Advantages for Using FrontPage...
maybe this HTML editor has some hidden advantages
by: Robin Nobles
Ever since I've been doing SEO work, I've always griped and complained
about FrontPage and all the extraneous code it puts in the section
of the page, etc.
Then recently, I had the opportunity to visit with a group of advanced
search engine optimizers, and I was shocked to find that many of
them use FrontPage and love it.
The first thing I learned is that there are ways to keep out the
extraneous code! With FrontPage, you can remove the code, but it
keeps comes back again and again and again. But, theres a
way to get rid of it forever.
How to Get Rid of Extraneous Code and Headers
Dave Barry, Webmaster of SmartCertify Direct (http://www.smartcertify.com),
FrontPage 97 or 98 users:
Click on Start, then Find, then Files or Folders. Search your hard
drive (generally your C drive) for a file named frontpg.ini. Click
on the file.
When it opens, look for a line that says, Version 3.0.
Add this line under Version 3.0:
The next time you use FrontPage, remove the extraneous code and
headers, and they wont come back.
FrontPage 2000, 2002, or XP users:
Look at the menu bar at the top of the Open Web. Click on Tools,
then Page Options.
Youll see an option box. Under HTML Source, at the top of
the page under General, youll have this choice:
When saving file(s):
Preserve existing HTML or Reformat using the rules below
If you choose Preserve existing HTML, and if you delete any extraneous
code and headers, you wont see the code or headers on your
(To view an example screen shot showing the above, click here:
To disable the HTML changing of FrontPage 2000, a registry
entry is also needed. This registry file (http://www.academywebspecialists.com/newsletters/noreformat.zip)
will do it automatically. Just open the file with Notepad to verify
its authenticity before using it.
The attachment and registry entry must occur on the server.
Or, if you want to edit the registry manually, here is the
Tools\Web Server Extensions\All Ports]
Add-In that Generates META Tags
FrontPage also has an Add-in that will delete META tags without
going into the source view. Its called META Tag Maker 2002,
and it will create and manage META tags through one dialogue box,
without having to go into source view.
In fact, the FrontPage site has an amazing number of Add-ins for
FrontPage that are free for the taking.
Some of the more popular Add-ins include:
Multimedia/Special FX, Windows Media Add-in, that will easily embed
audio and visual into your Web pages;
Clear Teal Template, that is a 16-page easy-to-use Web template
that lets you easily create a Web site;
Scripting/Database Tools, J-Bots Plus 2002 Trial. According to
the FrontPage site, J-Bots components make FrontPage Web sites more
have to know how to write code or cut and paste. Simply fill in
Other Advantages for Using FrontPage
* Server side includes are easy with FrontPage. Before we go on,
let me explain what server side includes are.
Server side includes (SSIs) generate parts of Web pages dynamically
on the server side. They allow you to add customization
features to your Web pages, such as an e-mail form. Unlike other
forms of dynamic content, or content thats created on the
fly, server side includes have a normal URL thats easy for
users to remember and doesnt create problems for the engines.
In other words, SSIs embed special commands into an HTML
document that tells the server to perform specific actions when
a user requests the page. The server then creates the Web page on
the fly by merging files or inserting requested information.
How might you use SSIs on your Web page? Lets say you
want to add a form to your Web site for your users to complete to
sign up for your newsletter. You could create the form using SSIs.
For more information on creating SSIs with FrontPage, visit:
http://www.microsoft.com/frontpage/using/default.htm and click on
FrontPage Server Extensions.
* Dave Barry, who recently created two major sections of the Dell
Web site using FrontPage, manages 40 to 50 Web sites at SmartCertify,
and he easily moves back and forth between those sites using FP.
With that many sites, there is a lot of duplicity, and he can effortlessly
share objects with FP or edit multiple Web sites. With FrontPage,
you can cut and paste between the sites, use shared borders, and
easily drag and drop files, thus saving a lot of time versus handling
each site separately.
If youve ever wanted to experiment with Cascading Style Sheets
(CSS), FrontPage also makes using them a breeze. You can even create
DHTML using FrontPage.
Dave created a video on how to copy and paste, how to use Cascading
Style Sheets, and how to use shared borders with Front Page:
(Author Note: When viewing these videos, make sure you have the
latest version of Microsoft Windows Media Player. To download the
latest version (7.1), click here (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q299321).
Also, I found that I was unable to view the videos if my firewall
(Zone Alarm) was running.)
