Recommendations Regarding FrontPage Server Extensions and Expression Web

Applies to: Microsoft Expression WebMicrosoft Expression Web 2Microsoft Expression Web 3 More


Support for the FrontPage Server Extensions (FPSE) is as follows:
  • FPSE on Windows Server 2000 - No longer supported.
  • FPSE on Windows Server 2003 - In extended support until July 14, 2015.
  • FPSE on Windows Server 2008 - Supported by Ready-to-Run Software, not Microsoft.

Although the FPSE are currently supported on Windows Server 2003 and Expression Web is able to use the FPSE, Microsoft strongly recommends that you use alternate methods when authoring and publishing with Expression Web. There are several reasons for this:

  • The FPSE are an old technology last released in 2002.
  • Many web hosting companies are dropping support for FPSE.
  • Reliability of the FPSE can be dramatically impacted by misconfiguration.
  • Expression Web is not designed to deal with some FPSE concepts. Therefore, problems can occur when using the FPSE to author sites with Expression Web.
  • It is preferable to use a modern standard when authoring and publishing.
The following information outlines Microsoft's recommendations when working with Expression Web.

RecommendedAuthoring and Design Practice
While it is possible to open a remote site in Expression Web and make changes directly to production content, Microsoft recommends against this practice. The best practice for authoring is to work on local content (either disk-based or server-based) and then to publish that content to a live, production site only after changes have been tested in a development and test environment. This ensures that you always have a current backup (the local copy) of your site.

In cases where multiple users are editing site content, Microsoft recommends that a source control system such as Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) be used. Expression Web 3 and later has built-in support for TFS.

Recommended Publishing Practice
Microsoft recommends the use of secure FTP (FTPS or SFTP) for publishing sites to Internet locations and secure FTP or WebDAV for publishing to Intranet locations. While Expression Web does support other methods (including FPSE), users are likely to encounter far fewer problems by choosing a standardized publishing method. FTPS or SFTP are preferred over FTP because they provide security for the username and password information required for publishing.

WebDAV is not recommended for Internet sites because most hosting companies do not provide WebDAV connectivity. However, if your hosting company does provide that option, it may be a good choice.

More Information

If you open a case with Microsoft Commercial Technical Support (CTS) and you are using the FPSE for authoring an Expression Web site, Microsoft CTS may ask that you reproduce your problem without the use of the FPSE. If your problem does not reproduce when the FPSE are not used, Microsoft CTS will recommend that you refrain from the use of FPSE as a resolution to your issue. This is done for the reasons outlined above.