Right now, the questions are in no particular order altough
that is on my To Do list. Please contact me with
additional questions or comments
and to point out errors.
- What does it mean to manage multiauthor Web
sites in FrontPage?
- Are there different ways to manage a Web
site with multiple authors?
- What's the first thing I should do?
- I want to revamp or redesign the web site
for my school. What should I do?
- I have decided to use subwebs to manage
my site. Shouldn't I just create a subweb for each person or each main topic
and let it go at that?
- If you were to buy a good source text for
FrontPage what would you buy?
- Are there any recommended resource books
to help with the on going Uh-Oh's we are likely to encounter?
- Are there any significant security issues
when allowing multiple users? (e.g. is monitoring permissions important to
prevent mass delete or unknown changes or is it easily manageable) If one
person alters or copies data of another, is it logged?
- When you publish are all the files replaced
or just the changed files?
- What’s with all of these “include pages”?
- How do you maintain shared borders and how
does the include page command help?
- How do I back up my web site?
- What is a Web Folder? .
- My technology support person says that FrontPage
extensions have bad security problems so he won't install them.
- What is shared hosting?
- I've added users to a subweb, but when they
try to open it, they get an error message about being unable to open "Frontpg.lck"
What does it mean to manage multiauthor Web sites in FrontPage?
A multiauthor Web site is, as its name implies, any Web site which has two
or more people creating content in the Web site simultaneously. Obviously, most
commercial sites are multiauthor but they also use sophisticated (and very expensive)
software and procedures to help manage the process. That's the last we will
mention of these folks because they have big staffs and big budgets, concepts
which are foreign to schools.
Here, we are concerned with people who use FrontPage for their Web sites
and don't have the time or budget to use the sophisticated management techniques
of companies. This includes the Webmaster for a school, or a teacher who wants
to use FrontPage with a class to create Web sites. However, there are techniques
that can make life a little simpler.
Are there different ways to manage a Web site with multiple
Yes. It depends on whether the content is heavily interrelated, such as when
a group of students work together to create a web site on a topic, or only mildly
interrelated, such as when a school web has links to the class pages of teachers.
The first case is more complex, and most of the techniques will be applicable
to that scenario. The second case is more easily handled by using subwebs, but
it still requires planning on the part of the person in charge. See the next
What's the first thing I should do?
Figure out who is in charge and create a plan. If only four or five people
are working together in a site and it is a one-time effort, they can determine
how to manage the project, but they still need a plan. If you expect your entire
class to work in a site, you will need to have one person who has the authority
to make final decisions that may affect all of the authors.
Plan the site. Before you start creating any pages, you should have an idea
of what will go on each page that will be authored by two or more people. See
the next question.
I want to revamp or redesign the web site for my school.
What should I do?
The first step of the plan is to determine your target audience and how you
want to address the. Is your site for students, parents, non-school members,
or all of the above. Then, create the structure. Think of everything a school
does: administration, academics, cocurriculars, sports, social activities, counseling,
communication with parents, communication with prospective students, etc. Brainstorm
with other teachers the activities that the school does, then logically group
them. Try not to have more than ten or fifteen top-level groups. Some of the
possible groups you may end up with are administration, academics, cocurriculars,
about the school, social life, transportation, archives, community projects,
etc. These groups become your top-level directories. Continue to break down
the structure into more detail until you get to areas that can be assigned to
Your structure must allow you to grow, yet still be maintainable. As an example,
see the file structure for a middle school.
I have decided to use subwebs to manage my site. Shouldn't
I just create a subweb for each person or each main topic and let it go at that?
It depends. (Darn! Everything depends!) If you are creating a site that will
never change after you post it, that approach is fine. An example might be a
class project or a site that showcases one of the school plays.
However, if you are creating a site, such as your school web site, you need
to have a detailed plan that will carry you through five or ten years. That's
not as hard as it looks if you do it logically and plan it up front. But if you
don’t, managing the web will go fine for a year, then it will grow increasingly
difficult until by the second year, you will have no idea where anything goes.
By the third year, when you quit in frustration and your replacement has to
take it over, nothing will be updated
If you were to buy a good source text for FrontPage what
would you buy?
This is always a difficult question as a book that is perfect for one user
is totally wrong for another. I tend to prefer texts as references and am not
an effective user of tutorial-style books. I'll defer the question to Amazon. It is a good place to start
looking for books as the customer reviews are very helpful in deciding which
book is worthwhile and meet your needs. For your search, enter “FrontPage” into
the search form on the Amazon page.
