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FrontPage 2002 Tutorials - Maintaining your FrontPage Website - Dust out those cobwebs with a weekly sweep.

by Tina Clarke

(some tutorials cover FrontPage 2000 as well)

Doing site cleaning IS a chore, however it WILL save you valuable time, provide more megabytes for your bucks and in doing it every week will make you rest easy your web is as ship shape and pristine as can be.

So what can you do?

What are the benefits of having a clean well-maintained site?

Would you want your visitors to find your old files? Last years' prices? How embarrassing, keep your customers from coming across old outdated or just simply incorrect information.

The web site is much easier to work with when you don't have unnecessary files that get in the way and it's much easier to find a file in say a group of 20 than 40 files.

Finally FrontPage works much more smoothly and faster when there are fewer files on the site. This is because FrontPage works by loading a 'list' of all the files in the web site when you first open it.

NOTE: Before you start on your spring clean you should note that deleting a file through FrontPage is the end of the file you won't find it sitting in your recycle bin later. This is a NON- REVERSIBLE step. So it is important you are sure you want to delete files. If you think you may need them later the simple thing to do is either keep back ups of the files or just publish the whole unchanged web as a back up copy on your hard drive.

FrontPage 2000:

File | Save As and browse to a back up web for individual files.

FrontPage 98:

In the FrontPage explorer, select the file to be copied. Go to File | Export. In the save as box, browse to a location on your hard drive that is convenient for you and then click the Save button.

NOTE: You should do the following before starting your maintenance schedule.

Hidden folders

If your web contains files located in hidden, folders, those files will not be seen by you. To rectify this Go to Tools | Web Settings | click the Advanced tab, and then select the 'Show documents in hidden directories' check box. Press Ok.

Recalculate Hyperlinks:

Have you done this before? You should do this before, EVERY publish, this is because your Search and TOC (Table of Contents) will not reflect your recent changes and will still point to old deleted files. Recalculating also updates other data in FrontPage, such as deleting unused themes and it updates the hyperlink display (as the name suggests), which is essential when working in a multi-author environment.

To help you remember to recalculate hyperlinks you can configure FrontPage to remind you. Go to Tools | Options | General and tick 'Warn when included components are out of date' and 'Warn when text index is out of date' press ok.

When you next open your web if you have made changes to hyperlinks or added files FrontPage should warn you

FrontPage automatically tracks and repairs any internal hyperlinks in your web whenever you move, rename, or delete a file, but what about external links?

NOTE: Before verifying hyperlinks, you should save all open pages

A broken hyperlink is one that has an invalid destination URL and will return an error if the site visitor clicks the hyperlink.

A hyperlink might have an invalid URL for various reasons; you might have mistyped it, or, if the destination page is on another World Wide Web site, the page might have been changed or removed. Sometimes FrontPage thinks the URL is invalid when it is not, this might be because the URL is part of a JavaScript or has a redirect on it, or is part of a store link which contains characters such as ? within the url.


In Reports View click Broken Hyperlinks then Verify Hyperlinks on the Reporting toolbar. Before you do this it is best to click the 'In Page' column to group the broken links into their specific pages this way you can work on the same page till your finished.

Double-click a hyperlink with broken status. To display the page to edit it, click Edit Page. If you know the correct URL of the destination, edit it in the Replace hyperlink with box. Or, click Browse to browse to the page or file in a web, file system, or World Wide Web. To repair other occurrences of this hyperlink in all pages in the current web, click 'Change in all pages'. To repair other occurrences of this hyperlink in selected pages, click 'Change in selected pages', and then select the pages. Click Replace. If the destination is valid, the hyperlink is no longer displayed in the Broken Hyperlinks report.

How to print a list of the broken hyperlinks in FrontPage 2000

For FrontPage 98 this works in the same way only the 'Link To' column does not contain 'clickable links'

For FrontPage 2002 you can now copy the reports

I suggest you right click on the file when saved in folder view and click Don't publish so the file won't add to your server space.

NOTE: In a Web site based on SharePoint Team Services from Microsoft, hyperlinks in document libraries and interactive lists are created and managed automatically.

The _private folder Sweep

The _private folder is the place where your forms (if you have any) will by default store the results of entries submitted. No one can see your _private folder but you, (they would need your id and password) so anything in here that you don't want can be deleted. If you still want to keep it but don't wish it on the server you can simply right click the file in folder view choose properties and the 'work group' tab, then select 'Exclude this file when publishing the rest of the web' press OK.

