In this tutorial:
FrontPage History Death of FrontPage Server Extensions FrontPage alternatives
The Microsoft FrontPage web publishing software has existed for over 18 years, with official mainstream support dropped for the product by Microsoft on 4/14/2009, and with extended support ending on 4/8/2014.
With the official extended support ending just a month away, it’s important to start transitioning to newer web publishing software to maintain your website going forward.
Microsoft FrontPage version history
Below is a table showing the various versions of FrontPage over the years, along with the dates in which support from Microsoft ended for each product.
|Product name||Start Date||Mainstream Support End||Extended Support End|
Death of FrontPage server extensions
A lot of hosting providers have already disabled the FrontPage Server Extensions (FPSE) for quite some time, since they are notoriously known to cause issues after not being updated in years.
On March 19th, 2014 InMotion Hosting will be disabling the server-side FrontPage extensions on our servers. Any FrontPage user that wants to update their site, will no longer be able to publish with or utilize the features that FrontPage extensions allows for.
Can I keep using FrontPage to publish my site?
Even though Microsoft is ending official support for FrontPage, you can continue to use it to publish your website. However, going forward you will be unable to publish your site using FrontPage extensions, and instead you will want to publish your FrontPage site over FTP.
If you plan on sticking with FrontPage, please note that as web standards evolve over time FrontPage will cease to also do so. A good quote from the Microsoft site on their prerequisites for using Microsoft Expression Web page covers this:
The FrontPage Server Extensions are considered deprecated technology and are being phased out of Microsoft products in favor of modern standards. Designers who use FrontPage Server Extensions components are likely to encounter problems with modern Web browsers. Many hosting companies are also dropping support for FrontPage Server Extensions due to the fact that Microsoft hasn’t released a new version in many years.
Expression Web users who are using FrontPage Server Extensions for authoring Web sites by connecting to servers using HTTP should adopt modern technologies such as FTP (including SFTP and FTPS), WebDAV, or by using disk-based sites.
What are newer FrontPage alternatives?
The Internet and the web have changed drastically since the days when FrontPage was a very common website editor. Almost every modern website editor these days will require you to have some basic understanding of the concepts of HTML, and CSS coding, instead of the drag and drop design that FrontPage used.
Microsoft Expression Web
Microsoft released the free Microsoft Express Web 4 editor to replace their FrontPage product line. It’s not a direct FrontPage upgrade, and is a completely separate product that focuses more on modern web design.
There is the free open source Adobe Brackets code editor, which offers some very handy features like live HTML editing so you can see your changes right away.
A long running staple in the design world, Adobe Dreamweaver is a paid for product with a robust feature set.
Sublime Text allows you to very efficiently code your website or server-side files with ease.
Thoughts on “The death of FrontPage Extensions”
For lovers of Frontpage like me that are going to continue using it forever, the workaround is to run a local web server in your PC and to have a copy of your website running there so you can install Frontpage extensions to create / update locally your website. After that, you can upload your website though FTP. So, in few words, if you need to update your website anytime, you have to update your original copy located in your localhost first and after that you have to upload any files / changes through FTP.
Thanks for the tip, Alex! It’s good to know there are people out there finding a way to make it work.
I started with FrontPage and I’m still using Microsoft Expressioins. I have never used the FrontPage extensions on a server. If you are coming against a wall and don’t want to redo hundreds of pages and links there is a solution.
At least upgrade to Expressioins, keep the standard settings, you don’t need the extensions on a server. You will, though, have to keep your website files on a PC. Just download them from the server. You will have to make all changes and updates on that PC. So make copies of that website folder, in case. You then need a program called Site Publisher, is dirt cheap at $25. With that program you can deny uploads of certain files/folders. So set the program to not send up the _vti_cnf files FrontPage or Expression uses. It also has a Cache ability. So when you update, it checks the cache, sees new or deleted files and does the same to the server. DONE ! I have been using this Site Publisher program since 2005. I have some 45K files on my site. Basically it copies your PC’s website to the server, no extensions. You can still drag, rename and Expressions will make all the changes on your PC’s files. Then just click the “sync” and they are duplicated to your website. I’m trying to find out when they are coming out with SFTP. It works on two different site, Godaddy and 1and1. You just need to put in your full FTP server name, not IP or domain name. It’s listed on your CPanel.