Are there any recommended resource books to help with the on
going Uh-Oh's we are likely to encounter?
I have not been able to find any as most troubleshooting references deal
with technical problems and are usually arcane. Most of the Uh-Ohs that we run
into have to do with the human factor, so the goal is to prevent them when possible
and have a good plan to recover from backups or solve the problem if not possible.
However, planning and maintaining a Web is no different than planning a project,
although this is often overlooked.
I’m converting my outline for the TIES workshop to this document and will
continue to add to it. If you have a question about FrontPage or your web, please
send me an email or use the contact form.
Are there any significant security issues when allowing multiple
users? (e.g. is monitoring permissions important to prevent mass delete or unknown
changes or is it easily manageable) If one person alters or copies data of another,
is it logged?
If your users are in separate subwebs, security is not an issue if you use
unique permissions for each subweb. In my case, all users in subwebs have full
administrative rights in their subwebs, but they are unable to open higher webs.
Do create an web administrator group that you add to each subweb, which will
allow others to help you as your web grows. However, you do lose many of the
benefits of having people work in the same web.
If multiple users work in the same web, the username of the last change to
a file is available in the properties of the file (right click on the file and
select properties). If you enable document checkin and checkout (Tools
==> Web Settings==>General Tab), authors are unable to delete or change
a file that has been checked out. But if they change the name of a file that
the checked-out page is linked to or do something else that might cause FrontPage
to update the page, the page will not change which may lead to an error in the
site. Note that checking out a file doesn't keep the old copy on the server;
it just prevents anybody but the person who checked it out from making further
changes. The latest saved version of the file will always be published.
If you wish to log authoring actions, you need access to the server so that
you can set the server to keep logs and retrieve them. Details on security are
available available from Windows Web Solutions in their
10 Steps to Secure FrontPage Server Extensions article. Note that the FrontPage
2002 extensions use a browser interface for management and you must use Internet
Explorer since the extensions require Windows Authentication.
>When you publish are all the files replaced or just the changed
The default is to just publish changed files only, but you have that choice
when you start publishing by selecting File==>Publish Web, then selecting
Options… and choosing All pages, overwriting those already on the
destination. Your selection is sticky, which means that the same action
happens the next time you select publish.
If you select publish all files, files are just overwritten and none are
deleted. So, if you delete “badfile.htm” from your web, then publish using
all pages, “badfile.htm” will not be deleted on your server. Usually
this is not a problem, but if you have a search engine in your site, “badfile.htm”
will still show up in it.
What’s with all of these “include pages”?
How many times have you changed a file, then realized there was some really
useful information in the version you overwrote? Using included content allows
you to manage these revisions to avoid that problem, make changes to your web
without having to change your links, and add information collected from forms
while keeping your form results in a folder that cannot be accessed. . In FrontPage
2002, including a page is done by using Insert==>Web Component, then
selecting Included Content in the left pane and Page in the right
pane. FrontPage will then include the content of the page you select on the
page where you inserted it. FrontPage automatically adjusts links, removes shared
borders if they are present, and removes unnecessary html tags. The entire
head element is removed and as are <body>, </body>,
<html> and </html> tags.
For example, this page is "fpfaq.asp", but these words are actually in "_private/fpfaq_reva.htm".
When I add more content to the page, or change it beyond minor cosmetic tweaks,
I will save this page as "fpfaq_revb.htm" and use a comment (Insert==>Comment)
in the page to make a note of the changes. The comment appears in purple
in FrontPage but does not appear in the browser, although it is in the HTML
code. I will then change the include component in "fpfaq.asp" to use the new
page. (By the time you look at this, I may be beyond Revision B; check the bottom
of the page to see.)
With multiple authors, it's possible to have each author work on a separate
page and have all of the pages included on one page that shows the work of each.
An example might be a recent news page for a school. A different author might
be assigned a page for each grade but each page is included on one page that
will have all of the recent news. We have also used this in Language Arts where
students entered their reflections on their own page, but all of the reflections
on a topic where combined on one page.
How do you maintain shared borders and how does the include
page command help?
One of the most useful features of the include page command is in shared
borders. If you have used shared borders, you may have noticed that it is very
easy to accidentally make a change in a shared border and wipe out the content.
Also, when you change a shared border, FrontPage pauses while it updates every
page in the web with the shared border.
First, the "_border" folder containing the shared borders is usually hidden.
