Frontpage question

  harristweed 14:57 29 Sep 05

Manipulating PHP code in Frontpage 2000 is not ideal. For instance " gets turned in to & quot; (spaced here)

Can anyone please let me know if the latest Frontpage 2003 handles PHP better?

  Taran 15:12 29 Sep 05

That said, you can set FP2003 as your default PHP editor, although why you'd want to is beyond me.

Microsoft appear in very firm denial about the mere existance and popularuty of PHP and MySQL, unless you do some very specific searching where you will find articles like this: click here

You can get an interesting plugin for FrontPage called PHP Rocket Plug-In click here which may be worth a look.


  harristweed 17:49 29 Sep 05

Many thanks T

It's beyond me as well. I have a client that wants to edit their site themselves and all they are prepared to use is Frontpage!

The customer may not be always, right but they are always the customer....

The PHP Rocket Add-In looks interesting but it needs php installed on the host computer and I don't really fancy the 'installation talk through' with this customer!!!!

  Taran 19:22 29 Sep 05

Why not create a dynamic FrontPage template that references your PHP script(s) as includes.

Make the plain vanilla areas of the page(s) editable int he template and that allows the client to mess around with the areas you designate editable and keeps your include references from being molested by them in the process.

Just a thought.

  Taran 19:35 29 Sep 05

If you set the formatting into a heavily commented CSS file and give them access to any supporting images that feature in the page design for editing purposes, about the only thing left is filler text which could even be referenced as an include.

I realise I'm not simplifying this at all - quite the reverse in fact - but, well, you got me thinking; on a weekday too... ;o)

  harristweed 08:46 30 Sep 05

Very useful stuff T. Gives me a bit to think about. Unfortunately it's not so straight forward. It is actually 6 sites. The customer already had a couple of property sites and is a bit paranoid that other agents will get similar domain names. So they registered 6 more domain names. i.e.,, and so on. They wanted all the sites to have the same content (database driven property lists) area info all the usual stuff, but have a different look and colours. Also they did not want to play expensive hosting fees. The names were registered with Directnic, who provide very basic hosting at $15 a year per domain. No php No Cgi Just very basic.

So I created the site on their present host, just once, with six different index pages hosted elsewhere. Each index page links to the pages on the existing host. Passing the 'site number' on a query string. The colours and layout are controlled by CSS, a different CSS sheet for each site and the 'site number' is passed from page to page as a session variable.

Of course there are details that are specific to each site and these are held in a separate php page, again selected according to the 'site number'.

When I originally set this all up, I did not realise the client wanted to be able to amend the site.

I don't really want to 'learnĀ“ Frontpage just to make the clients life easy, when the site(s) are already finished, also I think I would be making problems for myself. If the client messes things up (and I think they are sure too), It is a simple task to replace the existing pages. If the client thought the pages were designed to be edited by them and they messed up it would be my fault and if they were so inhibited that they could not mess up they would complain that they did not have enough control over the content!

However, If I have similar work in the future, I will certainly use your ideas. Again many thanks.

  Taran 09:15 30 Sep 05

Not meant to be a cheeky question that one, but there are a couple of options that spring to mind straight off.

1. A CMS style application that allows the client to update their property list through a browser based control panel.

2. A third party solutions, as per option 1.

I've worked with a few estate agents and solicitors and there are several very good dedicated property CMS's available, at a cost of course.

Depending on how comfortable you are with PHP it could be worth the time investment to create your own based on client requirements. The disadvantages are obviously time invested to return, but since it's a re-usable program once you write it, apart from maintaining the script, it can be re-sold any number of times.

I've done a couple of property CMS's in both ASP and PHP and it has been handy to either have an application good to go when other clients came knocking or at least have them as a springboard to tweak if they don't meet all requirements of a new client.

Not ideal at this stage of play but something to give some thought to perhaps.

Im not recommending these products, never having used them, but they are about the least expensive of the commercial ones I've seen and they stand up quite well in use as I understand it from friends who have implemented them:

Listings Manager from Interactive Tools is CGI and 100% rebrandable: click here

Classified Listings Manager is ASP/Access (can be ASP on Apache with Red Hat or Chilisoft ASP support and database can be MySQL) from DMXReady: click here

There are loads of property related scripts on the PHP section of, although most have an American "Real Estate" theme: click here

If you do code your own system though, keep in mind that if you make it flexible enough and feature rich from the outset you can resell it over and over.

My own classifieds ads style srcipts have been resold more times than I can remember - a visual page template and site branding personalise it and activating the required features or deactivating those that aren't go a long way to a 'best fit' situation. It's easy to customise a program like this if you design it properly from the start and the engine is useful to have as a base from which to operate.


  harristweed 11:19 30 Sep 05

I've already done it.

click here

Unfortunately, I'm too busy to update my demo site. (Never buy a car from a mechanic)
Sold it about 10 times already.

I'm improving it all of the time. Now adding a complete rental system for Villa Rental Agents.

Not live yet, but you can see it at
click here

I started web design about 5 years ago and am all self taught. My first site was put together using MSWord! I now use Dreamweaver and ZDE for PHP development. I don't know Frontpage or ASP. I have learnt quite a lot about PHP and MYSQL. Don't know any Java Script any I need I get from the web.

I find reading this forum very helpful and try and help others if I can. Your contributions are excellent and I'm sure many web sites have benefited from your generous input.

  harristweed 11:20 30 Sep 05

The link to the rental siteshould be

click here

  Taran 13:25 30 Sep 05

Grat minds and all that...


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