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FrontPage History and 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 already at an end, it's important to transition to a 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
FrontPage '97 12/26/1996 12/21/2001 2/28/2002
FrontPage '98 12/25/1997 9/30/2001 2/28/2002
FrontPage 2000 6/27/1999 6/30/2004 7/14/2009
FrontPage 2002 5/31/2001 7/11/2006 7/12/2011
FrontPage 2003 11/19/2003 4/14/2009 4/8/2014

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 November 1, 2015 Computer House 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.  You still cannot use FrontPage Extensions (FPE) with this program to upload to a server that does not support FPE.  You must use FTP or another approved method.

Adobe Brackets

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.

Adobe Dreamweaver

A long running staple in the design world, Adobe Dreamweaver is a paid for product with a robust feature set.

Sublime Text

Sublime Text allows you to very efficiently code your website or server-side files with ease.

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