How to setup Site Publisher by Helexis Software

I use this program to use my old Front Page on a server without any extra extensions and / or most server don't allow these extensions anymore  !
I now use Microsoft Expressions Web 4 (free) that took my entire old Front Page site with no problem.
If you are not doing real fancy stuff and don't want to start from scratch, this may be the solution.
If you were using Office to make your website, this program would work as they removed that part in Office 2010 +

You DO NOT have to turn off the extensions... they take care of moving folders, renaming files or folders ! !  I do rename and move files and folders every so often, real life saver for me.


Warning, as of June22, 2017 Site Publisher DOES work with SFTP sites ( !
See below to find out how to easily fix it (server name change).

Site Publisher by Helexis Software will do what Front Page used to do, allow an easy to use program to make a web site.

FIRST: This not CPanel "site publisher" where you login and change your web site by remote.  This is a installed (paid, but under $50 and dirt cheap then weeks redoing your site) PC program with a similar name to change the web site you have on your HD.  This PC product looks on your HD at the site files, sees what is on the server, and sends up new or changed files.  There are other options if you have newer files on the server and such.  Since you always need to work on your web site from this PC, there should be NO newer files on the server.  So the server will only have the actual files needed for the web site.  You no longer can login to the server and make changes.  Front Page is very bad at security this way.  So you are removing the ability to login from anywhere and making changes.  Most servers do not allow FP/Expressions 4 anymore.  So this allows you keep your site, just move all editing to a PC.  I have 52,000 files and Helexis Software has been working fine for 10 year.  On the other hand, if you are going to add sales and shopping carts, FP / Expressions is no place for that kind of web site.   There are fancy templates available, but you are stuck in 2008 !

So, your original web site must now be on a PC's HD, not on the server.  This is how this works.  It sends a copy to the server.  If this program and the web site files are on a laptop, as long as you have internet access you can change the site where ever the laptop is located.  If your website is on a home PC, then only that PC can be used to update and have those files changed.  The problem is, Expressions Web 4 still uses the hundreds (or thousands) of "management" files.  These are the \_vti_cnf and \_vti_pvf files found in each folder or your entire website is on the server and you use FP to change them on the server.  This program works off your PC's HD and sends a copy up to the server.   In the settings of the Site Publisher program, you can add these files to an exclusion list, of files you DO NOT WANT TO SENT UP.   You many need to add other exclusions as the site will look at files on the server that are not on you HD such as \cgi or \logs and ask to delete them.  When you first run Site Publisher, it will ask to delete files not on your PC, just skip them.  Write down just the folder names from the server it wants to delete, say NO to delete them, then add the folder name to your exclusion list.  These may be your E-mail files, search folders, error folders... whatever.  Just don't delete anything from the server.  That can mess up things.  Just add the folder names to the exclusion list.  You only need to add a folder name to the exclusion list, not every file.  If you exclude a folder name \_vit_cnf  ALL the folders in your site are excluded !  So your exclusion list is really not that long.  I did have \_VTI_CNF in caps.. just to make sure.. Lynux is weird at times.

If you have Front Page setup on your server, you will need these files, so download your site to a PC folder you created (include hidden folders \_vti_cnf etc).  It will most likely copy all the extension files.  You will need them on your HD to run FP/Expressions 4.  As I said these just allow you to rename files/folders and have the program automatically fix links.
The first time you run Site Publisher, when the exclusions are added, it will remove all of them from the server automatically (setting on Site Publisher is set to delete files not on HD from server) then maybe not - you must delete all files from a server folder before Site Publisher will delete the folder.  You may have to use a standard FTP program or your server's Control Panel to clean up certain files.  Sometimes Folders inside Folders are a problem getting deleted.  You may have to manually delete them.  A large site will contain hundreds to thousands of these vit_cnf files and folders, but this is a one-time cleanup.
Your site may have many more of these files, watch your upload list, you can pause it while you write them down.  Then Cancel it, add the exclusions, then try again.

IF you have folders ON YOUR WEBSITE that you don't have on your PC, Site Publisher will try to delete them.  These folders could be the error messages (that you can change) or stats or E-mail folders.  Just exclude them !  Never delete files or folders on the server unless you know what you are doing.  I would not choose the option of ignoring files/folders on the server that is not on your PC.  That's how hacks create a folder and run scams from your server.  If the files/folder are not on your ignore list, you will be informed of strange files and you can inventigate.

