Expression Web Consulting
Expression Web is a website development tool from Microsoft. Originally introduced in 2006 as a follow-on product to FrontPage, Microsoft provides it free (and has been doing so since 2012) with no new versions expected. Version 4 is the latest version.
If you have Expression Web and need to understand it better, are thinking of using Expression Web, or would like to find out whether Expression Web is the right tool for you, contact me and we'll figure out how to meet your objectives. My typical services associated with Expression Web are described on this page.
Collaborate on a Custom Design
Whether you have an existing website or are starting from scratch, I can help you with a clean, straightforward website design. I'll use Expression Web to build a design template. Then, each page of your website will be built from that template.
We'll have a conversation about what you need, what types of designs appeal to you, what content — text and pictures — you have, and how much updating you want to do yourself. Then, I'll draft a design for your review. Once you like the design, you can choose to put your initial content into the design via Expression Web, or send me the content and I can put it into the design. If you need help finding a hosting provider, I can make suggestions. Once you have your domain set up and the draft website is approved, I can help you go live with your website.
Since the point of Expression Web is for you to make changes directly, if you need some help learning to use it, I will give you documentation customized for your particular website and one-on-one coaching. Want to get started now? Contact me.
Get General Help with Expression Web
Have you installed Expression Web and tried to use it, but find it difficult or confusing? Have you been trying to use Expression Web and can't figure something out? I can probably help you.
With many years of experience teaching adults to use Expression Web, I've learned that each of us has our own learning style. In Expression Web, as with many Microsoft applications, there are often multiple ways to achieve the same end. I can be a resource for you as you practice using Expression Web. When you hit a snag, I can help you learn the tools and techniques (and sometimes workarounds) to smooth your way. If you prefer, we can do more intensive Expression Web training using examples from your own website. Contact me with your questions.
Troubleshooting & Coaching
Perhaps you've installed Expression Web and are trying to use it to update your website. Suddenly, your website doesn't look right. Maybe you added some text from Microsoft Word® and it doesn't look the same as the rest of the page. Maybe you added some pictures and now your web page is taking longer to load into the browser. Whatever problem you're having with Expression Web, let me guide you through it.
Sometimes you just want a little help in learning how to use Expression Web. After you contact me with your situation, we can schedule a phone training session to walk through one or more ways to accomplish your objective. Often, in as little as one hour of coaching, you can feel more comfortable using Expression Web to update your website.
Prefer face-to-face training? I get it. Some people learn better that way. For clients within the greater Sacramento area, I can come to you. If you're outside the Sacramento area, there are tools we can use to share computer screens, and while this isn't face-to-face, it will often do the trick.
Migrate From FrontPage to Expression Web
Do you have a website that was built using FrontPage® Web authoring software? You've probably heard that FrontPage is no longer supported by Microsoft. While Expression Web was intended to take its place, there really is no direct replacement for FrontPage. In fact, Expression Web looks and acts very differently. Web standards (HTML and CSS) and Web development have evolved. Since Expression Web adheres much more faithfully to Web standards than FrontPage did, it's a better tool in many ways.
While most of my FrontPage clients choose to migrate to Expression Web, not all clients take this path. There are other choices, so we'll discuss options before we begin any work.
Let's say you decide to migrate to Expression Web … where do you start?
Most websites built with FrontPage have a lot of no-longer-necessary code that clutters your page. What's worse, browsers may choose not to recognize this code. You can continue to open your FrontPage website in Expression Web for minor changes. However, since many of the FrontPage features your site may use are not included in Expression Web (notably, shared borders and webbots), you can't make changes to those portions of your site the way you are accustomed to. Additionally, fewer and fewer hosting providers support FrontPage extensions — required to interpret the shared borders and webbots. At some point your website may fail to display or function properly. That's when you'll need to migrate.
(Note: I try to say "migrate to Expression Web" rather than "convert from FrontPage to Expression Web". Converting implies that there are tools that will do most of the work for us. However, because of all the embedded code on each page of a FrontPage website, a conversion tool that will work in all cases wasn't — and won't be — developed for FrontPage websites. Each page must be migrated individually to Expression Web.)
Using your existing website as a design guide (or starting from scratch if you prefer), I can create a new design and migrate your content, adhering to Web standards, using Expression Web. An update like this is an opportunity for you to modernize the look of your website by changing the design a little or a lot, depending on your taste. At the least, I can make the layout cleaner, and the menus easier to use and update.
Depending on what you need, here are some of the things I can do to help get you going:
- Design a new look — if it's time to make a design change beyond some minor tweaks, I'll offer insights for usability, readability, and Web standards to go along with our collaboration on what the new design should look like.
- Create a template page — a dynamic web template (DWT file) takes the place of shared borders in FrontPage; allows us to update the look a bit; and streamlines the page for faster loading and easier maintenance.
- Create a stylesheet — a cascading style sheet (CSS file) makes it much easier to be consistent from page to page; controls layout, spacing, fonts, and colors; and allows for mobile-friendly rendering / presentation of the page.
- Migrate your existing content (text and pictures) to pages built from the template page.
Though you may be tempted, I don't recommend "cleaning up" the code that FrontPage added. I believe you are better off migrating your content to a mobile-friendly, streamlined design that uses current web coding practices.
Once your website is updated, I can help you learn enough about Expression Web to make you comfortable doing your own changes, or I can continue to make changes for you. Depending on your interest, time, and inclination, I can also help you understand how to change the page template, style sheet, and other aspects of your website.
After you contact me, I'll review your website and we can discuss next steps.
Get Help with HTML and CSS
Over my years of teaching Expression Web, I discovered that many Expression Web questions are really HTML or CSS questions. While you may not be aware of the difference — and you don't necessarily need to be — I have found it useful to teach some HTML and CSS along with Expression Web.
If you need HTML or CSS assistance (or don't know you need it), I can help. As we collaborate on your website, I'll figure out where your knowledge level is and coach you accordingly. Contact me to start our dialog.
*Expression Web is a component of Microsoft® Expression® Studio.