Let’s begin with a little history. Many years ago, when the web was up and coming and you needed to be on it, I paid someone to build a site for me. Afterwards, I could say, “Yeah, I have a site, go to -” and then I would name my site a feel a hit of pride. I’d also get satisfaction when my webmaster (if you could call him that; I don’t know that I would in retrospect, but that’s another story) occasionally forwarded me an email of an interested visitor. My satisfaction was short-lived, webmastershall as you might imagine. I soon began to understand the power of the web and found the sad reality that my “webmaster” was getting all my emails from my website visitors to be annoying. I had him change this so that the emails came to me. He charged me a one-time fee for getting him to do this.
Okay, so these days it is not quite that bad, is it? Your webmaster or whoever is doing the “web thing” for you isn’t charging you for every little service? Excuse me. I’ll reserve my rant for another article, or possibly a blog entry.
So anyway, I fired my webmaster. I built my own webpage. I did this – of all things – with Microsoft Publisher. Yeah, well, it worked – in that I was able to build a site and, with some effort, get it on the web. I won’t go into why you shouldn’t try this, kids, at home. I was at home when I tried it, sure. But I don’t suggest building a site with Publisher. It can be done, but don’t do it.
One thing that happens – talk about annoying: The site crams all against the left side of the page. There’s nothing you can do to change that. You might as well type out onto the web page “Look, Ma, I can create a website using Publisher.” Don’t do it.
Well, I knew at the time I shouldn’t be messing around with Publisher. It’s great for putting together a book or something for print. It’s not good for websites. I had just been so excited because I had created a downloadable book for lulu.com. Publisher was great for laying out a book. I had so much momentum…
I put the Publisher site up, and thought I had done a pretty good job, considering that everything was crammed up to the left of the screen. I had yet to become a blogger, and I had yet to realize the importance of tagging and so on. All that important “extra” stuff. I’m joking. Writing tags is not extra. It’s essential. So is the blog – on the website.
Then I bought FrontPage and a book and… That’s all she wrote. I learned FrontPage and I haven’t tried anything else out since. Why not? So far I don’t need to use the fantastic Dreamweaver that everyone talks about. Oh, I can’t do Flash on FrontPage? Uh – yes you can. Easily.
I continue to believe that content is all-important. Not bells. Not whistles. Content. I don’t care what kind of a site you are putting up. Well, okay, I wouldn’t necessarily use FrontPage for every circumstance. But for you and me, the individual or small company that wants to be up and shining on the web, FrontPage is the clear answer. At least it was for me. As I say, I haven’t looked back since.
One needn’t learn the bells and whistles. One certainly needn’t incorporate dhtml or whatever that code is that will make letters pop and fly about. Old browsers can’t see it, and new browsers – mine, at least – don’t want to see it.
I have affiliated with companies. That is, I’ve tried to turn a dollar by putting them up on my site, a link or banner or what have you. Let me say that what I don’t like are the banners that flicker and blink and all that junk. If I want the Las Vegas experience, I’ll go there.
Just give me content. FrontPage can handle that and handle it well. You want to be able to upload Flash, for sure. FrontPage can do it. You want to be able to get as much information on your website with as few bytes as possible. FrontPage can do this as well as any program. So, I’m happy. Are you happy – yet?
Beau Smith is an artist, writer, and webmaster. Through screen capture tutorials, Beau Smith’s website, [http://www.TutorialJoe.com] will teach you right now for free how to use FrontPage 2003.