Thanks for your comment.
I just bought an OLD online businesses inventory, website, and domain name. I am hoping to resurect it an update it. However, I have learned the website is built on FrontPage. There are MANY products, and they will be changing frequently. This is an online Fabric Store.
Any suggestions on what is the best/easiest platform to move this to?
Thanks for your comment and congratulations on acquiring the online business, website, and domain. Although it appears you have some work cut out for you, I have some recommendations that may help with the transition/conversion.
I would strongly recommend WordPress as an alternative CMS. I recommend WordPress mainly because there are many plugins that allow functionalities similar to FrontPage. Although the database of products conversion may not be the simplest, WordPress will give you the most flexibility. Running WordPress with the WooCommerce plugin gives you the ability to easily build an E-commerce website. It may also be possible to export the products from FrontPage to a CSV and import them into WordPress using a plugin. Additionally, depending on the HTML code used to create the FrontPage site, you may be able to copy and paste the HTML code from the FrontPage website to the WordPress page you want to create. This should help in keeping the “old” but also allow you to simply update the aesthetics of each page. Selecting a free WordPress theme can also help to incorporate a new look with the same content. Here are some online resources that may provide more insight:
I believe that these would be the best alternatives to make this transition smooth for you. However, I also know that WordPress makes it very simple to create websites in general. So if push comes to shove and you need to just rebuild the site, WordPress would be the simplest way to go about, not only building a new website, but also adding functionalities like E-commerce and many others.
I moved my old FP site to WordPress. I had 9 main pages. I copied them from Front Page and then pasted them into the text screen on WordPress pages and saved them. Once I did that, I went back to each page and adjusted anything that didn’t look correct in the WYSIWYG screen. A little like FP but you can’t view them at the same time. You switch back and forth. I uploaded all my pdf documents in their original folders up to the new site and put the folders in the WP Content folder. Then I just adjusted the hyperlinks to the new addresses. As for forms, there are several good form submitters. I am using Gravity forms. The hardest part of the conversion for me was that my user database was not recovered from our old site. I had to use my original Access database and convert it over to MySql and then upload it to my new site. WordPress lets you have two DB. Once it was in place I imported what I needed from it into the WP database. I’m not really all that tech savvy and I was able to do everything myself with some help from my host support at InMotion. From what I’m reading, I think most will be able to convert from FP without much pain.
I’m trying to pull up an old site that my girlfriend hosted when she was a kid back in the early 2000s. www.harrypotter11.frontpage.
com I’m having trouble finding it and was wondering if there was anything I could do to access it. Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
At this point, it seems there’s no way to recover it.
I agree 1000% with your findings. As a person who is totally content with the tools I have to do what I want, I find it infuriating that a company can come along and make changes that render my “toolbox” useless. WHERE IN THE WORLD DOES THIS KIND OF ABUSE EXIST EXCEPT AT MICROSOFT !? Exxon would never dream of putting out a new fuel and cease production of the ones that run in a ’57 Chevy. Microsoft does the equivalent of just that. They disable my “57-chevy” that I love and use to get me from A-to-B by removing the “fuel” that powers it. I am not a proponent of nanny state legislation but if automobiles were dying along the interstate due to Exxon’s refusal to support fuels productions needed, you better believe that Uncle Sam would be doing something. But because there is no visible impact, and of course the lobbyists — the citizens take it in the rear. AGAIN. From MSDOS to Windows 10, Microsoft continues to mine the gold in your account by coercing you with planned obsolecense. Damn. Well, not this country boy. I would rather transition to another direction. To hell with Microsoft. LINUX looks mighty promising to me.
