Using FrontPage reports to better manage your site

October 2002

By David Berry

Applies to
Microsoft FrontPage® 2002

Do you know how big your Web site is and how many files it contains? Does it include broken hyperlinks or pages that load too slowly? Do you know how big your Web site is and how many files it contains? Does it include broken hyperlinks or pages that load too slowly? To ensure the success of your Web site, you should know this information.

FrontPage 2002 generates 27 different types of reports about all aspects of your Web site, so you can quickly find the answer to these and other questions. Reports give you detailed information about the performance of your Web site, as well as information about your visitors. You can use these reports to identify and fix many common problems, keep track of your Web site's development, and continue to improve and tailor your site to enhance your users' experience.

How to access reports

Reports view is one of six views available from the Views bar on the left side of the FrontPage window. You also can access the various reports from the View menu by clicking Reports.

The first time you click the Reports icon, FrontPage displays the Site Summary report and displays the Reporting toolbar just below the Formatting toolbar. This allows you to quickly access the various types of reports available by clicking the View menu and pointing to Reports.

You also can access the different reports by clicking the hyperlinks in the Site Summary report. Each hyperlink takes you to a more detailed view for that particular category. For example, clicking Usage Data brings up the Usage Summary report, where you can select various reports and statistics about your Web site.

Common report features

Most of the reports in FrontPage 2002 share common features. With the exception of the Site Summary report, you can sort each report by clicking any column. Clicking the column again reverses the sort order. You also can adjust the width of the report columns by dragging their borders.

Many of the items in the various report views are clickable. For example, you can click an HTML page and have it open in the FrontPage editor, or click a hyperlink to edit it.

New features in FrontPage 2002

FrontPage 2002 has an additional 13 usage reports and the ability to export report data.

To export report data

  1. On the View menu, point to Reports and click the type of report you want to copy.
  2. Right-click anywhere on the report, and click Copy Report.
  3. Open another Microsoft Office program (such as Microsoft Excel), and click Paste on the Edit menu.

To save a report, on the File menu click Save As, and then type the location where you want to save the report. Reports are saved in Microsoft Excel HTML format.

You can use either of these two procedures for archiving report data or for sharing it with others.

Another new feature of FrontPage 2002 reports is the AutoFilter button. This is a small triangular button on the right side of each report column heading. When you click the button, a drop-down list appears containing all of the items in that column. By selecting one of the items, you can limit the report to the values that match the selected item. To remove the filter, simply click the button again and choose All.

The Site Summary report

As mentioned above, the first report you see when you click Reports on the Views bar is the Site Summary report. This report provides you with a quick overview of the statistics available about your Web site.

The Site Summary report provides a lot of useful numbers, such as the number and size of all the files in your site. This allows you to quickly see how much space your Web site is taking on the server.

The different types of reports

FrontPage reports are divided into four categories: Files, Problems, Workflow, and Usage.

File reports

These reports let you view all the files in your Web site and determine which ones are old, new, or recently changed, as well as who is working on the files, and when they were last modified or added to your site.

  • All Files    The All Files report lists every file in your Web site. This report is particularly useful when you're looking for a file but can’t remember which folder you saved it in.
  • Recently Added Files    This report lists files that were added to your Web site in the past 30 days. You can change the number of days that FrontPage considers "recent" by selecting a time period from the Report Setting drop-down list on the Reporting toolbar.
  • Recently Changed Files    This report lists all files that were changed within the past 30 days. As with the Recently Added Files report, you can change the number of days from the Reporting toolbar.
  • Older Files    This report allows you to see all files that haven't been changed in the past 72 days. Information on this report can quickly show you pages that may be stale or need updating.

Problem reports

These reports identify potential problems with your Web site that can prevent visitors from wanting to return.

