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Publishing with Microsoft FrontPage 2000

Microsoft Corporation

March 30, 1999


This article defines what it means to publish with the FrontPage® 2000 Web site creation and management tool and discusses your choices of where to create and host your site. The article gives you step-by-step instructions on how to publish with FrontPage 2000 and highlights the differences in publishing with FrontPage 98 and FrontPage 2000. If you're new to FrontPage 2000 or you've been publishing using FrontPage 98, you'll find answers to many of your questions about publishing here.

What does it mean to publish a Web site using Microsoft FrontPage?

First of all, it's important to understand what a Web site is. A "Web" is a group of files that are interconnected by hyperlinks that allow you to jump from one page to another, usually by simply clicking your mouse. While it's possible for a Web site to be a single HTML page, a Web site usually comprises several pages that can include images, hyperlinks, and more advanced technology like forms and databases.

Publishing a Web site generally means copying all of the files that make up a Web site to a particular destination. In FrontPage, you would typically publish your site when you want to:

  • Make your site (or new or updated pages on your site) available for public viewing. Normally you create or update pages for your Web site in a location (often referred to as a "staging" area) where others cannot find or view the pages with their Web browser. When you are ready to let others view your Web site on the World Wide Web or on your company intranet, you would use the FrontPage publishing feature to copy the files to the Web server.
  • Make a backup of your site. There may be times when you want to make a copy or a backup of your Web site and save it to a particular location on a your computer or on a network drive. The publishing feature in FrontPage is a convenient way to make a backup.

    Publishing to a Web server, whether it is on the World Wide Web or on your company network (intranet), provides some important benefits:
  • Ensures that others cannot modify your pages unless they have authoring privileges. You may have noticed that you can open an HTML file (normally with the extension .htm or .html) in your browser and use the "View Source" command to see the underlying code and text. When you do this with HTML files that you access through your file system, you can modify and save changes to the file. However, if you view the source of a file that is published to a Web server (the file displays an http:// prefix in your browser address line), it seems like you can change the source, but you cannot actually save your changes.
  • Keeps your links and images working correctly. FrontPage will maintain your files and hyperlinks. Each time you publish the Web site, FrontPage compares the files on your local computer to the files on the Web server. For example, if you move a file in your local Web site, FrontPage will update and correct any hyperlinks to it, and then make the same corrections to the files on the Web server the next time you publish the Web.
  • Enables server-dependent features. Certain features such as forms, searches, databases, and discussion groups require a Web server in order to work. If you add these types of features to your Web, you'll find that they simply don't work when viewing your pages directly from a file location on your hard-drive or a network file location. But when you publish to a location with a Web server, these server-dependent features will work because they have the server software to add the "smarts."
Note   FrontPage includes server components, called FrontPage Server Extensions that are required to enable certain features. See the section of this article "How do FrontPage Server Extensions Affect Publishing" for details.

The Fundamentals of Publishing with FrontPage

When you first create a Web site in FrontPage 98 or FrontPage 2000, you have the option of saving your Web to several different places.

dialog box

Figure 1. FrontPage 2000 New dialog box

You have the option of creating your Web site on a hard drive, network drive, or Web server; the latter allows others locate and view it through their Web browser.

You can publish or save your Web:

