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FrontPage facilities to continue?

EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

FrontPage facilities to continue?

I am currently on BBYW Option 1 and use my bundled web space for a very basic website created using MS FrontPage.  I use the FrontPage extensions facility offered by PN just for a Guest Book.
I presume that I should now change to PlusNet Value.  I see from the FAQ that: "If you're already a Plusnet customer and switch your account to Plusnet Value or Plusnet Pro you won't lose any webspace, FrontPage or CGI service you've already got."
I have seen various announcements and forum posts about free hosting, FrontPage etc being withdrawn.  Can I assume from the FAQ quote, that FrontPage extensions and its associated server will continue indefinitely for establised customers?
Coincidentally I see that MS have withdrawn FrontPage.  Can I asume that, if PN continues to support FrontPage extensions, I can just continue to use my old FrontPage software?
Alternatively, I see that MS have now made Sharepoint Designer 2007 a free downloadable package.  This appears to be similar to the "official" replacement for FrontPage, MS Expression.  Does anyone have any experience of using Sharepoint Designer 2007 and will the code produced by it be supported by and compatible with the (free) PlusNet servers?
13 REPLIES 13
bobpullen
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 14,902
Thanks: 2,508
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Quote from: EmpireCad
I presume that I should now change to PlusNet Value.  I see from the FAQ that: "If you're already a Plusnet customer and switch your account to Plusnet Value or Plusnet Pro you won't lose any webspace, FrontPage or CGI service you've already got."
I have seen various announcements and forum posts about free hosting, FrontPage etc being withdrawn.  Can I assume from the FAQ quote, that FrontPage extensions and its associated server will continue indefinitely for establised customers?

You'll retain your Frontpage access if you change account however I can't guarantee that the service will be offered indefinitely. Like you've pointed out, Frontpage itself has reached end of life and I'd be lying if I said there hadn't been talk in the past about decommissioning the service.
Quote
Coincidentally I see that MS have withdrawn FrontPage.  Can I asume that, if PN continues to support FrontPage extensions, I can just continue to use my old FrontPage software?

For the time being, yes.
Quote
Does anyone have any experience of using Sharepoint Designer 2007 and will the code produced by it be supported by and compatible with the (free) PlusNet servers?

Not sure of the answer to this although I'd be interested to know your findings i you decide to give it a go...

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Thanks, Bob, for your reply.  I have been trying to research SharePoint Designer 2007 and it appears to be the logical progression from FrontPage.  I found this on Wikipedia: " SPD represents a next-generation Microsoft replacement for Microsoft FrontPage. SPD requires that IIS has Frontpage extensions installed on the server".  As a non-technical person (hence using FrontPage in the first place) I don't know what IIS means but it sounds like I would need PN to keep its FrontPage Extensions facility going in order for me to use SPD.
Before downloading SharePoint Designer 2007 and playing with it, can you advise whether it requires a "special" server at your end (like the FP extensions one) for me to use it?  If so, do you have one up and running?  In other words, could I create or modify a website using SPD 2007 and publish it to one of your servers right now?  Or in the near future when you switch off FP, CGI etc?
scubarew
Grafter
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎31-07-2007

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

As far as I am aware, SharePoint Designer is specifically tailored for working with SharePoint server sites and nothing else. It's not a general web design package.
For general web design Microsoft developed the Expression series of products, but these are aimed at the professional rather than home users.
I'm aware that I'm not being particularly helpful in suggesting a replacement for FrontPage - I just can't think of one.
bobpullen
Community Gaffer
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Posts: 14,902
Thanks: 2,508
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Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Quote from: EmpireCad
Before downloading SharePoint Designer 2007 and playing with it, can you advise whether it requires a "special" server at your end (like the FP extensions one) for me to use it?  If so, do you have one up and running?

Without researching it, I wouldn't know to be honest. I was wondering if the product was backwards compatible woth Frontpage but judging from scubarew's comments it isn't. If we were to decommission the Frontpage servers then I'd be surprised if we were to opt for another Microsoft-based alternative I'm afraid Sad

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

mal0z
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: ‎02-10-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Interesting to read Bobs reply, and I'm not at all surprised. I used FP many years ago before giving up on it as a very, very poor product.
I learnt that I had to learn html and then CSS if I was to produce any decent sort of website.
No short cuts as I see it, but I would love to be proved wrong..............
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Thanks for everyone's comments.  It seems that no-one really knows much about Sharepoint Designer 2007.  My research so far indicates that when Microsoft shut down FrontPage they replaced it with MS Expression.  However, SPD 2007 appears to be a less sophisticated version of Expression and, more to the point, it is now downloadable for free.
As stated previously, I am not a technical person, much less a web developer, programmer or anything similar.  I just have a simple website with text and photos plus a guest book for which I needed FP extensions.  See http://fp.gcjonline.plus.com/.  I have no desire to learn HTML or any other coding language so FrontPage was ideal for my needs.
See also this from this sitehttp://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/3214/1d/www.zones.com/images/pdf/ms_sharepoint_designer_guide2007.pdf
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is based on Microsoft Office FrontPage® technologies.
The new name reflects the emphasis on creating and customizing Microsoft SharePoint
Web sites and building applications on the SharePoint platform.
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 is specifically designed to help you create and customize
Web sites and workflows built with SharePoint Products and Technologies (Microsoft
Windows® SharePoint Services and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007).

