Front Page Extensions

  AJ Beer 07:19 23 Oct 03
Locked

I created my first web page a short while ago in front Page Express 2002. (for money as well!!)As you can imagine I was well pleased.

My colleague found a host through his advertising contacts but I have had great difficulty uploading the site. As it was my first time I thought it was just inexpereince in ftp so I resorted to asking them to help. This involved a lot of mucking about sending the site on disc to them etc. In the end it turns out that they have only got FP extensions for 2000 so the e-mail/contact form I included in the web did not work. The site info does say that FP extensions are installed but I guess that FP 2002 has different ones?? As you can guess I do not fully understand what they are.

The Company that is hosting (@£300 p/annum) say they are not prepared to upgrade to 2002 extensions as it will cost them £3000 (???) so for the time being I have had to resort to patching in code to open an e mail. Their only suggestion is to use Dreamweaver as they do.

Any suggestions? I am a bit new to this so not too much jargon if you please.

  harristweed 09:27 23 Oct 03

I have a few suggestions:
1. Change web host as soon as possible.
2. Dreamweaver will not solve your email problem.
3. Post the URL, then people here can view your code and offer suggestions how to solve your problems.
4. Keep posting your problems here and you will get help

  Taran 11:12 23 Oct 03

FrontPage Extensions are free to download, take minutes to install and configure and are a breeze to work with.

The feedback form extension should work unless you opted for some quite complex form field verification. Since you mention FTP you might find that the web folder permissions have been messed up: publishing using FTP then trying to publish from FrontPage using server extensions can fall foul of the way in which FTP and FrontPage differ in setting folder permissions on the web server. If this is the case your host can reset the web folder (it takes a few moments to do) and you're off running again with FrontPage.

The majority of the FrontPage 2002 extensions will run on 2000 with a few exceptions. FrontPage 2000 and FrontPage 2002 forms will normally run well on FrontPage 2000 extensions.

As harristweed correctly points out, using Dreamweaver will certainly not help you out. Aside from the cost to purchase it and the frightening learning curve to new web designers, Dreamweaver does not feature form handlers built into the software. You have to reference a script supplied by your web host (normally Perl/CGI) or you can use alternatives like a PHP form handler, and these are no walk in the park to a beginner.

£300 pa is a huge sum for web hosting at entry level. I'd expect to pay this for a business solution with some quite impressive features, not for a hosting package that refuses to support FrontPage 2002 extensions and requires your site on disk to successfully load it into your web folder.

What happens if you need to make regular changes to your site ?

Do you send a new copy of it on CD to them ?

It's a ludicrous situation and very shabby service.

Any host that says you need to use Dreamweaver over FrontPage to get your forms working is barking mad.

There are lots of web hosts that charge less than £100 per year (in some cases half that amount) for well featured hosting with full FrontPage extension support and these packages are ideal for up and coming web designers.

In fact, I'm amazed that they did not offer you a preconfigured CGI script for form handling. Most hosts have their own CGI scripts for you to use for forms, bulleting boards and similar.

Although nobody forces anyone to part with their cash for hosting or any other product, in this case I'd be interested in learning more since you seem to not only have had unacceptably poor service so far, but I'd also suggest that you may have been badly advised in your account selection.

By the way, you can turn off the turn off the FrontPage Extensions under Tools, Page Options, Compatibility, not that I'm suggesting that you should need to.

I still can't get over the advice that their ideal solution is for you to promptly migrate to Dreamweaver.

Post with more information.

Regards

Taran

  AJ Beer 18:08 23 Oct 03

Thanks for the help and comments so far.

The modified web site is currently situated at click here. The current Contact us page is only configured now to raise an e mail. The form I used was in the template that you can determine from the style I have used (if you know FP2002. It is just so easy isn't it??) I am sure that all I did was some cosmetic changes to the titles on each field. The original test site with the offending form in it is at the following address:-
click here

I have advised the host that extensions were free to download, but I think there are two issues.
1. their IT guy is not 'au fait' with FP
2. They costed the estimated time they felt it would take to set up which is why it is such a lot of money.

I have to talk to my colleague about changing to another host site. If we do can you advise about transferring the web address? It was purchased by us via the host but as a separate item.

I can change the site now easily by redesigning changes still in Front Page, saving the changes and uploading files with Ws Ftp, a programme I obtained from a freebie disk, though I still cannot get the response form to work.If I could understand the principles of it I might get further?? I would be grateful for info re PHP and CGI??

I think I understand what you meant by using FP to upload as opposed to ftp. FP uploads using http?? Is that right? This is why I had great difficulty getting in etc.

Let me know what you think eh?

  Taran 19:07 23 Oct 03

For publishing a FrontPage website to a server that supports FrontPage extensions just use the File, Publish command, enter your username and password and FrontPage uploads your site and alters all file and folder permissions (if required) for you.

