Advantages for Using FrontPage
this HTML editor has some hidden advantages
by Robin Nobles and Dave Barry
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
<head> 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, there's a way to get rid of
How to Get Rid of Extraneous Code and Headers
Dave Barry, Webmaster of
Site Search Architect, explains how:
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
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 won't 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.
You'll see an option box. Under HTML Source, at the
top of the page under General, you'll have this choice:
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 won't see the code or headers on your pages
"To disable the HTML changing of FrontPage 2000, a registry
entry is also needed. This attachment (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.
you want to edit the registry manually, here is the code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared Tools\Web Server Extensions\All
Add-In that Generates META Tags
FrontPage also has an Add-in that will delete META tags without
going into the source view. It's called META Tag Maker 2002, and it will create
and manage META tags through one dialogue box, without having to go into source
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:
Windows Media Add-in, that will easily embed audio and visual into your Web
Clear Teal Template, that is a 16-page easy-to-use Web template
that lets you easily create a Web site;
J-Bots Plus 2002 Trial. According to the FrontPage site, J-Bots components make
you don't 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.
includes (SSI’s) 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 that's
created on the fly, server side includes have a normal URL that's easy for
users to remember and doesn't create problems for the engines.
other words, SSI’s 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
How might you use SSI’s on your Web page?
Let's 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 SSI’s.
For more information on creating SSI’s with FrontPage, visit:
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 you've ever
wanted to experiment with Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), FrontPage also makes
using them a breeze. You can even create DHTML using FrontPage.
- 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.
- If you want to create a database, it's 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 whatsoever.
- 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
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 it's
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) explains
"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
it's a program that's 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.
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
Make FrontPage Work the way YOU Want it to!
the Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions Resource Kit, you'll find links to
all of the possible ways to make FrontPage work for you, instead of the default
values after installation.
As you've 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
that's easy for beginners yet has the functionality that advanced designers
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.
Nelson with Search by Design! (http://www.search-by-design.com) said, "Is it a
perfect tool? Certainly not, but FrontPage combined with minor HTML knowledge
can take you a long way..."
So FrontPage users, don't 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
Site Search Architect created the 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 – there's no way I could have created this article without
Dave Barry is the creator of
Site Search Architect (http://www.site-search-architect.com),
the first truly
SEO friendly content management system. He is also a
professional Webmaster, Web designer, programmer, and search
engine optimizer, all rolled up into one amazingly talented man.
He is also
our technical instructor with
Search Engine Workshops to put on “hands on” training workshops at
locations across the globe. (http://www.searchengineworkshops.com)
- Robin Nobles teaches 2-, 3-, and 5-day hands-on search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe (SearchEngineWorkshops.com) as well as online SEO training courses (OnlineWebTraining.com). They have recently launched localized SEO training centers through SearchEngineAcademy.com, and they have expanded their workshops to Europe with Search Engine Workshops UK. They have also opened the first networking community for SEOs, the Workshop Resource Center (WRC).
Click here to go back to the
index of search engine marketing articles
This work is licensed
under a Creative Commons License.
Unlock extraordinary traffic potential!
Search Engine Workshops
. . . the premiere onsite
search engine marketing workshops in the world!