and
Build SharePoint Applications Quickly, Without Writing Server Code
With Office SharePoint Designer 2007, you can design SharePoint workflows and
applications without having to use traditional procedural coding languages or techniques.
Instead, SharePoint Designer provides you with easy-to-use tools that you can use to:
• Build conditional views and forms with validation.
• Read, write, and present data from a variety of data sources—such as XML files,
SQL databases such as Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005, and Web Services.

and
Customize SharePoint Sites to Meet Your Needs
Office SharePoint Designer 2007 provides an intuitive what-you-see-is-what-you-get
(WYSIWYG) environment for quickly creating and customizing SharePoint sites and
applications. You can take advantage of the power of ASP.NET as well as industry
standard Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML) code and cascading style
sheets (CSS) to build SharePoint sites that meet your needs and that meet industry
standards for browser compatibility and accessibility.
• The WYSIWYG environment enables you to view and modify pages with precise
rendering of CSS and ASP.NET technologies.

So from the above can any of you more knowlegeable folks out there tell me if SPD 2007 would be a suitable replacement for FrontPage for me?  And would the code it generates load and run on the PlusNet servers?
Alternatively, I think I understand that my existing pages (except for the guest book) would run OK on the home pages server ie on www.username.plus.com (or co.uk).  Can you confirm this and advise if I can get a free, simple to use guest book facility from somewhere else?
All I really want to do, guys, is keep the website I already have if & when PlusNet pull the plug on the FP server.  All suggestions for a simple solution and a non-technical life welcome.
Thanks in advance
Graham
KevinG
Rising Star
Posts: 998
Thanks: 11
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎05-11-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Quote from: EmpireCad
So from the above can any of you more knowlegeable folks out there tell me if SPD 2007 would be a suitable replacement for FrontPage for me?  And would the code it generates load and run on the PlusNet servers?

Hi Graham,
My first post here and I've been reading this with interest as someone who has worked with Sharepoint in the past. IMHO you should stick with FrontPage. Sharepoint Designer is for maintaining Sharepoint sites (which FrontPage 2003 will also do, but it might not work with sites running on Sharepoint 2007). This is not the same thing as Frontpage Server extensions, it is much bigger than that and requires Microsoft SharePoint server, which is a SQL Server based Content Management and publishing system (OK, it's more than that, but you can read up on it at http://www.microsoft.com/sharepoint/default.mspx.)
BTW, IIS is Internet Information Services, Microsoft's web server software that runs under Windows.
Kevin
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Thanks, Kevin
The more research I do into SPD 2007 the less I understand so I am coming to the conclusion that it is not suitable for my basic needs.
I would be delighted to just stick with FrontPage.  As I understand it I can keep my site as it is and under FP control as long as I move it to the Home Page server which I already use to redirect traffic to my FP site.  See http://www.gcjonline.co.uk and (the same site) http://www.gcjonline.plus.com and as long as I remove my guest book from the site which needs the FP extensions.  Can someone from PlusNet confirm this please?
Then can anyone suggest where I can lay my hands on the coding for a free guestbook?
Many thanks in advance.
Regards
Graham
hulls
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,699
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

You could try statcounter.com.  I've had a counter with them for a long time with no problems.  You can even set up a blocking cookie so that it doesn't count your visits to the site, or if you're on a static IP address with Plusnet, then tell it to ignore that IP address.
Have a look at www.chelmsfordsongsters.org.uk to see what mine looks like (although you can change the appearance, or even hide it)
John
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

@hulls
Hi John
Yes I already use statcounter.com on my main site http://fp.gcjonline.plus.com/ just as a plain counter.  What I want is a free guest book.  I see you have one from Tripod/Guest Gear.  If possible I want one without adverts.  Is this possible?  Any ideas, anyone?Huh
Cheers
Graham
bobpullen
Community Gaffer
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Posts: 14,902
Thanks: 2,508
Fixes: 168
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Quote from: EmpireCad
I would be delighted to just stick with FrontPage.  As I understand it I can keep my site as it is and under FP control as long as I move it to the Home Page server which I already use to redirect traffic to my FP site.  See http://www.gcjonline.co.uk and (the same site) http://www.gcjonline.plus.com and as long as I remove my guest book from the site which needs the FP extensions.  Can someone from PlusNet confirm this please?

You could always give it a go? Do you know how big your site is roughly in megabytes? If it's small then I might be able to sort you out with a test account so you can try uploading your site there without having to change anything about your existing setup (drop me a PM if you'd like to discuss this further).
Quote from: EmpireCad
Yes I already use statcounter.com on my main site http://fp.gcjonline.plus.com/ just as a plain counter.  What I want is a free guest book.  I see you have one from Tripod/Guest Gear.  If possible I want one without adverts.  Is this possible?  Any ideas, anyone?Huh

There's loads of CGI scripts out there that would do this for you. Have you considered hosting a guestbook on your CGI server space?

Bob Pullen
Plusnet Product Team
If I've been helpful then please give thanks ⤵

EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

Thanks for your comments, Bob.  PM just sent (possibly duplicated – sorry!)  Embarrassed
EmpireCad
Grafter
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎19-04-2008

Re: FrontPage facilities to continue?

I've now copied my website onto the CCGI and Home Pages servers and temporarily used a proprietary external guest book.  The "bots" haven't found these sites yet and are not getting much traffic while the original FrontPage version is still up and running.
@Bob
Any news yet on when the FrontPage server might be getting switched off?  It will be useful to know so that I can redirect visitors to the other more permanent locations.
Also ditto question re the CGI servers?