Chapter 7 - MS FrontPage

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Note: This is a sample page from our on-line account maintenance manual.

Poor FrontPage. Nobody loves you. "Real" web designers wouldn't be caught dead using FrontPage to do client's work. Trouble is, Bill Gates has done such a good job of making it easy for the average Joe to create a reasonably acceptable website, that FrontPage websites are everywhere. As a result, if a hosting company wants to make any money, they have to offer the STUPID FrontPage extensions on the host server so the FrontPage web site will work correctly. But secretly, they hate FrontPage, and sometimes for good reasons; to be honest, FrontPage extensions are a pain in the backside to most hosting administrators. They are unstable, it takes NO effort on the part of the site owner to corrupt them, and the vast majority of people who use FrontPage know very little about the extensions and how to make everything come together as it should. SO, we end up having to chase after every little mistake a site owner makes, and often have to get on the phone and show site owners how to use their own software!! And this doesn't work, because NO hosting company knows the software, and only knows the extensions enough to install and re-install them. Is this what they call "The Blind Leading The Blind"? <GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR>

WELL! We are no different; we hate chasing after corrupted extensions too. So, we're going to make you this offer: You are in the right place. We know FrontPage, because we started in our homes using FrontPage, and cut our teeth on FrontPage 98 and 2000. We learned a lot and graduated to Dreamweaver, ColdFusion, HotMetal Pro, and other more sophisticated web design programs. Trust me when I tell you, the author has had more experience with FrontPage than any other web hosting company owner or chief executive. The author has ranted and raved at hosting companies, screamed at his computer screen and spent more time with the FrontPage help desk at Microsoft than he's willing to admit. You know what? 99% of his problems were of his own making.

If you learn nothing else in this diatribe, you must realize that CERTAIN ACTIONS ARE NOT PERMITTED on a FrontPage website. NEVER, EVER FTP ANYTHING TO A FRONTPAGE WEBSITE running Unix, or Linux operating systems that have the extensions installed. That means US! We are a Linux/Apache shop, and you simply CANNOT FTP files into a site with FrontPage extensions installed. You CAN do it on an NT machine to a limited degree, but even then you must be careful. On a Unix or Linux machine it CANNOT BE TOLERATED! SO, we will be watching! If you FTP something to your site and it has FrontPage extensions installed, we will put it in your permanent file. If it happens repeatedly, we WILL ASK YOU TO MOVE TO ANOTHER HOSTING COMPANY or, if we like you we will charge you extra for our hassle. We are serious. You must be willing to accept responsibility for your actions, and either read this manual and learn how to administer your site correctly, or please consider another hosting company. This sounds harsh, but you will end up exceedingly unhappy that your site is not working correctly, and it will not be our fault in 99% of the cases. Neither of us will benefit from the relationship. BUT, in an effort to save you endless frustration we are willing to go you one further than ANY other FrontPage hosting company. Call us if you have trouble with your SOFTWARE! That's right! We know how to make the program work, how you should best manage you files, and make you happy. We know shortcuts, we know things that Microsoft probably does not know about it's personality, limitations, and other idiosyncracies. We have resources world-wide. BUT; if we tell you how to do something, you MUST observe what we tell you about managing your site and interacting with the server extensions.

Fair enough? GREAT! Keep readin'... and PAY ATTENTION!

First and foremost, if you are still using FP98, do yourself a favor and upgrade to 2000. It is a quantum leap improvement over FP98. If you are still using FP97, you are way out of touch. We can't help you with FP97.

Using FP on a Unix/Apache/Linux server
You see, it is also the Microsoft way to limit cross-compatibility in operating systems. Crafty bunch. FP extensions deploy on an NT server fully. On a Linux machine not all extensions capabilities will work. But there are a gazillion other reasons Linux/Apache servers are preferable to NT that have nothing to do with FP, so we live with it. But it's good to be aware that it does have limits.

One recommendation we can make is that when your site is loaded onto our servers, from that point forward, do your best to do all editing live from the server, and not on your local machine and then subsequently uploading your work. One of the great things about FrontPage is the site management processes. It is so simple to open the site live on the server and do all maintenance. It's slower, but in the long run it is easier and MUCH less hassle. All you do to save your work on the server is hit "Ctrl-S" Plus, you eliminate the threat of your local machine crashing and losing all your work. And, you also eliminate the hassle of getting the PWS (Personal Web Server) to work. There are just times when PWS does not want to open, and there's very little you can do about it. I have had times that I tried to open PWS and no one could tell me why it would not open. Just eliminate the problem and work directly off the server.

We have provided the following information as a courtesy. Should you need further assistance with FrontPage 98 or 2000, Microsoft's FP Authoring Site.

The most common asked question users ask when using FrontPage is:

The default page still shows up even after I have uploaded my index page.

