Is Frontpage up to the task?

  STEVE71163 17:44 31 Dec 2005

I have a cleaning business and would like to put together a really good website using frontpage 2003.I would like to use flash showing a water fed pole brush cleaning the glass on a building. Can this be done with frontpage??

  powerless 18:32 31 Dec 2005

You can certainly create your website using Frontpage and it will allow you to insert flash.

But creating the flash cannot be done with Frontpage. You'll have to use something like swish, flash 8 or have someone do it for you.

Swish | click here

Flash 8 | click here [or the Pro Version]

  TishTash 21:00 31 Dec 2005

Personally, I think that all websites should be coded by hand, because it shows there was effort and time taken in making it. Frontpage and many other programs akin to it generate alot of useless code that takes up space and bandwidth. You could of course, pay a professional web-designer to do it - which would probably be the best thing to do. Flash is good, and very effective when done properly but its a pain in the backside to use... But if you spend a long time on something in Flash it tends to turn out good. I use Flash 8 Pro and it's awesome :P

  Taran 22:29 31 Dec 2005

FrontPage 2003 is the single most powerful web authoring program currently available.

It kicks the tar out of Dreamweaver and Adobe GoLive for integrated data sources underlying the site where dynamic content is used.

If I had to hand code all the sites I do I'd stop doing commercial web design.

This is for two main reasons:

1. WYSIWYG editors like FrontPage and Dreamweaver allow you to rapidly develop sites and remove the necessity for tedious repetitive code tagging that we all had to do years ago when decent editors were unavailable.

2. There is no way on this Earth that my clients would be prepared to pay my hourly rate for the additional time it would take me to create their sites.

Hand coding has its place in the scheme of things but FrontPage can and will deliver, usually way over and beyond what most designers are capable of.

Most people who malign it either don't understand it or are not very experienced working with it.

Back before FrontPage 2000 there were some question marks over the output generated by FrontPage.

Not any more.

You can create fully standards compliant XHTML and CSS sites using FrontPage, if you bother to spend the time learning it properly.

Both the Forum Editor of this site and myself use FrontPage 2003 as one of the core programs in our armoury for commercial web design. I also use Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive, Visual Studio and occasionally NetObjects Fusion as well as several text and code editors, depending on whether I'm PHP-ing, ASP-ing, .Net-ing or codeslinging in general.

Think of it like this:

Unless your site visitors view your source code of your pages and are fluent enough in web languages to be able to somehow 'tell' that you rolled your own code, or not as the case may be, who is going to care as long as your page looks good ?

If you are careful about using the accessibility tools FrontPage 2003 has built in, you can create browser compatible sites with ease.

I can make sites in FrontPage or Dreamweaver that never give away their parent program. How is anyone supposed to know that I DID NOT use a simple text editor to write my own code ?

Flash content should be kept to a bare minimum in all but exceptional circumstances.

Many people use it as an interface to an entire site and this usually results in driving visitors away and unless you go to extraordinary lengths you kill the site as far ass accessibility is concerned.

Whether I'm on a fast broadband connection or not, the moment I see one of the variations on the theme of


I close the browser and go elsewhere.

Flash has little to offer your typical cleaning business website other than, as suggested, a method of embedding a short video file into the web page.

There is no need to hire a professional designer.

Assuming you can figure out how to create a Flash movie from some footage on your PC (if you can't, consider embedding an AVI or MPEG snippet instead of using Flash) all you need to do to insert the movie in FrontPage is this:

Import your flash file or video file into your FrontPage web.

Open up the page you want the file to display on.

Click on the page in design view where you want the file to go.

Click on Insert (on the top toolbar).

Click on Web Component.

Scroll down the list of available options in the left column.

Select the last option called Advanced Controls.

Choose Movie in Flash format from the list on the right.

Follow the prompts.

Job done.

The simple answer is that FrontPage manages to disguise itself and its powerhouse status by hiding behind a relatively easy to use Microsoft Office interface. It is more than capable. All it needs is the time invested to learn it, which could be said for all editors.

Good luck with it.


  Taran 22:34 31 Dec 2005

Think of it like this:

Dreamweaver takes a lot of learning - in fact it has a far steeper learning curve than FrontPage.

So does Adobe GoLive.

I can't think of much I can do with either Dreamweaver or GoLive that I can't do with FrontPage 2003, unless we take the native support for PHP into account.

I can't think of the last time I used Flash in any serious way either. It has been relegated for the web by many, but it really is superb for presentational projects where bandwidth and web browsers aren't restrictions. I use it quite a lot for intranet applications to create interfaces for web programs. I really like it for interactive CD ROMs as well.

For the web though, I tend to avoid Flash like the proverbial plague and so do most of the web developers I know and have worked with.


  Forum Editor 01:03 01 Jan 2006

it's very much underrated, and it's latest version - FrontPage 2003 - certainly beats any of the other WYSIWYG applications on the market for all-round power and capability, particularly where data-driven sites are involved.

As for hand-coding, I don't know a single professional web designer who could make a living with hand-coding everything. Customers just wouldn't pay the price, and in any case it isn't necessary. Modern software is so good, I can do in an afternoon with a WYSIWG program what would take a couple of days by hand.

Flash? It's fine, in its place, but it's very much yesterday's technology as far as I'm concerned. There was a time when every client wanted a Flash site, or at least a big, impressive Flash intro, but those days are long gone. Commercial clients want clean, fast-loading static sites these days, and although I occasionally do a bit of Flash work it tends to be limited to music -oriented sites, or those that have a technological angle.

  mco 01:09 01 Jan 2006

FE - and that you haven't been all night on the forum!

  Forum Editor 01:39 01 Jan 2006

I saw the new year in with my wife, my dog, and Jools Holland - worrying about our children, who are all out revelling somewhere in London. Thanks to a strike there are no tube trains to get them to their homes, but they're grown up, and assure us that they'll be fine.

  jeff21up 15:23 23 Jan 2006

Absolutely agree with Taran in everything he says, why hand code? for all the reasons Taran gives. Frontpage is excellent another good product is php-nuke a CMS (CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM)
Would you walk (hand code) from Edinburgh to London just because it involves effort, or would you take the train (frontpage), simply you would arrive at the same place a lot quicker and with a lot less effort.
Former Hand Coder

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