What is Microsoft Front Page?

Those looking to get involved in website design or management have more tools at their disposal today than they ever have before.  As well as the list of companies that can help you build a site, there are also a lot of programmes that can help you get started.  Microsoft Front Page is one of the most popular.  But what is Microsoft FrontPage?

What is FrontPage?

FrontPage was first released way, way back in 1997, and remains an incredibly popular form of WYSIWYG HTML editor and administration tool, with many people continuing to use the software despite the fact that it actually ceased being added to back in 2006.  The fact that it’s still used nearly ten years later gives a good indication as to how popular it’s been!

FrontPage was initially designed with the aim of letting users programme and edit websites without the need to invest their time in code.  As a result, it enabled novices to build websites from scratch, which at the time was quite a unique feature.

The first version of FrontPage was designed to work with either Windows NT or Windows 95, with the most recent version compatible with Microsoft systems up to Windows XP (although it does still work well with plenty of more recent systems, as long as the user is prepared to do some tinkering.)


In its most recent incarnation, FrontPage offered a host of useful features in addition to its obvious potential for website building without too much coding (although coding was obviously still encouraged for those comfortable with it):

-The Split View option enabled the more in-depth user to code and then preview pages without having to switch between tabs.

-Dynamic Web Templates were introduced, meaning that users could create one single template which could then be used across the whole website, making it far easier to obtain consistency through the various pages.

-There was also a set of interactive buttons which enabled users to create and edit graphics, which helped to minimise the need for a separate editing suite such as Photoshop.

-One of the most lauded features was the accessibility checker.  This enabled website builders to see if their code was actually standards-compliant, and whether or not it could be accessed by users with disabilities.  This was noted as being extremely useful for beginners who wouldn’t otherwise be aware of the necessary standards.

-In the final iteration of the project, Intellisense – a form of auto-completion – was added.  Essentially, the aim of this was to assist the user.  When working in Code View, Intellisense would suggest potential tags or properties for the code that was being entered, the overall aim being to minimise programming time.

In 2013

Whilst it remained extremely popular amongst users, FrontPage was actually replaced by other Microsoft products in 2006.  Both Microsoft SharePoint Designer and Microsoft Expression Web were focused on covering the respective bases that FrontPage had previously covered so well.  However, whilst Microsoft ceased updating the software at that point, FrontPage continues to be popular to this day.

You can find out more information of this outstanding piece of software here.

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