* Another benefit to using FrontPage is being able to create virtual
directories with ease. As you know, when you specify a home directory,
all of the subdirectories beneath than home directory automatically
become subdirectories of the Web site as well. However, you can
also designate a folder located elsewhere on the system as a subdirectory
of the site by creating a virtual directory out of it. A virtual
directory is a directory or folder on a server that is not in the
actual server directory structure.
Again, Dave created a video on how to create virtual directories
using Front Page:
* If you want to create a database, its no problem with FrontPage.
It will virtually create a database for you and import data without
any database knowledge at all. The program works with Access, SQL,
Oracle, and ODBC, and you can set up an SEC-compliant database within
30 seconds and begin working with asp pages with no prior knowledge
Click here for Daves video on how to create a database using
* To Lee Davies of #1 Internet Marketing (http://www.1-internet-marketing.co.nz),
the main advantage to FrontPage is that you can so easily manage
all your html pages from the folders section.
For example, If you were to rename an image, which is something
that needs to be done when optimizing, it will rename the links
to the images from every page, he explains.
* What I kept hearing again and again as I interviewed users of
FrontPage is that FrontPage saves you time in creating Web pages,
because its so easy to use. Don Hammond with DonOMite (http://www.donomite.com)
Straight HTML pages are a breeze with FP. I know a lot of
programmers scoff at using it, but it means I can crank out a basic
HTML page in seconds rather than minutes. And when I get paid by
the job, it means more $/hr to me.
* Dawn Rowlett with Web Submission Services (http://www.internetmarketingwebsites.com)
From the first day that I was introduced to FrontPage, I
was instantly able to catch on to some of the many features because
it was so easy to use. I think the most beneficial factor to the
program for me was that I was able to go in and design a page, knowing
nothing at all about HTML. I could include hyperlinks, tables, images,
change colors, backgrounds, insert text, create paragraphs, etc.
with absolutely no background in coding. I was able to do all of
this on my first day with the program!
I remember one time in the beginning when I was involved
in a discussion with a designer who was using another HTML editor
and was completely stuck on the coding of how to create a simple
table. My first thought at the time was, using Front Page, that
is such a simple task.
* Many professional SEOs also like to use FrontPage because
its a program thats simple enough for their clients
to use. So, when the SEO turns the site back over to the client,
the client can easily make changes with FrontPage without having
to know HTML. As Tom Altman with RSM McGladrey, Inc. (http://www.rsmmcgladrey.com)
Most of the folks already have the office suite, so they
are used to using Word and the like. FrontPage is not that much
different, and it lets them maintain their own site.
Make FrontPage Work the way YOU Want it to!
At the Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions Resource Kit, youll
find links to all of the possible ways to make FrontPage work for
you, instead of the default values after installation.
Take a Free Course in using FrontPage!
Dave Barry at SmartCertify Direct (http://www.smartcertify.com)
created a free course in using FrontPage. Simply register at the
following URL, and take the free course:
As youve seen, some very experienced Web designers and search
engine optimizers use FrontPage as their editor of choice.
Its ease of use and variety of ready-made templates make it a program
thats easy for beginners yet has the functionality that advanced
It also allows the designer or SEO to get a page designed quickly
and easily, and time adds up to money for a busy SEO.
As Nancy Nelson with Search by Design! (http://www.search-by-design.com)
Is it a perfect tool? Certainly not, but FrontPage combined
with minor HTML knowledge can take you a long way...
So FrontPage users, dont be ashamed to admit that you use
FrontPage! Some of the best Web designers in the industry use it,
with good reason.
Special Thanks to Dave Barry
Dave Barry with SmartCertify created the videos, screen shots,
and free tutorial available in this article. Plus, he gave me the
work arounds for getting rid of extraneous code, and he verified
the accuracy of the content. Thank you Dave theres
no way I could have created this article without your help.
Copyright 2002 Robin Nobles and Dave Barry. All rights reserved.
Robin Nobles, Director of Training, Academy of Web Specialists,
(http://www.academywebspecialists.com) has trained several thousand
people in her online search engine marketing courses (http://www.onlinewebtraining.com)
and is the content provider for (GRSeo) Search Engine Optimizer
software (http://www.se-optimizer.com). She also teaches 4-day hands
on search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe
with Search Engine Workshops (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com).
Dave Barry is a professional Webmaster, Web designer, programmer,
and search engine optimizer, all rolled up into one amazingly talented
man who works for SmartCertify Direct. (http://www.smartcertify.com)
He has also begun working with Search Engine Workshops to put on
hands on training workshops at locations across the