Alternatives to FrontPage

Do you remember Microsoft FrontPage? It was one of the most important tools that were used by people who with a very little technical knowledge. People who did not have the technical knowledge or had very less technical knowledge used Microsoft FrontPage for about 6 years to build websites. Microsoft FrontPage was a user-friendly tool that used HTML editor application and server side scripting to help people develop their own websites.

People who were new to the web developing industry were able to create decent and attractive websites with the help of Microsoft FrontPage. Code view that was added in its later releases provided more flexibility to the users. Those were the days when people used to code contact forms by hand but, Microsoft FrontPage allowed them to make their websites without any extensive technical knowledge.

History of FrontPage

FrontPage was developed in the mid-90s by the Vermeer technologies Inc. Seeing its success and usefulness, Microsoft purchased it in 1996 from Vermeer. After some time, Microsoft released it again. After the 2 years of this initial launch by Microsoft, its Express version was launched. This Express version had a cut-down user interface and was also bundled with Microsoft Office 2000 and Office XP. People were able to create content with the help of this Express version. This content was viewable in internet explorer. FrontPage was gaining popularity among its users because of its user-friendly features.

People who were not extremely knowledgeable about website building were also able to get benefit from Microsoft FrontPage. Microsoft released its final version of FrontPage in 2003. The drawback of this version was that Microsoft Office was not bundled with it and people had to buy it separately. Due to this mistake, its popularity among people started to decline.

How FrontPage Fell from Favor

Microsoft FrontPage was specifically designed for internet explorer. Pages that used Microsoft FrontPage server extensions were only rendered by the internet explorer. The main problem was that people who used Microsoft FrontPage had to choose those web hosting service provider companies that provide compatibility with those server extensions.

Some web hosting companies were not providing this compatibility. And when the technology got older, it became very difficult for FrontPage users to find the right web hosting service provider company for them so that their websites can run properly.

FrontPage vs the Web

We all know that the technology keeps changing. In order to stay in the competition, one has to accept these changes and adapt according to the changing trends and environment. In the beginning half of the 2000s, the popularity of internet explorer was declining and due to this, as well as the technological advancements in the web had a negative effect on the FrontPage. After some time, FrontPage was disappeared and people started taking interest in other programs.

When Microsoft launched FrontPage, at that time internet explorer had almost 80% of market share. People did not care too much about its compatibility issues at that time. But, when other web browsers started to gain popularity and market share, internet explorer started to lose its position which also became the cause of the downfall of Microsoft FrontPage. New web browsers were according to the new technologies, they were user-friendly and they made the lives of web developers easy.

Reasons of Failure

FrontPage had many strong rivals like Dreamweaver. Actually, Microsoft FrontPage was only an application and it was less mature as compared to its rivals and competitors. To make it successful, Microsoft should have taken some steps to compete effectively with the strong rivals.

Another reason that was among the major causes of the FrontPage death was the price. At first, Microsoft offered free MS Office bundled with FrontPage but when it introduced its latest version, instead of adding more features and programs, Microsoft did not even offer MS office with it. People who wanted to use MS office had to purchase it. Due to this, people moved towards better options instead of paying for features of FrontPage.

There were other technologies such as WebDAV which were providing better services to their users as compared to Microsoft FrontPage. They not only provided similar features including server extensions, but the best part of WebDAV services was that its server extensions were compatible with any web hosting account. Due to this reason, web hosting companies and web developers started to prefer WebDAV instead of Microsoft FrontPage. Actually, they did not even have to specialize in Microsoft FrontPage when the WebDAV was providing better features.

Another reason for the decline in Microsoft FrontPage was that the code that was produced by it was not according to standards. Due to this, it was good for newbies but professional did not like to use it very much.

Due to all the above reasons, Microsoft FrontPage fell from favor and Microsoft stopped providing extended support for FrontPage server in April 2014. After they stopped supporting their own software, FrontPage became vulnerable.

Any web server that is connected to the internet and had FrontPage installed on it became vulnerable to attacks and suspicious activities which is not a good thing. After some time, Microsoft gave a new look and a new name to the FrontPage. They incarnated it as a new software known as SharePoint Designer. This software was also similar to Microsoft FrontPage on some levels

Alternative HTML Editors

Though Microsoft FrontPage’s popularity is declined and it has been fell from favor but still, there are some people who use it for basic purposes and there are still some web hosting companies who support Microsoft FrontPage server extensions. However, as compared to FrontPage, there are many amazing tools to build a website. These tools are not only free of cost but they also produce clear code which is compatible with modern browsers.

If you want something that is similar to Microsoft FrontPage and can help you to build a website easily without having extensive technical knowledge of this field. Then, we would recommend that you use a website builder tool. A website builder tool is a tool that helps you to create a good website.

Many companies are providing amazing website builders free of cost. The difference is that a website builder tool is not installed on a desktop computer. Instead of it, it runs within your web browser. With the help of a website builder tool, you can create a modern and amazing website that will be safe for you as well as your web hosting service provider company.

Choosing a Site Builder

Many companies are providing some great website builders free of cost. When you buy a plan from some web hosting companies, you can also get a free website builder to design your website. If you do not want to use a free website builder tool, you can also get registered for a dedicated site builder plan. With this plan, you will only get a website builder instead of a web hosting package.

Usually, web hosting companies provide Weebly site builder tool, RV site builder tool or Plesk’s site builder tool. Some of the other website builder tools that are commonly offered by websites are:

  • Arvixe: This is a website builder tool that is offered to users when they get themselves registered for a Linux shared hosting plan. Arvixe is easy to use tool and everyone can easily use this one-click site builder tool.
  • Godaddy Site builder: Godaddy site builder tool has a free version and users can benefit from it. However, it also has some drawbacks. One of the big drawbacks is that SEO lacks in the free version of this site builder.
  • InMotion Premium Web Builder: This is a site builder tool offered by Inmotion. This is one of the best site builder tools that not only provides more than 500 themes but also provides flexibility and is very easy to use. However, you will have to purchase the Business class hosting package so that you can use this site builder tool.
  • HostGator: HostGator is a web hosting company that also provides a site builder tool along with hosting service. It provides Plesk website builder tool and Weebly website builder tool.
  • Jimdo: The free plan of jimdo allows you to build a store under its subdomain.
  • iPage: iPage also provides a Weebly website builder tool along with its shared web hosting packages.
  • Moonfruit: It is also a site builder service that allows you to design a website easily.
  • Shopify: Shopify provides a website builder tool to its customers specifically for e-commerce purposes.
  • Squarespace: It provides a website builder tool along with a blogging platform.
  • Wix: It is an easy to use site builder tool that has a free as well as a paid version.
  • Weebly: It is one of the best website builder tools that has some great features and also provides flexibility.

Comparison

If you want to use a website builder but you don’t know which option is better for you. Then, the best thing that you should do is to sign up for a trial period, use a website builder and compare its features with the features of other site building tools and then decide which is best for you.

You can compare the number of free and paid features provided by the companies, templates, the size of the site, the size of the files etc. Once you have used a website builder tool and you know that it best suits your needs, then the decision-making process will become very easy for you.

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