Microsoft Frontpage is a wysiwyg html software editor that means “what you see is what you get” so when you change a code or move a table you can see the changes on your screen immediately and completely making it easy to learn by experimenting. When you first open FrontPage you are presented with a blank template in the main area and a number of tool bars offering the options you will use to make your website. Most likely there are more toolbars and options then you will ever use but it is nice to have all those options available to you. First I would like to point out the tabs on the bottom of the main screen “normal”, “html”, “preview”. The Normal view is your main page that shows basically what your site will look like when published however some options and advanced tools only become visible when shown in the Preview view. Finally for advanced users and people needing to do manual code tweaks the HTML view is available.
You should recognize many of the options in the top toolbars such as text formatting similar to Microsoft Word and other Microsoft products. There are some buttons that might not look as familiar such as the tables and hyperlink options both of which are very useful in web design. To build a very basic website with Frontpage does not take much skill as you can simply start typing and formatting using those familiar Microsoft options though it won’t look very ‘pretty’. To get more out of the editor you will want to switch to the HTML view and see if you can understand what the html tags mean and how they work, this is the way I learned as it allows you to see exactly how the html creates the finished webpage.
A few advice as you examine the HTML view. There is an auto generated part including the meta tags that are filled with text for Microsoft that you want to change to your own website information. Meta tags used to be more important for seo but most search engines only give a very basic weight to the information, still it doesn’t hurt and it makes it look more professional to update the meta keywords and description. It is also very important to change the HTML Title tag to provide information for both the search engines and your website visitors as the Title tag is what gets shown on many internet explorer programs.
It should be noted that as you use FrontPage to create websites it does not always create the best HTML for search engine optimization or the most creative designs that you might be more interested in learning how to create. To really do good design work most designers use a combination of tools and skills including more complex coding languages like css, php, flash and others however Front Page does a good job of providing a basic understanding and framework for creating websites with little experience. Being aware of the limitations and knowing how to use the editor to the best of your abilities should allow you to reach your potential and create quality websites that will generate traffic and if you want income. Check out http://www.howtobuildwebsites.com for more information.
Author: NylaKailaThis author has published 13 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.