FP2003 ~CAN~ hurt you if you don't know what it does under the covers…

Tuesday, August 31, 2004 7:30 AM
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We've learned the hard way that FrontPage 2003 CAN hurt you if you don't know what it does under the covers. The biggest thing, is if you open a page and click save, the page is now unghosted and saved in the DB. This makes future UI changes very hard (for more info on ghosting/unghosting as well as information about why FP2003 can hurt you, see article #1 in the reference links below).

Dustin Miller then blogged about his objections to the article (see article #2 below). I had to take exception Dustin's comments in a comment to his post, which turned into a big back-and-forth.

So… how do you fix a unghosted site? Here's what we did…

We had a site which we modified the UI via FrontPage 2003. This made the site unghosted, which caused big problems. We backed up the unghosted site from production and restored it to a developer VirtualPC image. Then, I installed the GhostHunter webppart (see #3 below) which I used to reghost the unghosted pages. Once the site was ghosted again, we added the necessary images to the wpresources directory and created a new CSS file that modified the UI of the site. After making sure everything was in good shape, we did it again just to be safe (backup->restore->reghost->apply file changes) to make sure it would work in production. And sure enough it did, production is now 100% ghosted and has it's own UI.


  1. What you don't know about Front Page 2003 can hurt you (site registration required, but it's free)
  2. Dustin Miller's response: “In response to “Barry Kouda” and his MSD2D tip…"
  3. GhostHunter; part of the Web Part Toolkit

**Update 9/21 8:55a:**Just finished reading (and commenting) on Maurice's (yes, the same one of GhostHunter… [insert additional golf clap]) post addressing my comments here. A good read… yet someone else who really gets it.

» BlueDogLimited: Don't Kill The Messenger
» BlueDogLimited: Ghosted & Unghosted Pages Fantastic explanation of the two here.

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