To see it, select Tools ==> Web Settings==>Advanced Tab and check
Show hidden files and folders. You will then see the "_borders" folder.
When you first apply shared borders, the
you selected will appear in this folder. In order to add content to those borders,
you may do it from the web page the border is on, but this is also a good way
to accidentally overwrite a shared border. I prefer creating the pages elsewhere,
then using the include component to include them in the border. In this web,
I created a folder in the top level "_private" folder called "borders" and created
my files for the borders in there. See the picture on the left. The last four
letters in the file name indicated the revision level of the file, with "_reva"
referring to revision A. My left border contains navigation, so it changes more
than the bottom or top border, which is why it has so many revisions. (Standard
practice skips revision I and O so they aren't mistaken for 1 or 0.) Of course,
numbers or dates could also be used for the revision.
you use the include component to include the correct file in the correct border
in the "_borders" folder, select and copy those files. Then, select the "_borders"
folder again and paste the files into it. You should see something similar to
the picture on the right.
Now, if one of your author gets overzealous and overwrites or changes one
of your borders, you can get it back easily by copying the code from the copy.
To update the borders, I copy the contents to a new revision, make my changes,
then open the appropriate border and change the file name in the include component.
How do I back up my web site?
Get in the habit of routinely publishing your web site to your hard drive,
personal web server, or main server in a special backup folder. For example,
when I back up a web or sub web, usually maintain four copies. If my web is
called "myweb", I'll create a folder somewhere on our web server also called
"myweb" and then create a folder under it called "1" and convert that to a subweb
when I publish. The second time, I'll put it in a folder called "2", then "3",
then "4". After doing the fourth one, I'll start back with "1".
In both cases, I select include subwebs and All pages when
I publish since I will not get prompted about overwriting or deleting files.
You can also just publish to a folder on your hard drive, However, if you use
active FrontPage components, such as forms, you will get asked for each web
and subweb whether you want to publish.
What is a subweb?
A subweb is a FrontPage term and is just another Web within the main, or
root, web. In particular, the FrontPage search component won't search outside
of a FrontPage web or into subweb, shared borders only work within the subweb,
the navigation structure only works within the subweb, and changes to a page
only affect the current web. This means that if you are linked to a page in
a subweb and change the name of the page in the subweb, the link will be broken.
The last is the main reason that I don't recommend that you link to a page
in somebody else's subweb. You will soon find that Bill calls his file "billhome.htm",
Sue calls hers "WelcomeToMyClass.htm", and Masahiro wants his to be called "yokoso.htm".
Then once you get the links correct, Bill, Sue, and Masahiro will each rename
their pages, then expect you to fix your page. Link only to their subweb without
a file name and they become responsible for making sure their webs work.
What is a Web Folder?
A subweb can be accessed as a web folder as explained in the
Web Folders page.
My technology support person says that FrontPage extensions
have bad security problems so he won't install them.
This viewpoint is usually the result of having heard horror stories about
FrontPage security. Like any product, if it is not installed or managed correctly,
there are security problems. This is common to all web servers and extensions
to web servers but FrontPage had more than its share in early versions.
Yes, occasional security problems are discovered, but this happens with all
products, Linux and UNIX included. Further explanation of the security issues
is available from Windows Web Solutions in their
10 Steps to Secure FrontPage Server Extensions article.
In this case, you might want to get a shared hosting Web site hosted by a
Web Presence Provider (WPP) who specializes in FrontPage extensions. This web
is hosted by Infoquest (http://www.infoquest.com)
and has been very reliable although they currently require that you go
through them to add new users.
What is shared hosting?
Shared hosting simply means that your Web Presence Provider hosts numerous
web servers on one machine. From your point of view, though, you aren't aware
of the other servers on the machine. You also don't have to worry about any
of the maintenance of the machine itself.
Shared hosting is inexpensive, (from $5.00 a month on up.) However, the cheapest
packages typically don't give you the flexibility, control, or customer service
you need. I currently pay $19.95 a month for this site, which I've been very
pleased with. I'll attach a short listing of hosting providers later.
In particular, you need to be sure that you can create users and manage permissions
in your FrontPage web without doing anything unusual.
I've added users to a subweb, but when they try to open
it, they get an error message about being unable to open "Frontpg.lck" or "Service.lck".
These errors are a result of permissions problems. In order to open a subweb,
the author must have at least browser privileges on all higher level webs. If
you have a browser group, make sure you’ve added your users to it. The second
error results from your webmaster trying to manage permissions manually and
not setting them correctly on higher level webs.