

    Friday, June 20, 2014 9:17 PM
  • The silly requirement for new users to "verify your account" on this forum is the most frustrating thing, since we NEED links for website questions.

    Yeah, it's asinine, especially for a Web development forum. The rationale is supposed to be (according to the idiot forum admins who initiated the requirement) that it prevents drive-by spammers. Never mind that in the entire history of this forum the number of spammers we've had could be counted on less than the fingers of one hand. Unless you count Vegan with his link spam in that ridiculous signature...

    As Kathy said, just post the link so it doesn't look like one—wwwdotmydomaindotcom. We'll sort it out and get there. To professional developers, the source code to your pages is eminently readable, and is the key to being able to troubleshoot your issues.

    cheers,
    scott


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.

    Saturday, June 21, 2014 2:16 AM