FrontPage Problem, FrontPage Fix
I recently ran into a snag on my page that I built with FrontPage. Let me tell you about it and how easy it was to fix. Before I go into that, let me say that I have heard that FrontPage is easily hacked and therefore the one guy I heard that did not recommend FrontPage for creating a website. This guy happened to be a Mom and Pop website host – as opposed to the big guys such as Bluehost (which I recommend and who hosts my websites). This guy did not have a setup for FrontPage, the "FrontPage Extensions" which allows FrontPage users to decently publish a site. It may be possible to publish FrontPage without FrontPage Extensions, but you would not want to. Look, if you are a little guy, maybe you do not have FrontPage extensions. Then you can tell me what's wrong with FrontPage and that you do not recommend it. If you are a big guy, such a Bluehost, you have FrontPage Extensions. So there. Plenty of us web savvy folk use FrontPage, so put the FrontPage Extensions in your hosting plan if you want our business.
Maybe the guy was right and FrontPage is easy to hack and I was hacked. This is the problem I ran into: My home page was taking FOREVER to load. I could not figure out why. Occasionally, I get this error box when I try to open my home page. Yikes! No longer can I edit my home page. Still, when I was publishing, the home page was coming up, just taking forever to load, that's all. Well, when the error box came up I knew I needed to fix the problem. I could not open my home page in FrontPage. All I got was the error box. Bad, bad. Time to panic? No. Not that bad.
Friends and neighbors, this is not the huge, horrible mess that you think it is. You just get rid of the old home page and create a new one. That's right. You build a new page, proclaim that your home page, and you are good to go.
Now it so happens that Bluehost needs the home page file to call itself html when the file automatically calls itself htm. You have to change that and know that you need to change that. This, I knew. How did I know? Once upon a time I had to call Bluehost and find out why my home page was not coming up and that's what we figured out. You know, it's possible Bluehost – or some other other host, for that matter – could have helped me with the issue I resolved myself – the home page taking forever to load issue. But I solved it without help, and more efficiently, I think.
So what you want to make sure about is that you regularly copy your website to a disk. Also, it may be a good idea to keep an updated file that is simply your home page. Keep that somewhere in its own folder on your computer. If for some unknown reason your home page starts acting up, you can always kill it and easily create a new page. Be sure you do kill the old home page. You DO NOT want a copy of your home page floating around on your site, somewhere in the jumble of html that compresses your site. Why? Because, by doing so, you've copied your content, word for word and tag for tag. And you've done so with your home page of all things. Google will consider you are trying to pull a fast one and they could dump you. Yikes! So never exactly copy huge blocks of content anyway. But especially with your home page.
I did not have a recent copy of my home page neatly tucked away in a file on my computer. I may do so now. What I did this time: Cautiously, I copied my home page from what I popped up on the net. I just browsed to my home page and started copying it. Now I say "cautiously" because I did not copy the whole thing at once. Maybe I would get the hacked bit of code that was screwing up my page in the first place. Maybe I was paranoid, but I felt slow and easy was the way this time. I copied bits of my home page and put it back together that way. This save me also a chance to get to know my home page once again – because you forget. You know? The home page should have a lot of relevant copy on it, and you forget. Also, it is quite possible you update so often, that is you change your home page quite a bit, that you do not have it locked in your mind, and probably would not want to. I do not know about you, but I do not want to have my home page seared on my brain. Too much. Way too much. How can you stick with webmastering your own pages if stuff like that happens? You burn out.
So I fixed the problem. My home page is a new page that looks just like the old page but loads quickly and has no error box when I try to edit it. The lesson here is twofold: 1. Copy your files regularly and be regularly about that. 2. Do not freak out. Usually there is a fix. Often the fix is fairly easy, as it was here.