Web Design Tools: Front Page

MS Front Page is another web editor that competes with Dreamweaver. MS Front Page is often packaged with MS Office and may already be installed on your computer. Front Page seeks to make it easy for average people to create fancy web pages. It offers users galleries of backgrounds, graphics and special effects.

Unfortunately, many of these whiz-bang effects are created using files and code that is unique to MS Front Page. If you try to edit the site using another product, many or all of your images, backgrounds and effects will break. Furthermore, the code that Front Page generates relies heavily on Visual Basic. If something breaks in your page, you might not be able to fix it without tinkering with the Visual Basic code.

Finally, many pages created using Front Page do not display properly in certain browsers, specifically Safari, the browser used by many macintosh computers. Sometimes important features, such as navigation buttons, will not appear at all on a mac using Safari.

On the plus side, MS Front Page is free for many people because it is bundled together with MS Office. If you are unable to purchase Dreamweaver, Front Page is a good alternative. If you use Front Page, be sure to preview your pages on a macintosh computer to verify that your page displays properly.