  • To your hard drive or a network drive. Simply type in the path. Keep in mind that others who use your computer or are on your network can view, open, and change these files through the file system (using Windows® Explorer or My Computer in the Windows 95 or later operating system). However, when you save your Web site this way, others cannot browse to the site over an intranet or over the World Wide Web until you publish it.
    Note   It is recommended that you always create disk-based Web sites in a subdirectory on your hard drive, not at the root (for example, in c:\my Webs\ rather than c:\). That way, if you ever need to delete the Web, you delete a file folder instead of having to select files from the root directory.
  • To your Personal Web Server. This is accomplished by adding a sub-Web. For example, if the name of your personal computer is "Alexi" you could create a Web site to http://Alexi/My Personal Web. Keep in mind that when you choose to create a Web site on your Personal Web Server, other people will be able to see your work in progress if you have given them the address (the uniform resource locator or URL) of your Personal Web Server. For this reason, you might want to create your Web site on your hard drive or a network drive and then using the publish feature when you're ready for others to see it.
    Note   Personal Web Servers allow you to create Web sites and test Web functionality on your own computer, such as a system running the Windows 95 or Windows 98 operating system. Microsoft Personal Web Server ships with Windows 95 and Windows 98, or is available for download in the Windows NT® Option Pack at
  • To your company intranet server. An intranet is a Web site or series of Web sites that are available only within a particular networked environment. For example, in a company, various departments may create their own Web pages and then publish these pages to a computer that is running Web-server software. Other people on the network can view the pages by typing in a path such as http://CompanyWeb/. (Notice that the address or URL of an intranet doesn't have the "www" prefix. Rather, it starts with http://, which means that users can view but not change the files via their browser.)
  • To a World Wide Web server. The World Wide Web is made up of an enormous network of servers located all over the world, all accessible using a Web browser. You recognize World Wide Web sites by the http://www.sitename.extension address. A Web server that "hosts" sites that are viewable on the World Wide Web may exist within your own company, or frequently companies contract with a Web hosting provider or Web presence provider to host their site. In this case, the server is located at the provider's location. When you publish your site to a hosting service, you copy your site's files over the Internet to their Web server.

The table below summarizes the effects of publishing to these different locations.

Table 1. Microsoft FrontPage 2000 -- Publishing Locations versus Features Enabled

When you publish... Others can edit your pages Links and images work Special features enabled*
To your hard disk or to a network location X X You can add the features, but they won't be enabled until published
To your Personal Web Server If they have permission X X
To your company intranet Web server If they have permission X X
To a World Wide Web server If they have permission X X

* Some features require a server with FrontPage Server Extensions installed. See the section "How do FrontPage Server Extensions affect publishing?" for details.

Using Publishing to Move a Web Site from Staging to Production

As mentioned previously, the area where you create and work on your site, where others cannot view it, is often called a "staging" area. Once you have tested your site and are ready for others to view it on your intranet or the World Wide Web, you use the FrontPage publishing feature and direct FrontPage where to publish your site.

If you are publishing to an intranet, you would enter in FrontPage the path to a location on your company network that has been set up by your intranet Webmaster as the intranet Web server, such as \\server\share\path or http://CompanyWeb/. FrontPage then copies your site's files to that path.

If you are publishing to the World Wide Web, you would enter the address of the destination Web host, which could be a server on your network if you host your own site, or a server at your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or Web presence provider (WPP). See below for step-by-step instructions.

Using Publishing to Create a Backup of Your Entire Web Site

The other use of the publishing feature in FrontPage is to make a copy or a backup of your site. To do this, you open the Publish Web dialog box (from the File menu, select Publish Web). In the "Specify the location to publish your Web to" drop-down box, you enter the path of a directory on your hard disk or on a network drive. FrontPage then copies the files to that location, maintaining all of the proper links.

How Do I Publish Using FrontPage 2000?

Step-by-step instructions

Before publishing, it is a good idea to check to make sure that your site is complete and thoroughly tested and that you've reviewed your task list.

To publish in FrontPage 2000

  1. From the File menu select Publish Web. The following dialog box appears.

  2. Specify the location for publishing your Web by typing the path or clicking the Browse button and then selecting the location.

    Here are examples of locations to which you can publish:
    • Hard drive: C:\directory\
    • Network drive: \\server\share\path\
    • An intranet Web server or Personal Web Server: http://servername/path/
    • Web presence provider (WPP) or Internet service provider (ISP): or
    Note   There are two methods of publishing to your Web hosting service, but both work the same way. If the Web hosting service has FrontPage Server Extensions installed on their server, you just enter the address (or URL of your Web site), as you would when viewing it in your browser. If FrontPage Server Extensions are not installed on the server, you can use FTP (file transfer protocol) to copy the files to the server.

To enter an FTP server location in the Publish Web dialog box:

Simply type the FTP server location ( in the Publish Web dialog. (Be sure to type ftp:// before the server name). A dialog box will prompt you for your username and password.

