Last Updated: April 18, 2006
Microsoft FrontPage 2002 is a very powerful program. It offers flexibility and adaptability to the Web Designer. Many of the new features are simply an implementation of Office XP within the Web development arena. Items such as "type a question for help", views that are reminiscent of other Office applications, in-line spell checking, and more. Beginners and advanced developers will like using FrontPage, as it makes it easy to create and manage a Web site.
Beginners will like FrontPage because you can be up and running building a Web page in seconds. FrontPage comes standard with many templates to help you create your Web site. Plus, because it uses the same user interface as Word and other Office programs, there is very little learning involved in getting started using FrontPage 2002.
The biggest drawback of FrontPage 2002 for beginners is that there is so much built-in. It can be somewhat challenging to use the publishing features for any Web site other than sites with FrontPage extensions installed. This affects what does get published, as FrontPage might create a site on your hard drive, but then not help you get it and all the associated images to your Web site.
Developers who manage an entire Web site will find the management tools available in FrontPage 2002 invaluable. Links within your site are updated automatically when you change a page name. You can easily set up and receive reports on your Web site including the most popular pages or the top ten sites.
- FrontPage still does strange things to the HTML
FrontPage 2002 has come a long way from the days when it would install random codes and tags without your knowledge, but this still happens. The well-known <p> </p> can still be found throughout FrontPage Web pages. And it's really difficult to tell how it's going to add hypertext, image links, and so on.
- HTML not written to standards
This is not exactly the fault of FrontPage, but rather the danger of using a WYSIWYG editor. For example, you could write tags that were nested incorrectly (ie. <b><i>bold italics</b></i>) simply because that's the order that the bold and italics were turned off.
- Install includes other items you might not want
When I installed FrontPage 2002, it also installed "Outlook Express" and "Connect to the Internet". Since I already have an email client that I'm happy with as well as an Internet connection, both of these are superfluous for me. I'm not sure, but it may have installed other items as well.
- You can only use it 50 times without "activating"
If you do not activate, after the first 50 uses, the program will no longer save edits to existing pages or allow you to create new Web pages. It's not clear what activation does or why you should do it (other than, of course, that the program will no longer work as a usable tool after the "trial" period is over).
The Bottom Line
If you already know and love Microsoft FrontPage, you will love this upgrade. There are many new features to make it even more fun to use. I can't recommend it to rank beginners, as while it is easy to create a page it can be very challenging for a beginner to get their site online unless they use the built-in Microsoft tools. This can be fairly limiting.