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Bye Bye FrontPage... RRS feed

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  • Link to my website in my signature…

    Bye Bye FrontPage…

    In 1999, I started the creation with FrontPage of a personal and non-profit website dedicated to progressive metal. The site was online for the first time on February 4th, 1999.

    In June 2010, I bought a new computer with Windows 7 64 bit. FrontPage was not working anymore on that OS and using the XP mode for running it was more a workaround than a solution. So I bought Expression Web and decided to migrate my website to this new software.
    Here is a list of the main things I have done (after making a backup of my FrontPage website):

    1) In FrontPage, add a charset declaration in every pages (some pages may not have one). Very important to do before loading the pages in Expression Web because it may cause corruption (That’s what happened to me with the French accents in my pages that did not have a charset declaration).

    2) In FrontPage, remove my theme for all pages.

    3) Load my website in Expression Web…

    4) Rebuild my theme with a simple css file (linked to all my pages) filled with code I entered by myself. Much better than the big and messy css file created by FrontPage. I also made some modifications in my pages and in the css file to be able to change the color of all my comboboxes with only one entry in the css file.

    5) Add a doctype declaration to all my pages

    6) Replace all the <span lang="fr-ca"> (repeated many times in one page) with one <meta content="fr-ca" http-equiv="Content-Language"> per page.

    7) Remove "Generator" and "ProgID" tags from my pages

    8) I must force a vertical scrollbar on the right for my image in the background to not move when we navigate from a band page to another. The solution I was using was so so. Now I have a better solution which works in every web browsers I tested (ie 6, ie 7, ie 8, ie 9, Firefox 3, Firefox 4, Google Chrome 10, Safari 5).

    9) Many improvements that make the site looks better (Not a big thing but many little things a bit long to describe)

    10) New feature: Possibility to navigate by region (QC, CA, US, UK, …).

    There are also other things but that list gives a good idea.

    Nothing remains that belong to FrontPage. I’m still using frames and tables which are supported in Expression Web. The main disadvantage of using frames is that you cannot give to someone a link to a particular page that will open in the entire website. In my case, I never have to do this. I always give my main web address. But for a company like an online store, that could be a problem. Also, websites with frames have an out-dated look. Not good for a company but in my case it’s a non-profit website so this is not really a problem.

    But there are also advantages of using frames. When we select a particular page in the menu, only this page is loaded (not the entire website) which is faster. Maybe this is possible to this without frames but I guess this is much more complicated to do. Also, when you scroll down within a page, you never lose the menu on the left which makes the navigation easier. Again, maybe this is possible to do this without frames but I guess this much more complicated to do.

    So if you are not a company, migrating to Expression Web doesn’t necessarily mean to rebuild your website from scratch. Maybe, like me, you can still use frames/tables instead of no frames/div.

    As you can see, my website is not a 5 pages website. Rebuilding from scratch would take a loooooong time. Anyway, the disadvantages of using frames didn’t really apply to me and there are also advantages to frames that make the navigation through my website intuitive and fast which is something important I think.

    Now when I work on my website, I always have a look at the code even if I’m using the design view. Sometimes, I also enter the code directly. I realized that this is mandatory to learn some html and css to have a better website.

    I know that my code is still not perfect. For examples, I know that I should be using something else than the HTML <font> tag and the code for my tables is not perfect also. But I think I’ve made huge improvements if I compare with the code I had while using FrontPage. I may still improve my code in the future.

    So now do I want to go back to FrontPage? No way! :-) Just for the super search and replace function of Expression Web that worth it alone!

    Thanks to everybody on this board who had help me for my migration from FrontPage to Expression Web.


    Gaétan
    Musique Progressive Dynamique
    Site consacré au métal progressif
    www.musiqueprog.net
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 4:54 PM

All replies

  • Thank you for posting that, I suspect it will help others who are also migrating.

    One comment - you might want to consider creating a DWT, then you can simply attach your framed page to the DWT and link to it w/o using a frame. That would be the next migration step - putting in the area now occupied by your content frame into an editable region. Just a though.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 5:08 PM
  • Thank you for posting that, I suspect it will help others who are also migrating.

    One comment - you might want to consider creating a DWT, then you can simply attach your framed page to the DWT and link to it w/o using a frame. That would be the next migration step - putting in the area now occupied by your content frame into an editable region. Just a though.


    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    With a DWT, is it possible to scroll down within a page without losing the menu on the left?

    Gaétan
    Musique Progressive Dynamique
    Site consacré au métal progressif
    www.musiqueprog.net
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 5:16 PM
  • If you want to maintain a page size of a limited height, so you don't lose the menu when reading down content, put that content in a div with a fixed height, and set the overflow property (auto or scroll).  Setting a scroll is the only time when a fixed height div containing text won't blow your site out of the water on text resizing.

    And yes, this can be in a DWT so you only have to maintain the menu and common content in one place.

    Look Ma! No frames!



    Saturday, April 23, 2011 5:37 PM
  • If you do a scrolling div or in new browser version (aka IE 8+) you can put your menu div in as a position: fixed and it will stay in view however from a usability point of view I prefer to have the whole page scroll and use a "back to top" if I need to get to a menu or something. Its part of the whole usability thing where people have expectations of how a page will work. Check out Steve Krug's "Don't Make Me Think" which is an excellent and easy to read book on creating usable websites.
    Free Expression Web Tutorials
    For an Expression Web forum with without the posting issues try expressionwebforum.com
    Saturday, April 23, 2011 7:46 PM
  • The main disadvantage of using frames is that you cannot give to someone a link to a particular page that will open in the entire website. In my case, I never have to do this. I always give my main web address.

    I solved the problem with javascript! It's true that I don't have to give my web address with a particular page but I saw on the web some links to a particular page (band) of my website. For example:

    The link to the Dream Theater page will now open in the whole website:

    http://www.musiqueprog.net/dt/dt.htm

    Also, sometimes a search on google could end up to a particular page on my website. Now, the link will open in the whole website.

    I also improved the way how the links are displayed when we re-size the 3 contents frames on the left. That can be useful to reduce the size of these frames if someone need more space for the page located in the main frame. With windows 7, we can easily drag a window to the right and another to the left to see two windows at the same time. In this case both windows are smaller horizontally. I have a 1920x1080 monitor and when I split in 2 windows, I don't need to scroll horizontally within my website even if the window is smaller horizontally and even when the default size of the contents frames is used. But that can be useful to reduce horizontally the size of the contents frames a little bit especially if the person don't have a widescreen monitor or have a widescreen monitor with a smaller resolution.

     


    Gaétan
    Musique Progressive Dynamique
    Site consacré au métal progressif
    www.musiqueprog.net
    Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:41 PM
  • I know that I should be using something else than the HTML <font> tag and the code for my tables is not perfect also.

    Resolved! :-)


    Gaétan
    Musique Progressive Dynamique
    Site consacré au métal progressif
    www.musiqueprog.net
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011 10:28 PM