Microsoft FrontPage 2002: Win98/ME/NT4/2K review: Microsoft FrontPage 2002: Win98/ME/NT4/2K

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good New site usage reports; Photo Gallery makes quick work of thumbnails and layout; has e-commerce add-in for small-business owners.

The Bad Automatic Web content is nothing special; interface improvements are minor; no Mac version.

The Bottom Line The Usage Analysis Reports are reason enough to upgrade from version 2000. And if you are a small-business owner, consider buying FrontPage, as it has a special add-in just for you.

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A new version of FrontPage, Microsoft's popular Web development tool, is due out sometime this summer. Code-named FrontPage 10 during development, version 2002 is actually the tool's fifth iteration. With it, newbie Web builders can create fairly sophisticated sites--with database integration and discussion boards, for example--without any coding. The new app has a few fresh features that make it worthy of an upgrade, as well as an e-commerce add-in that's perfect for small businesses. A new version of FrontPage, Microsoft's popular Web development tool, is due out sometime this summer. Code-named FrontPage 10 during development, version 2002 is actually the tool's fifth iteration. With it, newbie Web builders can create fairly sophisticated sites--with database integration and discussion boards, for example--without any coding. The new app has a few fresh features that make it worthy of an upgrade, as well as an e-commerce add-in that's perfect for small businesses.

Managing sites
Microsoft adds Usage Analysis Reports to its already robust site-management reports, making it easier to compile and view your site's traffic data. Of course, your server has to support FrontPage Server extensions for this feature to work. When you generate a report via the View · Reports · Usage menu, FrontPage accesses your server's log file and compiles the information into the easy-to-decipher reports, including options for pie charts or other graphical aids. You have several options for breaking down the data, including the number of monthly, weekly, or daily page hits your site receives. You can also generate reports detailing your users' operating systems, browsers, referring domains, and search strings. These traffic reports are enough reason to upgrade to Microsoft FrontPage 2002.

Creating pages
None of the other new features in Microsoft FrontPage 2002 are compelling enough on their own to warrant a switch from another tool, especially if you already use powerhouses such as DreamWeaver or Homesite. But a few of FrontPage's new functions are definitely cool. For example, the Photo Gallery (Insert · Picture · New Photo Gallery) helps you create a photo-rich Web page in a few different nifty layouts by just filling out a few dialog box options. All of the thumbnail images, target pages, and links are created automatically. Definitely handy, but only those who need to create a photo album will take advantage of this feature.

By the same token, not too many professionals will have much use for Automatic Web Content (Insert · Web Component). This feature adds dynamic content to your Web site, such as news headlines from MSN, MSNBC, or bCentral. But with all of the affiliate programs available on the Web, this service doesn't really impress us. And the new PowerPoint-like drawing tools seem targeted to those creating personal Web sites, not those who have a professional graphics team at hand.

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Microsoft FrontPage 2002: Win98/ME/NT4/2K

Part Number: 39201099
MSRP: $169.00 Low Price: $68.99 See all prices

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  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC