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MS Frontpage: Now and forever ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nyjimbo, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    Ok, we all know that MS has dropped support for Frontpage and third party support like Ready-To-Run software has stopped offering the extensions, but we web hosts are stuck with a certain percentage of users who are married to this program and will not switch to anything else.

    On our non-cpanel servers we installed the FP extensions manually and built Apache with all its modules and they are working fine. However in Cpanel you are pretty much crossing your fingers that MSFP will still be there in 6 months because its all built into the easyapache setup.

    How many of you have switched to Cpanel 11 and Apache 2.x and STILL have frontpage extensions ? Is it something you did manually or is it still in the easyapache (or other script) ?

    I know if we dump MSFP support we will lose a couple hundred accounts as they will find someone out there who does it either with unix or a W2K3 box.

    Please don't preach about how much MSFP sucks and I should dump it, I have been on your side for years. But if you had 200+ long time customers who MUST have Frontpage its not going to be possible to tell them the party is over and they have to shell out $500 for some other design application and spend a couple weeks learning how to use it.
     
  2. rpmws

    rpmws Well-Known Member

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    same boat as soooo many of us. don't panic **yet** this is a wide spread issue that will get some attention i am sure.
     
  3. merlinpa1969

    merlinpa1969 Well-Known Member

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    We dropped frontpage from our offering last December
    and havnt lost a single client over it,

    they can still design in FP, they just need to use a separate program to upload with
     
  4. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    But they lose ALL "bots" and admin control. We cannot have that with my clients. I host several very large school districts that have a dozen or more FP sites each and need the bots and FP admin functions.
     
  5. Scotty_B

    Scotty_B Active Member

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    Front page extensions are still available with EA3.
     
  6. SageBrian

    SageBrian Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple of options.
    I recommend my clients to redesign the site with a CMS, and drop the FrontPage decade-old software.

    But, for those 'stuck' in 1999, the options are:
    - you setup a Windows server with FP on it, and move those needy clients to the new server. But, I don't know if they can use anything older than FP2003.
    - you install WebDisk (I understand is cPanel's version of WebDav), and supposedly FP2003+ will work.

    No matter what, those old fashioned FP bots and crap will not work on anything but old servers not bothering to update.

    The needy must be educated in the facts. If King Microsoft has even dropped the program, then there is a clear directive to move up and on to better things. Your hosting is NOT the issue. Point the finger at Microsoft, not for blame, but for showing that even they know we are in the 21st century.

    As for other hosts still having FP Extensions, it's only a matter of time before they have to stop. Unless they are never update their servers with security patches, etc.

    Your best tool is educating them. Give links to Microsoft's official announcements about FP.
     
  7. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a plan, except I dont have the energy to deal with educating 200 clients. It takes a week just to get one business customer moved from one O/S to another. All the damn hand-holding and explaining new interfaces is too much work when no extra money is coming in.

    I would like to keep this thread going about KEEPING extensions alive, not debating if they should be killed off.
     
  8. mtindor

    mtindor Well-Known Member

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    Wow, you're experiences are so much like mine. From FP customers who want to use FP Extensions until 2050, to customers that it takes a week to get moved from one OS to another. Sounds like you are trying to predominantly focus on Cpanel hosting but have legacy Windows - I'm very much in a similar situation. And I agree, there is just not enough energy (or time) to be devoted into handholding.

    Mike
     
  9. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    Funny thing is that we have W2k3 servers running HELM and offer to move clients to those servers for maximum FP service AND sharepoint. However they see the HELM interface and dont like it so they refuse to move.

    We just moved one client from an old Freebsd box to Freebsd with Cpanel. Simple account with 10 email boxes. Took almost a whole week of phone calls and helping to find things in the control panel. It would be nice if we could charge SOMETHING for all the work but you can't. When MS announced that they were dumping FP support one of the school districts wanted to talk about it with us. Well it took more than a dozen emails and four phone calls just to explain the difference between dreamweaver and FP and they decided its too much work and want to stay with the Cpanel/FP setup.

    So for us keeping FP as long as possible is necessary, especially if anyone else is still offering it and would be a alternative host if we tried to force customers to stop using it.
     
  10. mtindor

    mtindor Well-Known Member

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    I absolutely know what you're talking about. And what is sad is that Microsoft (or some other large company) can do no wrong. If they choose to discontinue support for a product that a client bought and used in the past, the customer doesn't want to deal with it and instead puts the burden back on you and I to support it for extended periods of time even though it is outdated and no longer supported by the authors. The customer cannot fathom that if they have a beef with the fact that the software is no longer supported, they should contact the authors. They basically strongarm us into continuing to provide that service to them rather than them accepting that the software is out of date and moving on to something else. It's ashame because for me it really leaves a bad taste in my mouth towards that customer/client because they want to make us carry the burden we should not have to carry - usually out of laziness or cluelessness. The hosting company should not only provide Gigabytes of disk space, a terabyte of bandwidth a month, 24/7 support, complete redundancy, daily-weekly-monthly backups for $10 dollars because their business/professional organization does not want to pay more, but then we are also expected to handhold and spend countless hours trying to assist them in continuing to use that product. There have been more times than I can count where I have weighed the cost vs benefit of having that customer... in the end we always suck it up and provide the customer with the support they want, but it costs us money - causes our admins and support staff to become really burnt out, etc.

    Sorry for the rant :) You might not be so jaded by those customers, but as you can see I am rofl.

    Mike
     
  11. verdon

    verdon Well-Known Member

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    I can't help but jump in here, apologies to nyjimbo for going a little off-topic again.... but I think you're both nuts - and I mean that in the nicest of ways :D

    Like a boss told me years ago when I worked for an ISP, and like Sprint is doing now, the customer is not always right and not always worth the effort. If a small percentage of your clients consume the lion's share of your expenses, money and stress, let them go. They may not be that big of a loss.

    Anywise, I never offered FP to begin with and don't envy the providers in your position. Best luck.
     
  12. mtindor

    mtindor Well-Known Member

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    Old habits die hard, and so do old policies. I happen to agree with you, and if i were starting from scratch with my_own company, I'd certainly adopt that policy. I recognize pretty quickly those who are going to cost more in support than their account is worth. It's pretty frustrating to not be able to just can them.

    And of course the question remains, how do you 'let them go' - What is the justification? In the US with everyone everywhere filing frivalous lawsuits and being able to do so with immunity, you can have a bulletproof TOS and still get a lawsuit thrown at you that ends up consuming more of your time/money yet. That's be one of my concerns if I were running my own company.

    Mike
     
  13. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    True, but thats not the issue here. None of these clients are "trouble" customers, like the ones who seem to make tech calls at least once a week. These people simply require FP extensions and with their hosting fees at $100 a year (or much more for some) I dont want to lose any of them.
     
  14. evgsoftn

    evgsoftn Registered

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    how to...

    Hi All,

    I'm a newbie... anybody out there can help me create a secure user login page? What is preferred, use a cgi script or php?

    Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
    evg
     
  15. jandafields

    jandafields Well-Known Member

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    FP Extensions only work with Apache1, so when you make the move to Apache2, bye bye FrontPage extensions. Also, some of the security mods / updates break Frontpage.

    While FP is still working, help your customers to switch over instead of waiting until it dies and they are caught off guard. Give them a 6 month "switch-over" phase to make the move to MS Expression or whatever you suggest to them, and keep them reminded about the approching date.

    If you are worried about losing them over lost functionality, help them convert their bots to php to show that you are worth sticking with.

    Anyway, when FP is completely gone, who are you going to lose them to??? No one else will be offering FP either.
     
  16. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    Actually you are wrong, Apache 2 has always worked with FP extensions. We even have specially patched files to work with 2.2, but it might not be supported in Cpanel so they might remove it.

    However we have been using FP all through 2.0.59 on many servers here.
     
  17. jandafields

    jandafields Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting. I've never been able to get FP to work with Apache2. Did you create these patches, or are they from the FP group, or Apache?
     
  18. nyjimbo

    nyjimbo Well-Known Member

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    The 2.0 stuff was available for a couple years via RTR software and a couple other people. Somebody took the 2.0 stuff and patched it for 2.2, something about entry points or whatever and released it months before everyone pulled the extensions. I only have it for freebsd, not linux.
     
  19. rligg

    rligg Well-Known Member

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    This thinking has an obvious flaw. There will always be clients whom consume the lion's share of your expenses, money and stress. You can never get rid of them:)
     
  20. verdon

    verdon Well-Known Member

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    LOL... sure you can! You just deteriorate the level of service to them until they go somewhere else :D
     
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