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Danger in Customizing WSS with Frontpage?

  Asked By: Colin    Date: Jun 27    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 989

If I use Frontpage to extensivly customize the design of Sharepoint
Services what will happen when the next service pack or upgrade is
installed? Will I lose all the changes? Will the site not update?
Is customizing WSS on the programming level the same issue?



15 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Percy Beach     Answered On: Jun 27

Using Frontpage will not inhibit any service  pack updates from taking place correctly. This is of course if used properly to design  the look and feel of a site. I always suggest to instead try customizing  your site  with CSS, or custom site definitions instead of opening up the page in Frontpage. My personal reasoning for this is for many reasons but primarily because if you have many sites to design by utilizing CSS and custom site definitions your changes will take place globally.

Now if you say open up a page in FrontPage 2003 (FP) and save it back using any editor (FP, VS.NET etc..) except say NotePad the page will become unghosted which not only may effect performance but will also disconnect it from the system files on the server. This will make it so that any changes you would like to make globally across all sites or areas will not take on unghosted pages. Now this is just a brief explanation on why not to use FP 2003. IMHO FP 2003 is very powerful and can be leveraged in some scenarios but for especially the large organizations with lots of sites and areas should be thinking about using CSS and custom site definitions.

Going back to your question though you will not lose  your changes by designing a site with FP 2003 and then updating to the new Service pack. Unless you are overwriting system files like for instance WSS and SPS use a couple main CSS files such as SPS.css, OWS.css these are the type of files that would be typically overwritten in a service pack  update.

Let me know if you are at all confused as I will provide you with some articles which will go over what I have just spoke about.

Answer #2    Answered By: Mary Adams     Answered On: Jun 27

One thing that was not mentioned, is that if you do UnGhost a page by editing it with FrontPage your service  pack may install, but the unghosted page will not be updated. If there are any changes that effect the Ghosted page they will not be applied, and it could cause your page to break if the backend is expecting the changes to be there.

Answer #3    Answered By: Kyla Eckert     Answered On: Jun 27

Yup, it's always fun to watch an unghosted site  freeze up and break.

Answer #4    Answered By: Alyssa Butler     Answered On: Jun 27

Is there any way of preventing users from performing site  modification via FP2003 on a global basis?

Answer #5    Answered By: Gopal Jamakhandi     Answered On: Jun 27

support.microsoft.com/ for FrontPage 2003.

Answer #6    Answered By: Ana Payne     Answered On: Jun 27

If I remember correctly, the change outlined in this article:
Prevents FP2003 clients from making changes to the site
Does not affect FP versions prior to 2003.. which means they'll still be able to edit their content with FPXP or FP2000
Is a Virtual Server-wide setting... which means that all Sites on that virtual server are then blocked from using FP2003 to edit.
Can anyone confirm?

Answer #7    Answered By: Laura Walker     Answered On: Jun 27

I believe that you're looking for this:


Answer #8    Answered By: Lacey Daniels     Answered On: Jun 27

How do you make changes with FP (or in the same way as you would with FP) and not unghost the pages?

Does it *really* matter in a small WSS site?

Answer #9    Answered By: Megan Martin     Answered On: Jun 27

I can only speak for our situation, but out intent is to provide a standardized, quickly-deployed solution to the majority of our business groups. This would be done with the use of a customized site  definition and site template following the branding standards of our company.

We would like the ability to occasionally roll-out new content and features automatically by deploying changes at a global level, and having a large number of unghosted sites out there limits our deployment abilities. This approach has its share of pros and cons, I know, but it's a method that suits our environment.

Answer #10    Answered By: Donta Kirkland     Answered On: Jun 27

I would say that yes, as it is a matter of principle.

If you want to have a standardized site  template with particular web parts and would prefer learning how to modify ye ole onet.xml, then make specialized templates and use the content editor web part to override your style sheets, but seriously, messing with unghosted sites makes things quite hard -- especially when you begin to plan for the future.

Answer #11    Answered By: Cade Velazquez     Answered On: Jun 27

You can’t open a “page” with FrontPage and not unghost it when you click Save. You can edit the templates that the pages are derived from and not unghost anything, but anytime you open a page in a site, unghosting will occur.

As for the second question; it depends. Are the changes you are going to make to the site  needed elsewhere and are you willing to lose  the global change benefit that you get with ghosted pages. There could be arguments either way, but it depends on your environment and the amount of maintenance you are willing to engage in.

Answer #12    Answered By: Ariana Christensen     Answered On: Jun 27

One of the ways that you can customise sites (and I am working at the S end of SME) is to use Frontpage to link different lists on a page so that the contents of one list displayed on that page is tied to the contents of another. If you don't use Frontpage to do this (because of ghosting) how can this be accomplished?

Answer #13    Answered By: Darrius Whitfield     Answered On: Jun 27

If you are speaking of the dataview web part (DVWP) that you can
create through Frontpage. Then the usual practice against unghosting
is to have a dummy page where you create your DVWP and once you are
satisfied you then export the webpart as a .dwp which can then be
imported into your ghosted pages.

Answer #14    Answered By: Adrienne Greene     Answered On: Jun 27

All I need to find out know is how to export DVWPs.

I'll be back asking that one when I need to know and if I haven't been
able to figure it out.

Answer #15    Answered By: Joshuah Huber     Answered On: Jun 27

"If I use Frontpage to extensivly customize  the design  of Sharepoint
Services what will happen..."
[Reply] You will be imprisoned without the possibility for parole. Just

"Will I lose  all the changes? Will the site  not update?"
[Reply] Those are your two options: either you will loose all your
changes OR the site will not upgrade  from 2003 to 2007.

Is customizing  WSS on the programming  level the same issue?

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