I designed a web site on Adobe Muse on a Mac computer and I am now trying to serve it. Can I please get an how-to upload? Thank you.
Here’s the tutorial provided by Adobe on how to use third-party hosting provider:
How to Upload your sites to your preferred hosting provider. I hope that helps!
If you have any further questions or comments, please let us know.
Dear JKH, thank you for learning me the English verb “to hector”, it is greatest. In Italian we have not, and it’s a pity. Microsoft killed many webpage geekers when abandoned FrontPage. WordPress is a good alternative, but never is the same thing and mine is not nostalgy. The most useful tool in FrontPage is the dual sight (code and wysiwyg in two contemporary windows. Why WordPress does not allow this? Not to ease the life of wordpressers?). I’m learning the different codes on w3school and copy and paste it into FrontPage, but I must use the Preview function. I tried Blue Griffon, it is similar to FrontPage but is about to be abandoned by the producer. I’m sure that something new is coming to replace Microsoft FrontPage effectiverly. Regards, Stefano Marcelli Italy.
I need to publish my site from the remote to my local computer. I’ve always used FP extensions so I’m stuck with it for now. I cannot publish via FTP because all my borders disappear and the format of the site becomes very messy. When I try copying all my remote files into my local computer, then the format gets messed up. Is there a way to publish via FTP, then install a top banner and left side navigational products list that would appear on every page of my site? I understand I cannot use borders anymore since they require the fp extensions but there must be a way to install a top banner and left side products list without using borders? Am I also correct that the extensions would only affect the borders and nothing else?
Thank you for contacting us. You can custom-code/edit pages directly via FTP, using an editor such as Notepad++.
Since Frontpage is increasingly outdated every day, it is difficult to predict what will be affected. Often, it depends what browser you are testing with.
When the time came to renew the hosting for several websites I built years ago with Microsoft Front Page, I was dismayed to find out most hosts are now not hosting such sites. Then I found out about hosts which do continue to host sites built with MFP. I thought my problems were over: all I would have to do is switch to such a host. But now I’m having trouble finding such a host – the several I’ve tried to contact don ‘t seem to be functioning businesses or, like your site, are cautioning people to give up on MFP.
What’s your latest advice on this? The sites in question are a vanity site and sites I built for non-profits – so I don ‘t have a budget to work with or a tech support group to fall back on – I’m on my own.
Apologies for the problems with dealing with the hosting changes in regards to Front Page. Unfortunately, there may not be much you can do other than to solicit for help to have the sites re-built to not use Front Page. The programs and languages for building websites continually update and if they don’t, then they often have many issues that can involve security and content. If your sites don’t have much in the way of functionality, then you may want to consider rebuilding your sites using easy to programs such as WordPress which is free.
I have had serious computer problems for the last few years caused by a bad hard drive, etc. and I realized that Microsoft Front Page was not working because it was discontinued, not because of my hardward issues. I downloaded the Expressions program, but I have no idea how to transfer my webpage info to it? Can you help?
We have a guide on how to publish with Expressions, but as far as importing a site we don’t have specific steps.
However, I found a video you could reference that may be helpful.
¿No queda ningun hosting in the world para poder seguir con nuestras web Frontpage?.
Me parece entender que la posibilidad de utilizar ese metodo de FTP no es facil para los que no tengan ciertos conocimientos…
Gracias Thank You
Pedimos disculpas por los problemas para encontrar una solución a la sede de Frontpage. Por desgracia, el programa se interrumpe – es de 20 años de edad! Microsoft ha descontinuado el apoyo, por lo que no muchas personas lo están utilizando. Si quieres encontrar un host que soporta, me permito sugerir que busca una plataforma de hosting basado en Windows. Si usted está interesado en nuestro servicio de hosting, entonces le recomendamos no usar Frontpage y su disposición otras soluciones posibles como WordPress.
