Cheryl D Wise, Microsoft MVP - Visual Developer - Expression

Cheryl D. Wise, Microsoft MVP - FrontPage.
Cheryl D. Wise
Country: USA
WebSite: By Expression
Focus: Expression web



Expression Web Interview with Cheryl Wise

Q 1. Do you own and maintain your own FrontPage/Expression Web resource(s)?

A. Yes, I maintain a Expression Web website, EW blog, EW mail list and Expression web Forum so that users can use their preferred information channel.

They are centralized at  where you can sign up for the mail list, view or subscribe to the blog or join the forum. While you are there you can also view our tutorials in either HTML or Flash format.

In addition to my tutorials we will have tutorials from guest authors such as an upcoming tutorial by Greg Beamer (C# MVP) on Displaying an RSS feed on your site created in Expression Web.

Q 2. Do you have a special tip for Expression Web you can share with our readers?

A . Here's a couple of tips on installing Expression Web. First, if you are installing the trial make sure that you get the activation key from the same site you download the file. As soon as Expression Web is installed activate your trial using the key you were given. If you do not activate it you may not be able to create new pages or your trial will be limited to running the program 20 times. If you activate it immediately using the key you will get a 60 day trial.

After activating if you cannot create new web pages, reboot your computer and you should then be able to create new websites, work on existing pages and create new pages.

If you discover that your junk mail filter in Outlook no longer works after installing and activating Expression Web with Outlook closed go to Control Panel Add/Remove Programs. In the left column you should see an option to show installed updates. Remove the last Outlook Junk Mail filter.

Then run Office Update to download a fresh copy of the junk mail filter and reinstall it. Next time you start Outlook your junk mail filters should work properly again.

Q 3. What feature would you most like to see available within the next version of Expression Web and why?

A. There are actually two features I want to see in the next version. The first is a vastly improved FTP client. One that will remember connection information on a per site basis and hopefully support sftp or secure file transfer for those who work on sites that require enhanced security in the transfer process.

The second feature I would like to see if the ability to set whether or not a site uses the BOM or Byte Order Mark on web pages with UTF-8 encoding. While the BOM is considered the best way to make sure the browser knows the site uses UTF-8 encoding it causes problems with PHP and some web browsers. The ability to use Expression Web with PHP is important to many web designers and developers.

Actually make that three things I want to see in the Expression Web. The third is design time rendering of server side includes for both ASP.NET and PHP. The ability to use includes greatly reduces site maintenance.

Q 4. What Expression Web Add-on would you most like to see available and why?

A. There are two Expression Web add-ons I think would benefit the majority of Expression Web users. The first is a simple form to email processor with a wizard driven interface that would create processing scripts in ASP.NET, Classic ASP and PHP. The second is an add-on to insert a standards compliant XHTML way to add Flash, Windows Media and Silverlight to a web page. The ability to insert media will be native in the next version of Expression Web but in the meantime an easier method than SWFObject would benefit a lot of Expression Web users.

Q 5. As a MVP you participate online and answer many questions on (FrontPage) Expression Web. What started you down this road and why?

A. I didn't start out as an MVP or even with the goal of becoming an MVP in mind. When I first started creating web pages it was trial and error back in 1994 long before there even was a Microsoft MVP program. There weren't many groups and certainly no mail lists to get answers from. When the web took off it was changing rapidly and communities of web designers and developers started. Initially I asked as many, if not more questions than I could answer. I believe in the "pay it forward" concept of answering the questions of those with less skills than I have since I would have never gained the skills I have today if others had not answered my questions, written articles and tutorials when I was starting out.

Q 6. What Expression Web or Web design good practices do you recommend our readers follow?

A. Best practices, first realize that you will never know everything about Expression Web much less about web design or development in general. I recommend that people push their comfort level. Many people just getting started in Expression Web want to cling to the safety net of the way they may have done things in older web editors. The web evolves rapidly and to keep up you have to push your Experiment, read what's new, search out tutorials, sites that inspire you and ask questions. Experiment, read what's new, search out tutorials, sites that inspire you and ask questions.

Q 7. What five sites do you recommend should be in our readers web design arsenal?

A .
a/ Zen Garden for inspiration
b/ W3Schools for learning basic html and css
c/ A List Apart for articles on best practices and "how to" do all sorts of useful things like creating print style sheets
d/ SitePoint  for more articles on web design and development in general
e/ My own site for Expression Web specific tutorials, forums and support.

Q 8. Do you have any luminaries within Expression Web and the Web Design industry in general and who do you model your practices after?

Eric Meyers for introducing me to CSS with the original book: "CSS: The Definitive Guide" and David Shea for creating the inspiring CSS Zen Garden

Tantek Çelik for creating the "doctype switch" which makes it easier to create cross browser websites.

Videos and tips from Peach Pits press authors

Q 9. What advice would you give to readers who are used to using the wizards and bots of FrontPage and want to move to Expression Web and a more user friendly site?

A. Realize that what you see in design view is not necessarily what your visitor will see on the web. Which browser the visitor is using as well as their screen resolution can affect how your page is displayed. Install the commonly used web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and when there is a release version of it Safari for Windows. Then make sure you preview your pages in each of those browsers at 800x600, 1024x768 an larger if you have the option to view a larger size. Remember that your visitor is in control and may have sidebars and toolbars open in their browser that you do not have.

Q 10. Can you tell our readers of any upcoming Expression Web activities or just launched projects you have planned?

A. I am currently working on new video tutorials for and teaching an Introduction to Expression Web Class at  Also in the works is a full set of training videos which will be available  at Learn Expression Studio

Interview by Tina Clarke Microsoft MVP - FrontPage 11th July 2007 Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved