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
- 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.
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
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
- 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
Table 1. Microsoft FrontPage 2000 -- Publishing Locations versus Features
|When you publish...
||Others can edit your pages
||Links and images work
||Special features enabled*
|To your hard disk or to a network location
||You can add the features, but they won't be enabled until published
|To your Personal Web Server
||If they have permission
|To your company intranet Web server
||If they have permission
|To a World Wide Web server
||If they have permission
* 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?
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
- From the File menu select Publish Web. The following dialog
- 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):
http://www.wppname.com/~folder/ or ftp.wppname.com/~folder/
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 (ftp://ftp.server.com/~folder) 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:
- In the Publish Web dialog box, click the Browse button.
- 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.
- Click Add/Modify FTP Locations and specify the path to your FTP
- Select "Anonymous" if there is no user name or password
required, or "User" to enter the appropriate user name and
- Click OK to save. This new FTP location is now available to choose
from the FTP Locations menu.
- 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.
- 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
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,
- Hit counter -- keeps track of the number of hits (visitors) to the page it
- Form handler -- sends form results to a text file, e-mail address, or
- Discussion form -- allows users to send comments to the page, and displays
- 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
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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