Espero que usted puede leer esto! Fue traducido con Google Translate. Disculpas que no podemos proporcionar una solución de FrontPage para usted.
Leaving aside MS has now abandoned Expression Web, most of the remaining useful features still relied on FP server extensions to work.
These web hosting companies still off support for various scripts and a lot of them have been around for as long as FP extensions.
Thumbs up ___________#Microsoft_Sucks ___________
Some Web Host offer the ability to have Password Protected Directories and thus, are great for the ease of the set-up. But, as I just found out (Sep 4, 2015) FrontPage Extensions on the Server will NOT function with the ‘PPD’ that the Host supplies. I only use PPD and the page counters, gave up on email, forms, and search engines as MS’s FPE was intermittent at best, and messed up a good percentage of the time. Now my Host recommends I drop FPE and use their PPD, but I will therefore lose the Page Counters, so what is the solution, any simple code for page counters?
Hello Bill Mac,
While counters have been out of favor for quite some time with webmasters using tools such as analytics for much mroe accurate data, you can still find code around the web. We do not currently have any of our own, but you can certainly find many by doing a web search.
I have been using Frontpage since 1996 and hate to see it go. I have had tremendous success with database connectivity — displaying data from Access databases on my sites. I wish I could find somebody somewhere who could supply me with a few lines of code that I could plug into some of my pages to accomplish the same thing in lieu of Frontpage extensions. There should also be some company smart enough to run a dedicated server for Frontpage users to infinity and beyond! There are thousands of us out there, and we aren’t going away.
I just put Front page off too long & now my site is just sitting out there. I am in real estate & just likes the simple way to use Front Page since 2002. I feel if I can’t get it to work in a simple way I may just cancel the web site & just use MLS. I am tired of learning new tricks. Any suggestions? Thanks
As a great alternative I would suggest wordpress as they have plugins that will allow you to setup real estate listings and do most of the work for you.
I am not comfortable in posting the URL out here; however, should you wish to help (which I appreciate very much), you can simply tell me whether there is some other application / program which I can use to collect form data, without having to depend on FP extensions. This is a generic question and you do not need a URL to answer this
Typically Form data is gathered from the website by the form that is in place when a user enters the data on the live web page. If you’re referring to collecting data from an existing database where data already exists, then that is NOT a form, but would require database work to move the data from one database to another. You say, “is there some other application/program to collect form data” – quite simply, it would be a form that does NOT depend on Front Page – there are many ways to create forms on the internet. However, the end result is that it would require that you re-create the form for the website. You can create simple forms using HTML or PHP or you can purchase form application solutions. I think you’re looking for something to simply replace the existing forms that you have that depend on the FP extensions. To be honest, there may not be an easy solution that you can just plug in. I ran several searches and everything I’m finding (even from Microsoft) involves migrating your site away from Front Page. We unfortunately cannot provide the service of migrating your site for you, though we do have a web site building team that can re-create your site (for a fee). If you cannot make the change yourself, then you will want to look for a programmer/developer to help you in this process.
Apologies again that I can’t give you a direct and simple answer. I do hope that this helps to guide towards the solution to your issues with your FP form.
I am getting a 403 error when anyone fills up data on the form and tries to submit it; the rest of the site seems to be working fine. I just need the forms for capturing client and visitor information / inquiries. Is there any other way to do this, while integrating it within the FP site?
Sorry to hear that you’re having problems with the FP site. We would need a little more information from, mainly the website URL, so that we can investigate what’s happening. Unfortunately, FrontPage support is being phased out, but we will help you as best as we can. Be aware though, that compatibility issues with the FrontPage may occur as support is removed from the hosting servers.
Apologies again for the existing issues. Please provide us the requested information and we can investigate the issue in more depth.
The only FP extension that my site uses is for Forms. Can someone please suggest if there is a way where I can retain my FP site (publishing by FTP perhaps) and use some kind of add-on module for the form functionality? Essentially, I have neither the time nor the expertise to re-create a 200 page site on some other software. What can I do?