To specify (or change) a saved FTP location:

  1. In the Publish Web dialog box, click the Browse button.
  2. In the top portion of the Open Web dialog box that appears, expand the list of locations next to "Look in." At the bottom of the list, you will see a location called FTP Locations.
  3. Click Add/Modify FTP Locations and specify the path to your FTP location (
  4. Select "Anonymous" if there is no user name or password required, or "User" to enter the appropriate user name and password.
  5. Click OK to save. This new FTP location is now available to choose from the FTP Locations menu.
  6. Specify your publish options by clicking the Options button. The Publish Web dialog box expands, displaying four options.

    • Publish changed pages only. FrontPage compares the files on your local Web to the files on the destination hard drive or Web server, and only those files that are newer than those on the destination hard drive or Web server are published. However, files that have been marked Don't Publish will not be published.
      Note   To mark specific pages as Don't Publish, on the View menu, point to Reports and then click Publish Status. If you don't want to publish a certain page, click that item's entry in the Publish column and change it to Don't Publish.
    • Publish all pages, overwriting any already on the destination. The files from the local Web site will overwrite all files on the destination Web server, even if the files on the Web server are newer. This publishing feature should be used judiciously because once files are overwritten, you won't be able to get the previous versions back.
    • Include sub-Web sites. If the current Web has sub-Web sites, all files and folders in sub-Web sites will be published in addition to those in the current Web.
    • Secure connection required (SSL). You can use this feature to encrypt the information transmitted so that no one can read it. Your destination Web server must support HTTPS authentication for this feature to work. This provides an added level of security that can be useful when you are publishing sensitive information to a provider outside your company.
  7. Click Publish, and then you will see a progress bar that shows you that publishing is under way.

    FrontPage also includes a feature that synchronizes the files on your source with those on your publishing destination. If FrontPage finds a page on the publishing destination that does not exist in your source files, it will ask you if you wish to remove that file, as shown in this dialog box.

    This feature helps you to get rid of unused files that would otherwise clutter your Web site and use up disk space unnecessarily.

To verify that your Web was successfully published, click the hyperlink that is displayed after the Web has been published, and your Web browser will open to the site you just published.

Note   If you cancel publishing in the middle of the operation, files that have already been published remain on the destination Web server.
Tip   To publish only pages that have changed to the same location you previously published to, click the Publish button , located on the FrontPage toolbar. If you haven't previously published this Web site before, pressing this button will bring up the same Publish dialog box that's also available from the File menu, under Publish Web.

How Do FrontPage Server Extensions Affect Publishing?

The FrontPage Server Extensions are a set of programs that you or your Web hosting service can install on a Web server to support administering, authoring, and browsing a FrontPage Web. While it is not essential that you host FrontPage-based Web sites on a server that has the FrontPage Server Extensions installed, some FrontPage features are enabled by the Server Extensions, including:

  • Hit counter -- keeps track of the number of hits (visitors) to the page it resides on
  • Form handler -- sends form results to a text file, e-mail address, or database
  • Discussion form -- allows users to send comments to the page, and displays all comments
  • Search form -- allows users to search for items on the Web
  • Multi-user authoring -- allows multiple users to edit and author the same Web site at the same time
  • Remote authoring and administration -- allows users with authoring rights to edit and author directly on the Web, and allows users with administrative rights to perform user and site management from a remote computer

If you include any of these features in your FrontPage Web, you need to publish to a server that has FrontPage Server Extensions installed; otherwise, the features will not work.

What's New and Different Between Publishing in FrontPage 98 and FrontPage 2000?

If you are familiar with publishing in FrontPage 98, you will be interested in these enhancements, which are new in FrontPage 2000.

  • Selective publishing. In FrontPage 98, you could choose to publish your entire site, or just those pages that have changed. FrontPage 2000 improves upon this by allowing you to mark specific pages as Don't Publish so you can selectively exclude certain files from publishing. This is especially useful for pages that are still under construction or contain sensitive information that is not yet ready to be released.
  • Display publishing status. In FrontPage 98, there was no indicator to let you know the status of the publishing process. FrontPage 2000 provides a visual display indicating that publishing is taking place.
  • Synchronize files via FTP. In FrontPage 98, if you published a site and the publish destination directory had extra files that did not exist in your source directory, FrontPage only asked if you wanted to delete these files if you were publishing to a server via FrontPage Server Extensions. Now in FrontPage 2000, this "synchronize" feature works if you are publishing your site via FTP as well.

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Last modified: Thursday May 19, 2011.