  • Unlinked Files    Unlinked files are files that have no hyperlinks to them from any of your pages. Files listed here may be orphaned files that you can delete from your Web site by right-clicking the file name and choosing Delete on the shortcut menu.
  • Slow Pages    This report shows all your files (pages) that take longer than 30 seconds to download at a connection speed of 28.8 Kbps. You can redefine what you think is a slow page by clicking the Tools menu and then clicking Options. When the Options dialog box appears, click the Reports View tab. Fill in your desired values for "x" where it says Slow pages take at least x seconds to download and Assume connection speed of x.
  • Broken Hyperlinks    This report allows you to find pages that contain broken hyperlinks to either internal Web site pages or links to other Web sites. The first time you run this report FrontPage will ask if you would like to verify all of the hyperlinks on your site. You can also check a broken or unverified link by right-clicking it and choosing Verify Hyperlink from the shortcut menu. Once all the links have been verified, you can click broken links to edit them.
  • Component Errors    This report allows you to view problems with any of the Microsoft FrontPage WebBot® components you may have used. Depending on the component, the error reported may not exist once you publish your site to a server that has the Microsoft FrontPage Server Extensions or SharePoint™ Team Services from Microsoft installed.

Workflow reports

When you have several people working on your site, these reports let you monitor their workflow and help you determine which files should be included the next time the site is published.

  • Review Status    This report lists the review status of each file in your Web site, who was assigned to the file, the review date, and whether or not the file is checked out using source control. You can change the status of each file from the drop-down menus in each column. You can also change the review status of a file by right-clicking it, clicking Properties, and then clicking the Workgroup tab.
  • Assigned To    This report shows you a list of who is assigned to each file. Select a file and click in the Assigned To column to change the assignment.
  • Categories    Categories allow you to group your files into different functional areas, such as In Process, Planning, Waiting, and so forth. If you've categorized your files, you can use this report to view each file's assignment.
  • Publish Status    This report allows you to view or change the status of files in your Web site. Files that are marked Publish will be included the next time you publish your Web site. To exclude a file from being published, right-click the file and choose Don't Publish from the shortcut menu. This is useful if you have files that are still under development and are not ready to "go live."
  • Checkout Status    If you are not using the FrontPage internal source control (Document Check-In/Check-Out) or an external source control program such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe™, this report will be unavailable. If you are using source control on your site, you can use this report to see who has a file checked out.

Usage reports

These reports are new to FrontPage 2002. Usage reports give you a detailed view of how your site is being accessed and various pieces of information that can help you improve your site and tailor it to the needs of your customers.

To see the different usage reports, contact your Internet service provider or Web presence provider to activate usage analysis for your site on the provider's Web server. If you're running your own Web server, you can enable usage analysis for your site from the FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions Site Administration page. With FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, you can also schedule reports to run at predetermined intervals. For Web sites hosted on servers running SharePoint™ Team Services from Microsoft, you will have the same options from the Site Administration page.

Usage reports allow you to see how your site is being accessed, how many times pages have been viewed, the types of browsers your visitors are using, and how visitors found your site (links from search engines or other sites that have links to yours). These reports include:

  • Usage Summary
  • Monthly Summary
  • Weekly Summary
  • Daily Summary
  • Monthly Page Hits
  • Weekly Page Hits
  • Daily Page Hits
  • Visiting Users
  • Operating Systems
  • Browsers
  • Referring Domains
  • Referring URLs
  • Search Strings

As the Webmaster for your site, you can use these statistics to determine the popularity of different pages on your site. Pages that don't get a lot of visits potentially need updating.

Unlike the other reports in FrontPage, the usage reports also include the ability to create a pie or bar chart of the data so that you can better analyze different trends. To create a chart for a particular report, simply click Usage Chart on the Reporting toolbar.

Conclusion

As you have seen, FrontPage provides numerous reports that can help you better plan and maintain your Web site. By taking advantage of these reports, you can quickly identify problem areas, monitor and graph usage data, manage workflow, keep your content up-to-date, and customize your site to enhance the user's experience of your Web site.


David Berry has an extensive background in technical and IT skills, Web site design work, application development, and technical support with over 17 years of diverse experience with government and federal agencies as well as competitive business markets. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional and has been a Microsoft FrontPage Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999. David co-authored Microsoft FrontPage 2002 Unleashed, Microsoft FrontPage 2000 Unleashed, and Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Unleashed.