The extensions should not be required for the site to function. What extension is it that is required for the forums? What error messages are you getting?
You can always upload the site files via FTP, the main function of the extensions was to create a way to upload the files to the webserver without additional software, such as FTP.
I have a web site www.foamandupholstery.com that I design all of my pages using FrontPage 2004.
Network solutions no longer has FrontPage 2004 extensions so I can not publish any new things.
I copy all that is published on www.foamandupholstery.com onto my desktop using FileZilla.
Now that I have all the files save to the desktop I open the files using Microsoft Expression Web 3 but I see that the Navigation links disappeared.
Can I add new items and list on to the server even though the Navigation links disappeared?
I am not sure what you mean by the navigation links disappearing. Do you mean from within Expression Web? If so, unfortunately we cannot troubleshoot that as that software does not run off of our servers.
You can always use FTP to upload your files to your server instead of using FrontPage directly. That is basically what Frontpage did, just within itself as opposed to having another program to do it.
As an aside, I looked at your site, and noticed a ton of hidden Louis Vuitton references and the bottom menu is a set of links to sites other than your own. It appears to have been hacked mildly, so you may want to remove that code the next time you edit it.
I realized just now that Frontpage extensions were disabled. There was NO NOTIFICATION to us, and NO ADVANCE notice. We have just lost 5 months of customer contact and subscriptions because the forms stopped working with NO WARNING to us! The ONLY reason we are using your web hosting is because you were supporting FrontPage. Your fallacious reasons for not continuing to support it are condescending at best, but can be justified (to yourselves–not to your customers) as a business decision (although if you were smart about it, you’d have a separate server for us FrontPage diehards, make us sign a “at your own risk” disclaimer and charge us more). But the failure to inform cannot be justified under any circumstances.
Thank you for contacting us. I understand your frustration, but any server that continues to support Frontpage is opening itself up to serious security risks. Putting them all together would just compound the security problem. This is not fallacious, but is an industry-wide move, because Microsoft themselves ended support for Frontpage extensions in 2006, and is no longer patching new security holes.
We supported Frontpage extensions as long as we could, and longer than most other hosting companies.
I confirmed a mass notification was sent out to the primary email address of all our customers on 4-22-14.
Unfortunately, Frontpage extensions are incapable of keeping up with the modern internet standards, and is becoming more outdated everyday.
It’s working!!!! I failed to enable 32-bit application access. For others looking, here’s what I did: I went to IIS Manager, went to the app and then Basic Settings to see which Application Pool it used. I then went to Application Pools, selected the pool used by the app and selected Advanced settings where I set “Enable 32-Bit Applications” to True.
Thanks for offering to help.
Here are the details: It is a classic ASP app that used to use FrontPage extensions and has been moved to a server, which does not use FrontPage but only has classic ASP installed.
When I go to the asp “page” I get the following error:
Database Results Wizard Error
The operation failed. If this continues, please contact your server administrator.
I have altered permissions and set up an odbc system DB. This makes no difference. I did see that I could see the full error if I open the hidden folder /_fpclass/ and edit the fpdbrgn1.inc file, changing fp_DEBUG = False to fp_DEBUG = True. I did this and I get the following error: “Database Results Wizard Error
Provider cannot be found. It may not be properly installed.
One or more form fields were empty. You should provide default values for all form fields that are used in the query.”
The main thing I need to do is get the database connected without relying on FrontPage server extensions and am unsure how to do that.
Thank you for providing additional information. We’re happy to help, but tt is difficult to troubleshoot without access to the app, and knowing how it was fully coded/created and its dependencies.
Have you added the IP of the server connecting to the database, if you are connecting remotely.
For example, with our servers we have to Add the IP address to allow a remote MySQL connection.
Feel free to post any additional questions below.
