Microsoft has written a small FAQ page entitled, Prerequisites for Using Microsoft Expression Web all the better to inform you of the leap from FrontPage to Expression Web, especially as we move further and further away from the older versions of FrontPage that many still use, and specifically the bots. The Prerequisites are repeated below with some further explanations.
Q. “Is Expression Web a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) tool?”
CSS pseudo-element styles are used to add special effects to selectors and these cannot be seen in Design View, however it is easy enough to preview in the browser with Expression Web and if you want to fine tune there is always SuperPreview.
Q. “Is Expression Web the same as Microsoft FrontPage? Is it a replacement for FrontPage?”
Expression Web is the successor to FrontPage rather than a replacement and well, it all depends on HOW you used FrontPage. If you didn’t use any of the bots or very little then the transition will be much easier for you. However, many of the fundamentals of the menus and toolbars from FrontPage are still with us even if they are in different locations. One of the bots DOES remain with us, that is Page Includes and they are special case. If you want to Migrate from FrontPage to Expression Web our handy ebook walks you through the process.
Q. “Can I use FrontPage Server Extensions and still get point-and-click design elements without learning new design technologies?”
I personally dropped FrontPage Bots many years ago, as soon as I understood the power of Page Includes which led me to want better things of the program. However, I always had a great deal of trouble with using FTP in FrontPage and other third party clients. (Until I encountered Filezilla.org – which is a free FTP program). So I continued to use fpse for the ease of use that publishing with http gave me. When I first got EW however and discovered I could use FTP in Expression Web and STILL work live, I dropped the fpse. There are some restrictions on working with a DWT based site live, however I get around that by working on the local site and then ftping the site back to the server, even if I have to download the site firstly. (It depends on whose site I am working on.)
Q. “What skills do I need in order to use Expression Web? Do I need to be a professional Web designer?
In my opinion, Expression Web is a great teacher and if you set Expression Web up correctly it will TEACH you as you work. Then you just need to think of what you can replace the bots you used to use with new technology. There is plenty of help and advice on the net. You do not need to be a professional Web Designer, far from it. What you do need to do is focus on the help you receive from not only within the programme. The Help is a great source of information, but the tutorials and eBook’s and videos that are available from Microsoft and the wider Expression Web community, many of which are free.
Q. “How can I acquire the skills I need to use Expression Web?”
The Microsoft article goes onto list some resources, which I have replicated below and added a few of my own.
- Basic CSS Skills – Learning CSS
- Introduction to CSS (Uses WebMatrix, but skills apply to all Web design)
- Information about CSS by Tina Clarke, MVP – Expression Web
- Creating Styles and CSS in Expression Web by Tina Clarke, MVP – Expression Web
- Free Setting up Expression Web Ebook by Tina Clarke, MVP – Expression Web
- Free Expression Web DWT Ebook by Tina Clarke, MVP – Expression Web
- Basic Web Site Video Tutorial by Cheryl D. Wise, MVP – Expression Web
- Free Expression Web 4 Tutorials from Install to Publish and More by Pat Geary, MVP – Expression Web
- Expression Web Training Videos
- Learn CSS Topics from A List Apart
- Web Design Reference by Chris Veign, MVP – Expression Web