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Several years ago, I put the sweater on the Scotty Dog and have been using it as a logo ever since.

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In January of 2004, I decided to make a login page that was fairly secure and I had no idea of where to begin. After hours of searching Google, I found out that I needed a database plus several other programs to make it all work.  I spent every night for over a month working on it and finally came up with a workable login.  Because I was on a linux server, the best option for me was to use PhP in conjunction with MySql and PhpMyAdmin.  After it was all done, I thought it would be a good idea to make a tutorial and maybe save someone else all the searching. Since that time, I purchased Expression Web Designer and decided to re-do the tutorial using EW.  This has been a daunting task to say the least.

 Creating a Members area Login using Expression Web on a unix or linux server is not supported within Expression Web, however, it can be done providing you have the right PHP Script and you are hosted on a server that supports Php and PhpMyAdmin. One of the major things to consider is that most of these pages you create need to be password protected and to achieve this they must be uploaded to the server with a .php extension.  Each of the pages that you want protected must have a sessions php script at the very top of the page prior to writing any html code on the page. This php script will not run unless the entire page is saved as .php. A very annoying bit of code in EW is the Byte Order Mark.  This is an invisible bit of code that EW adds to the very top of each page.  This BOM as it is called places itself at the very top of the page ahead of your Php Sessions code and the code will not run with this BOM in place. Since it is invisible in EW, you will have to publish your pages and enter the host server control panel to see it.  If you change the meta tag in the head of your document to <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /> , EW will not publish the BOM.

To open Php files in EW, right click on the file >Open With>Expression Web (open as html).  If there is no html on the page, it will open just the Php. If there is both Php and html, it will open both. 

Because this is a working model of the script, you will be unable to view the tutorial without registering and logging in.  Once you have registered, you will receive and email with the password that you will need to log in. After you  have logged in, you can navigate these pages just like any other. 

My Thoughts on Expression Web Designer

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I have been migrating my webs from Front Page to Expression Web Designer. This has been a very slow process because of my limited knowledge of CSS as well as becoming familiar with the EW Program. As expected, Microsoft failed to add support for Php. Also, many of the old Front Page goodies such as includes were not in the box either. While the code is more compliant, the struggle to make the pages look right in IE as well as other browsers still goes on. I have found EW much more difficult to use than Front Page and often times find it hard even to find where the cursor is flashing. I found that you can work much easier with the split screen open as the cursor position is much more visible. Perhaps another few months will show an improvement in my EW skills.  For me, the best thing in the package has to be the DWT....that and the ease with which you can create a new page, attach the DWT, and away you go.  Another thing I like about the program is the web templates that were included in the box.  These templates give you an entire web site with just a few clicks.  The design of the EW templates are a bit better than past MS themes etc; The main advantage however, being the ability to have the main elements already in place, thus avoiding starting a page from scratch.

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