NOTE: Files used with any FrontPage forms will of course be recreated as users submit the form, but you can copy the contents for storage elsewhere and delete them. You should look for plain text files (.txt). HTML files (.htm) are either part of the website statistics or results from your forms. Double click to identify the contents and do the same as for text files.

Orphaned Files

View | Reports | Unlinked files that is, files that can't be reached by following hyperlinks from your home page. (In other words it does not appear in the Navigation View) Orphaned pages may be outdated or unneeded files that can be deleted to clean up your web. They may also be pages that should be added to the web's navigation structure in Navigation view, or linked to by a hyperlink.

In FrontPage 2000 utilising the Hyperlinks View will give you a better idea of whether a file is in use or not. - See Graphic Orphans below.

TIPS: In the Unlinked Files report, you can double-click a file to open and edit it.

In the Unlinked Files report, to add a task to a file reminding someone to create a hyperlink to it, right-click the file, and then click Add Task on the shortcut menu.

In FrontPage 98 the FrontPage 98 Explorer 'All Files' view also features a way to easily arrange and sort "orphan" Click on the 'All Files' view and wait for the list to appear. Click on the column heading named 'Orphan'. This will sort the list to 'Yes' and 'No'. The 'Yes' files are what FrontPage thinks you are NOT using in the web site.

Graphic Orphans:

Hyperlinks view presents a visual "map" of the hyperlinks to and from any page in your web. On the Views bar, click the Hyperlinks icon to switch to Hyperlinks view, and then in the Folder List, click the file you want. (To switch on Folder List go to View | and click the Folder List icon)

Tip: You can customize Hyperlinks view to show or hide page titles, links to and from pictures, and so on.

Click once on the file to select the file. Then look at the 'Hyperlinks view'. The file will be the large icon in the middle. Are there any blue arrows coming from the left pointing to the file? If yes, then the file is being used by another file and should not be deleted quite yet. If there is no arrow pointing in, then there are no hyperlinks to the file. Again you can either do a Save As to back them up or just delete them. The first time I realised I could check my graphics in this way I gained 2mbs, so it is well worth doing.

NOTE: Is the graphic (jpg or gif) a part of a JavaScript? If so do not delete it as FrontPage does not understand JavaScript in this instance and cannot detect hyperlinks in JavaScript in your web so you need to make informed choices with the help of FrontPage. One hopes that you don't have that many JavaScript graphics that you can't remember them all!

Deleting a File:

Deleting a file in FrontPage works just like in Windows. Select the file and use the delete button on the keyboard. Or you can right click a file and select delete from the pop up menu. Don't forget before you delete the file, you may want to make a copy on your computer in case you need the file later.

Spell check:

There are three ways you can check your spellings

FrontPage checks spelling only for text elements that can be edited in Page view on the Normal tab. For example, if you add a component such as a hover button, or if you specify a page title in the page properties, or write alt tags, spelling in these elements will not be checked.

This is a chore we all wish to escape but it's best done as you make your pages. You can have Microsoft FrontPage automatically check your spelling as you type. Misspelled words are underlined with a red wavy line. You can also hide spelling errors (the red wavy lines are not displayed). For example, hide the spelling errors until you are finished editing the page, and then display them when you are ready to correct them. Go to Tools | Page Options | General tab, select 'Check spelling as you type' press ok.

If you don't want misspelled words to be underlined, select the Hide spelling errors in all documents' check box. To show spelling errors, clear this check box. Checking as you go along really is the best method this way you don't have the chore waiting for you and you don't forget to do before publishing and show your mistakes to the world

Using other two methods when FrontPage finds misspelled words, you can correct them in two ways:

Add a task for each page on which FrontPage finds misspelled words.
You can correct the spelling at any time by switching to Tasks view and completing each task.

Correct spelling immediately after FrontPage has finished checking the spelling. FrontPage displays a list of pages with misspelled words, and you can then edit each page.

To implement spell check on selected pages or the entire web switch to 'Folders view'. Click Tools | Spelling.

Do one of the following:

To check spelling in all pages in the current web, click Entire web.

To check spelling in pages you have selected, click Selected pages.

If you want FrontPage to add a task for each page with misspelled words, select the Add a task for each page with misspellings box. Click Start.

To find out about FrontPage 2002 and all the usage files that help you maintain your site check out:

Track the usage of your website.

You should also look at:

About Web Site Management in FrontPage 2002
Specify Usage Analysis Settings in FrontPage 2002
AutoFiltering Web Site Reports in FrontPage 2002

There is more you can do to maintain your web environment but for now I'll hand you the brush!

By Tina Clarke

First Published in ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers
Volume 7, December 2001