SOLUTION: You MUST DELETE the default page before your index page will show up.



Click on the version of Front Page that you are using:
FrontPage 98 or FrontPage 2000



MICROSOFT FRONTPAGE 98
Publishing a Web
Opening an Existing Web
Troubleshooting problems in FrontPage 98
Further Microsoft FrontPage Support


Publishing a Web

After you have built your html documents and are ready to upload them to our server:

1. Open the web you've created on your PC using FP Explorer.

2. Choose File > Publish

3. If your "Destination Web Server" doesn't appear in the Publish window (it won't the first time you publish to our server) CHOOSE "More Webs" and type the location of the web to publish to. Hit return. IMPORTANT: Use www.yourdomain.com as the Destination Web Server to publish to our server. Leave the "Destination Web Name" BLANK.

4. You will be asked for your USERNAME and PASSWORD. This is your domain's USERNAME and your FrontPage PASSWORD (which may be different than your regular telnet/ftp/POP password). If you're not sure what it is or if you aren't allowed past this point, you'll need to contact us for a new FP password.

5. You can watch the progression of the upload by looking at the bottom left corner of FP Explorer.

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Opening an Existing Web

1. Open FP Explorer and choose File > Open Front Page Web.

2. You can now choose to open a previously created web on your PC or your web on our server.

3. Highlight the appropriate web or type in the web address (www.yourdomain.com) and click OK.

4. Enter your USERNAME and FP PASSWORD if required.

5. Make modifications and recalculate links if needed. (See FP help docs for info on when it's necessary to recalculate links.

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Troubleshooting Common Problems with FP98

Getting error - "Root Web Busy"

FTP or telnet to your site and remove the "service.lck" file in /public_html/_vti_pvt. This usually happens when an FP session is interrupted before completion.

Server timing out when publishing large sites.

This difficulty arises when the uploading link times out in the process of copying the web to our server. The only suggestion Microsoft has offered so far is to break the main web into a group of sub webs on your PC, then upload these individually. If this problem persists for you, please contact support. Or, see below, under "Trouble shooting".

Getting Error - "Front Page Extensions not Installed"

We often see this error being reported even when the extensions have been installed. If you get this error, please contact support and we'll make sure the extensions are installed and repair them if necessary. NOTE: The extensions are easily corrupted. Please use only FP Explorer to update your web site on the server, not FTP.

I published but my web's not there!

This will happen when the "Destination Web Name" is filled in when publishing to our server.

This box should be left blank. If you put any other name in this box it will create a subdirectory off of your root web and copy all of your files into it. Your site will exist under a subdirectory instead of at the top level /public_html where it should be.

My counter, bbs, guestbook, etc isn't working.

These problems are generally due to incorrect permissions on either the directory, file(s) or cgi script(s) that are associated with them. Please don't change the permissions of your files or directories unless you have a specific reason for doing so and you know what effect it will have on your site.

My forms won't work through the Secure Server.

The call to a cgi script using the Secure Server must not be within a webbot. Use a normal cgi call in your html script for Secure Server calls.

My search bot doesn't return any results.

The /public_html directory must be world readable AND you need to recalculate links BEFORE publishing (or after editing directly on the server). If it still doesn't work: FTP to the server and go to the /public_html/_vti_txt/default.wti directory.Delete any files that begin with "ALL.". Don't delete any other files. Then using Windows Explorer, do the same thing on your PC. Recalculate links, test locally with your browser and publish.

FP starts the Web Publishing Wizard when I try to publish.


Cancel the operation and email support to have the FP extensions installed/repaired.

Why is my page renamed on the server when I publish?

The "Default Document" of your web is automatically renamed by the server to what is required by the configuration of the server. For example, if you've named the main page "index.html", it may be renamed "default.html". Just check the links to your main page to make sure they refer to it the same way.

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Microsoft FrontPage 2000

This tutorial will guide you step-by-step through configuring Microsoft FrontPage to exchange files between your computer and your web site.

In order to follow along with us, you'll need to have Microsoft FrontPage installed, and you'll need to be connected to the internet via your Internet service provider

Create a Simple Page

Before you can publish an html file to your web site with FrontPage, you must either have a page already created, or create a page. To create a page with FrontPage, follow these simple steps:

1. With FrontPage open, choose File --> New.

2. Type in "This is a simple test"

3. From the menu bar, choose File --> Save As.

4. Name the html file.
(If this file is to be your homepage, be sure to name it index.html)


Once you have the file saved to your hard drive, you are ready to publish the file.

Publish Your Web Page.