Are you under a hosting package contract with your current host ?

Did you sign up for a minimum term of 12 months at £300 or so ?

A quick search on your domain looks like this:

Registrant: Fortis

This is followed by what looks like a domestic address (Blenheim Terrace, Leeds).

A quick search for Fortis shows that their website is currently down for "essential maintenence". I notice that they did not spell maintenance correctly.

According to Google, Fortis are:

Multi-disciplined marketing communications agency for clients and brands.

If they are all of that, I can't figure out why they are unable to offer you up to date FrontPage extensions or a pre-configured CGI script for form handling.

So, in brief, Fortis have registered your domain name which means unless they agree to release it to you it belongs to them and not you. This may or may not be the case and a phone call or email to them will sort the answer out to that issue. I'm not a fan of hosts registering domains 'on behalf' of clients. Your domain should be yours and it should be in your name, but they may agree to release it. You can only ask.

In case of difficulty with a stubborn host, Nominet can intervene on your behalf for £15 and will act in your interests to reclaim your domain name, but this is only if you get no joy through other means.

If they will release it you can 'transfer in' to any host either for free or for a small fee.

1&1 will transfer in free and then you pay them to host your site. Easily and similar hosts will charge you around the equivalent of a Nominet fee (around £25 or so).

Regarding your form, you will never be able to manually tweak it since FrontPage uses its own methods of form handling and the server extensions are not readily programmable.

If you want to think about a PHP or GGI script, you need to ask your host whether it is permissible to run them. If you can get an answer to that, I can give you a working form with either PHP or CGI processing.

Any host who does not have an IT bod to hand who is 'au fait' with FP extensions has some serious problems.

Anyone, and I do men anyone, can download the extensions from Microsoft and install them to their own server. This includes a local testing server on your own hard drive or you can get versions to run on dedicated Windows or Apache web servers for commercial use. They are free and not too difficult to set up. I know that many hosts offer FrontPage 200 support but not 2002 (XP) but for form handling it should make no difference unless you used some very bizarre methods of data processing (database integration, form field validation as an .ASP page or similar).

The one thing going on here that I suspect might be a major player is the fact that you mixed and matched FTP publishing with FrontPage publishing. Perhaps simply resetting the web folder will rectify the problem which does not take long to do as anyone familiar with server management will tell you.

Transferring the domain to another host may not be cost effective if you are bound into a 12 months contract and if you have to pay an 'admin charge' to release your domain name to you (despite the fact that it should have been registered to you in the beginning).

  Taran 19:13 23 Oct 03

If you want to look at some examples of web address transfers, try 1&1 click here or Easily click here and look for the option of transfer in.

1&1 have a banner on the first page of their site once you get past the entry page which flashes the message 'Transfer a domain for free'.

Information on the Easily site for domain transfers is linked near the top left of their homepage.

There are loads of good hosts out there and the two I've mentioned are a good starting point.

Transfer may not prove economical though, so ask some questions first.

Best regards

Taran

  AJ Beer 19:17 23 Oct 03

Thanks for the info. Despite some reservations at present I obviously have to revisit my dialogue with fortis and clarify things. With your advice I am sure we can work something out.

will keep you posted some time next week.

  AJ Beer 19:20 23 Oct 03

Did you see the original site code at click here ?
Is there anything in the form handling on the contact page that you might identify as problematiacal with FP 2000 extensions?

  Taran 19:42 23 Oct 03

No, the form at that address correctly references the shtml passthrough required by FrontPage and gives the correct FrontPage generated thank you page showing the information you entered into the form fields.

It works just fine, always assuming that you put the correct email address in when you configured it, so it knows where to send the feedback.

FP 2002 and FP 2000 forms both use the same extension (is memory serves) so as long as they have FP 2000 extensions correctly installed the form should work.

I can check just to make sure, but from memory I'm almost certain that the form handler is cross compatible.

Wiser heads than mine may correct me if I'm wrong, and if I get the time later on I'll look into it for you.

T

  Forum Editor 23:51 23 Oct 03

forms in FP 2000 and FP 2002 use the same extension, and therefore your form should work.

My personal advice is to actively pursue a move to a new host as soon as is practically possible. You have been charged an excessively large amount for a one year standard hosting package, which would normally be around the £80/90 mark. A reasonable charge for installing and configuring FP extensions on a Windows server would be around £25.

The domain is tagged to FIBRANET, which is a Spanish network services provider, so the position is somewhat confusing. I suggest that you clarify the domain name registrant's true identity, and if it isn't your colleague, steps should be taken to transfer ownership to him as soon as possible. Then you can have the name tagged to a new host when appropriate.

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