I am really frustrated with Microsoft. They have so much outdated information on their site and it is difficult to find what one is looking for. I have moved an app that used FPSE to a 2012 server, which does not have FPSE, but does use classic ASP. Most of the app works, but there is one part which yields “Database Results Wizard Error
The operation failed. If this continues, please contact your server administrator." We do not want FrontPage on this server. I’ve read a lot of articles and none seem to work. Any suggestions would be helpful as I am not a Windows Server guy….
Thank you for contacting us. We are happy to help, but will need some additional information to provide a meaningful answer.
Can you include more details on the App, along with the steps you are taking to see the error.
Also, can you provide a link to the error?
If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
Yeah, that’s all fine but the problem is that no one’s FrontPage forms will work if you publish via FTP. This entire situations sucks — and is entirely frustrating, just as JKH pointed out above. Totally sucks!
Thank you for contacting us today, we definitely understand your frustration. Unfortunately, since Microsoft pulled the plug on Frontpage several years ago, it will become increasingly outdated.
Similar to IE8 and Windows XP, it is impossible to keep Frontpage extensions safe when Microsoft is no longer patching security holes, or providing any updates.
Microsoft has released several replacements for Frontpage since it was discontinued. Specifically Expression Web 4, which is available for free on Microsoft’s website.
If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
It would have been nice to have some kind of warning, especially for those that are currently using frontpage extensions so we could transition to another product.
Thank you for contacting us, I understand your frustration. You can still continue to use Frontpage by publishing your site via FTP.
Since this is a Microsoft product, they have been posting notifications for years, such as the one in the article above:
“The FrontPage Server Extensions are considered deprecated technology and are being phased out of Microsoft products in favor of modern standards. Designers who use FrontPage Server Extensions components are likely to encounter problems with modern Web browsers. Many hosting companies are also dropping support for FrontPage Server Extensions due to the fact that Microsoft hasn’t released a new version in many years.”
We have no choice, since Microsoft is the one phasing Frontpage Extensions out. They also dropped mainstream support of Frontpage in 2009.
If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
This article does not live up to the excellent customer service InMotion has always provided. It is condescending, dismissive, and completely ill informed.
The notion that Expression Web, which is now discontinued as well, is a “replacement” for FrontPage is ridiculous. The programs are nothing alike. To recommend text editors as other reasonable alternatives is laughable. FrontPage is extremely simple and user friendly, plainly designed for very basic use. The last version, 2003, while imperfect, does not have near the level of coding issues that previous versions had. There is, frankly, no reasonable replacement.
It’s not my webhost’s job to tell me what software to use to design my website. Many of us are using our sites for education or other non-profit activities, not commerce. As such, many InMotion customers will have no interest in gaining a “basic understanding of the concepts of HTML, and CSS coding,” nor should we be forced to do so.
To require FrontPage users to switch to FTP due to security concerns is perfectly legitimate. To hector us into learning extremely complex new software based on some false standard of what is “modern” or to complare the simple, infinitely user-friendly FrontPage to the products mentioned here is beyond ridiculous.
Instead, what InMotion should be doing is encouraging its customers to use the software they want for the purposes they want via FTP and be grateful for the business.
We do apologize that you are upset with the article’s information and tone. When Microsoft discontinued FrontPage, it was Expression Web that was created in its place and it in fact had many “hooks” into it that allowed for older FrontPage users to migrate to that software. Since Microsoft no longer officially supports the software, we have attempted to provide alternatives that people can CHOOSE to use or NOT to use. We are not dictating what you MUST use. We are trying to provide workable alternatives. There are plenty of other softwares out there, including Adobe Muse, which do not require that you have knowledge of HTML or CSS. There are also online alternatives like WordPress which are free and do not require to be loaded directly on your computer. The decision on the tool that you use to create your web site is yours alone.
We are fortunate and grateful for the many customers who use our service. As standards change and things progress we are trying to provide useful information that can help people find a possible solution to their hosting and website needs.
Microsoft really sucks. They get you hooked on their costly software for years then bail on on you. That is our Microsoft. Motto: count on us and we will screw you.