1. From the menu bar, choose File --> Publish Web .

fp20001.gif (4071 bytes)

You'll get a dialog box like this:

fp20002.gif (2939 bytes)

2. Click on the Options button

You will see a dialog box like this:

fp20003.gif (4427 bytes)

3. In box below Specify the location to publish your site to: enter the full URL for your site. (After the test, If you are uploading a newly created site that has not transferred the domain name yet, enter your IP address. http://123.45.67.89 Frontpage already knows to put your files in either a public_html or www directory, so you do not have to designate the subdirectory.)


4. If this is the first time you are publishing your site, select Publish all pages...

5. Select Include subwebs.

You should now have a dialog box that looks like this:

fp20004.gif (4546 bytes)

Obviously, you will have put your real domain name instead of 'mydomain.com'

6. Click the Publish button.

You should now see a dialog box like this one:

fp20005.gif (2944 bytes)

7. Enter your username and password.

If you have entered all the details correctly, FrontPage 2000 will then publish your site. You will see a dialog box like this one when it has finished:

fp20006.gif (2163 bytes)

8. Click Done.

Troubleshooting:

Ah, if only life were that easy. However, with tempramental FrontPage, there is every possibility that you web will not transfer in it's entirety. If you get cut off, or if you try to upload your site several times and it stops in midstream (it doesn't matter what the error message says) more than likely your extensions were corrupted. This is not your fault! It's just the Microsoft way. Simply e-mail me to do an extension reset; I'll delete your extensions and then re-install them properly. I know this sounds round-a-bout, but if you try to re-install your extensions over corrupted extensions without first deleting the installation, you will only retain your corruption and it will not work. Don't forget; anytime you are re-installing your FrontPage extensions, follow the uninstall directions first! Un-install the extensions first!

If this doesn't work, your last resort will be to do the following:

1) Have me delete the extensions, and be sure and let me know you're doing an FTP/FrontPage upload.
2) Then FTP approximately 80% of your site to the new server. Do not FTP your entire site.
3) Then notify me to re-install the extensions. (stay with me here, I know this is wierd, but trust me...)
4) Then go back to FrontPage and go through the normal Publish process again. HOWEVER: Choose the "Publish changed pages only" option. This will pull in the pages you did not FTP before, and will result in a shorter upload time. When the short upload is finished, FrontPage will automatically connect all your extensions, and your site will be fully functional.

Miscellaneous Notes:

Uploading your site will go a lot more smoothly if done from a DSL or cable modem connection.

Unfortunately, you will have some trouble uploading your site from one live server to another live server. I have done it, but it fails more times than it is successful. It will work a lot better if you do it from a DSL or cable connection. Try it first and if it works, great, but otherwise you will have to backup your live site onto your local hard drive and then upload the site from your local hard drive to the new server (us).


Further Microsoft FrontPage Support

The Microsoft Website.
If you need further assistance using FrontPage, go to http://builder.com/Authoring/FrontPage98/

The Microsoft Frontpage help desk
number is 425-454-2030 and is available free of charge Monday - Friday, 5am until 8pm, and Saturday only 6am to 12pm, Pacific time. Have your serial number ready! You will have to give it to the gatekeeper when you make your initial call. The techies are very good. They are patient and knowledgeable.

Tom Brunt's Outfront Forums
http://www.frontpagewebmaster.com/
The best Frontpage discussion board on the web is Thomas Brunt's OutFront discussion board. The people there are great, very knowledgeable and will bend over backwards to help you with any problem you may have. I know these people intimately, so tell them you are hosting with me and you will be derided unmercifully (just kidding); actually you will be helped a great deal. In fact I can get on the phone with any of their moderators and work with them to solve your problem if I need to. Not every day, but on a sporadic basis we can go the extra mile to help or to accommodate.

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Table Of Contents:

Back To Index
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Chapter 1
FTP Software Instructions

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Chapter 2
SSH / Telnet

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Chapter 3
Email Software Setup

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Chapter 4
CGI Bin

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Chapter 5
Secure Server

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Chapter 6
Formmail

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Chapter 7
Microsoft Front Page

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Chapter 8
CGI Scripts

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Chapter 9
ASP - COMING SOON

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Chapter 10
Cold Fusion - COMING SOON

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Chapter 11
Real Audio/Real Video

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Chapter 12
File Manager

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Chapter 13
Mail Manager

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Chapter 14
Changing Passwords

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Chapter 15
Site Statistics

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Chapter 16
Network Tools

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Chapter 17
FTP & Anon FTP

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Chapter 18
SSH / Telnet

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Chapter 19
Password Protect Directories

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Chapter 20
Custom Error Pages

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Chapter 21
MySQL

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Chapter 22
Mime Types

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Chapter 23
Crontab

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Chapter 24
Entropy Chat

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Chapter 25
Shopping Cart COMING SOON

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Chapter 26
Search Engine Submission

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Chapter 27
PGP

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Chapter 28
Subdomains

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Chapter 29
Archive Manager

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