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John S. Krill

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Hello Yahoo!, Goodbye Netscape December 20, 2000


by John S. Krill

the Reasons for the Move

I only now made the move to Yahoo! because of the recent crashes of the Netscape free site's servers and the inability to get into Netscape's Site Central.

Netscape has been a reliable free hosting site. I have rarely been interrupted. Only recently has there been interruptions in service. It has become difficult to access Netscape's Site Central to get information about the site: visitor count, messages, storage space, etc. But this is not the primary reason for moving to Yahoo!

The number one reason is FrontPage. I use FrontPage 2000 to build and edit this site and two others that I have posted at Yahoo!. The new message page was made possible because Yahoo! supports FrontPage. Specifically the FrontPage Server Extensions. 

the Process

The initial plan was to support both sites. That meant two different versions of the site. To do this with FrontPage I needed to create a new Web and import the old Netscape site into the new Web. This is easy enough to do but time consuming. Time consuming because Microsoft FrontPage is not user friendly. One annoying practice it has is always going to it's default directory. It just can't remember the last directory you accessed. Why would this to nice. Because FrontPage only imports one directory at a time (It will import all the sub-directories of a directory.) There are two possible methods of importing a Web and both methods take about the same amount of time.

Now I have two Windows Assistance webs - one for Netscape and another for Yahoo! I had planned to make the move a gradual one and keep the Netscape site as current as the Yahoo! site. I wanted to be able to modify and test the Yahoo! site before completely closing down the Netscape site. 

But Netscape was down for two days and there was no information forthcoming from Netscape as to when it would be up. This meant getting the Yahoo! site up as fast as possible. I uploaded the Yahoo! site and tested as I went.

To help direct the faithful to the new Yahoo! site (I couldn't get to my Netscape site until late in the evening of the second day) I went and changed the URL for the address. It was only a couple of hours before pointed to the Yahoo! site.

I also needed to direct the Atomz search engine to the Yahoo! site. This proved to be unneccessary because I already had Atomz using I only needed Atomz to do a compile of the Yahoo! site and it was ready for your searches. If you have any kind of Web site I strongly recommend Atomz. It is painless and free.

Once the Netscape site was available I posted a message on the index page announcing the move. I no longer make any changes to the Netscape site. It is frozen in time.

the Problems

Who me? Have problems? Always! 

The only big problem I had was linking to the Microsoft Security Bulletins I have posted. The mistake was using upper case letters in the file and directory names. Believe me when I say don't ever use upper case letters in file and directory names - ever! 

The problem was created when FrontPage imported the old site into the new web. It took all names of files and directories and made them lower case. The problem with this was that the hyperlinks in the html pages were looking for names with upper case characters. This problem was discovered when I had Atomz do a compile of the new site (If you went to the new Yahoo! site before I made the corrections you would have seen the problem.) Microsoft servers (I use the Microsoft Personal Web Server) could care less about upper/lower case - not the case with other servers. So I made all the changes and used Atomz to verify all was OK.

using FrontPage 2000

When FrontPage 2000 works as advertised it can be a very helpful tool in the creation and maintenance of a web site. Listed below are some of the ways I use FrontPage.

- The include Component. Except for the home page I use a common file to list the major areas of the site. This list is inserted into all the pages using a FrontPage component. I did the same thing at Netscape but now if I make a change to the list FrontPage will make the necessary changes to all the pages that have this list. The process is transparent to me. I no longer have to worry about getting all the pages reposted to the web site.

- Forms. The new message page is an example of what you can do with forms.

- Maintaining the Site. FrontPage will maintain your site. You make changes to the copy on your local workstation and FrontPage will update the site at Yahoo! 

You could edit the web pages at Yahoo! directly - bypassing your local copy. Unless you have a broadband connection to the Internet this could be slow.

I generally use a FTP program to update the site every morning (Only the home page and one other page is updated.) and use FrontPage on the weekend to coordinate the local and remote sites. note: FrontPage adds it's own stuff that you have no control over.

- Task List. FrontPage has a Task List view where you can keep track of to do's for the site. Pages that deed to be modified or created. Links to add to the site.

- Reports. FrontPage will create several types of reports - Site Summary, All Files, Unlinked Files, Broken Links, and more.

For more about FrontPage go to the Microsoft FrontPage web site.

About Yahoo! Geocities

In the short time I have been at Yahoo! Geocities there has been no appreciable speed difference with Netscape Free Sites. 

Other than using the Microsoft Server Extensions the only add-on I have used is the Yahoo! counter. Big improvement. Setup is easy and there is only a small line of code you need to insert into the web page. In fact it is the same code for any counter on any page at any web at Yahoo! Geocities. Very easy. Yahoo! Geocities site stats is also a big improvement over what Netscape Free Sites provided.

At Netscape I got the impression that AOL (the owner) really didn't have it's heart in the free stuff at Netscape. This meant no changes or improvements had been done since I first setup the site at Netscape. 

So far - Yahoo! Geocities is very customer friendly.

One Plus I Hadn't Counted On

The one plus is how you can access the site. The problem I'm going do describe only happens with the Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) browser. So Netscape users can skip this. Anyway if you are using IE then click on the following address: Now try to navigate the site. Get an error message? Now click on this address: Now navigate the site. Everything is OK. The difference is that final slash (/) at the end of the address. Because of this I had to use the address with the ending '/' when I applied for URL. What this means is that you couldn't use an address such as and go to the page. That address would get translated to You would have gotten an error message. 

This changed with Yahoo! Geocities. I no longer need to put the '/' at the end of the address. You can now travel to and get the correct page no matter which browser you're using.


January 16, 2000 -  This comment is for Geocities users only. Geocities has one weird quirk. When you create a home page it must be named index.html. Don't use any uppercase and do not use the extension HTM in upper or lowercase. It will work but not really. Try getting stats for the index.htm page. Good luck. I didn't have this problem with any of the remaining pages at the site, just the index.html page. I had used the extension htm because that is the default extension used by FrontPage. Also the home page (index.html) appears to load faster with the html extension. Go figure! 

So at my three Geocities web site I renamed my index.htm page index.html. Now I can get stats for the index.html pages. Couldn't do this with the index.htm pages.

I didn't rename any of the remaining pages. I could always get stats for these pages even though they use the htm extension and not the html extension.

Editor's Note: We have moved again. This time from Yahoo!Geocities to Tripod.

the Yahoo! Sites

Windows Assistance - You're there.

Web Softsmith - This site is for users of FrontPage. I talk about web design and construction using FrontPage and list resources and tips. There is also a site critique section.

Photographer as Essayist - Photojournalism and photographic story tellers.

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