SECOND: Site Publisher needs the standard web site name and login password.  It can be setup like a FTP program.  Your upload directory must be the main HTML folder.  You can add as many "profiles" as you like and update them at any time, they can also go to a individual folder.  I have one "profile" per web site.  The bad part is FP or Expressions 4 will try to update all your files including the hidden \_vti_cnf  files per folder, where as Site Publisher can be set to exclude them.  These file are needed on your HD as you can move files and folders and Expressions 4 will change the link when needed.  But a standard FTP program will only send up folders or files you highlight (including _vti_cnf files, this program will check the files on your HD, then check the server and sent up ONLY NEW files  or remove files you deleted on the HD.  If you move or delete files or folder, this program will make all the necessary changes.  So whatever is on your HD as a site, is duplicated on the server.  Site Publisher can also Cache the server directory.  I have 54K files and it would take 10 -20 min to check all those files on the server each time.  Site Publisher will create a Cache file of the server files on your PC.  So it only takes 15-30 seconds to check the HD then the server Cache and then start sending up new / or deleting files.  Any new files that are copied to the server are added to the Cache files for the next time.  So that Server Cache is up to date, you only have to do it once. I have it set to always require a conformation to delete files.

I have been using Site Publisher for a number of  year.  I have a simple HTML site, nothing that fancy.  I just happen to have thousands of links.  No way I am going to Text editing or HTML editing.  These are the tricks I have found out over the years.  I do believe daylight savings time changes is done automatically now.  You may have to run the "check server" to match the times of the PC and server files again (click on the Cache to turn it off, run a check, when it starts checking the SERVER, click on the Cache again).  I have had individual profiles or the entire site go bad in the program.  Once or twice a year, nothing bad. 
How to fix a "directory error"

You can basically copy the PROFILE directory (users - xxx- AppData - Roaming - Helexis - Site Publisher - Profiles)     Copy the Profiles folder and put it somewhere safe.  You can replace the entire Profile folder or individual file (website) if something goes crazy.   When you do an update with the replaced file/folder, it will check the old server copy and will upload the files (again) that may have been added since you made the last copy of the Cache.  Any new files are added to the Cache files for the next time.  So that Server Cache is up to date.  IF you have added folders, Site Publisher will always try to add them again... it can't, so every time you sync they will pop up again.  You can leave it that way or delete the sync and wait until it checks the web site, then "click" the sync icon again.  It will then remember everything.   You make the copy so you don't have to add in all the files/folders in the IGNORE folder you don't want the program to touch and the login and passwords.

So if you copied the Cache file three months ago, and you made many changes over those month, it will simple copy those files again.  This is better then remembering all the login information and file exceptions if you have multiple sites.

Initial Setup and repair if your site goes SFTP (Secure FPT)

Fill in the host name (SFTP - they will give you a specific server name.. use that or it will not work) server and the password, then at the bottom press OK.  Open up the Profile again and you will see more options. You will see folders to sync and inclusion / exclusion.  You can type in the \_vti_cnf by clicking EDIT on the right side.  DO NOT LEAVE AN EMPTY FILE THERE.  The program will take that as "do nothing".  Put something there, highlite it, then delete it.  Should you have capital \_VTI_CNF files on your HD file, you need to add them in the same case.   I add both _vti_cnf and \_vit_cnf to the exclusions as the second one covers all subdirectories.  Depending on your server your site is on, other folders/files will show up.  Just say "do not delete" after you write the folder name down, then add them to your exclusion list.  Run an update again, it will HAVE TO check the server again.  Any changes to that part of the system makes it check the server cache from scratch.

Lastly:  Program do go nuts - Protect yourself.  If you only have a login and password and everything else is standard.  You don't have to do this. 
IF you are using Frontpage or Expressions 4, then you have your Site Publisher programmed with all kinds of "exceptions" rules and files you do not want to delete on your website that helps your website run (error messages, mail folders).  Site Publisher will try to remove them if you don't exclude them.   SOOO make a copy of your Profiles on your PC.  In your (hidden folder - unhide them in Windows) go to APP DATA - ROAMING,  Helexis, Site Publisher.  Copy the Profiles folder. The CREATE a folder to keep them by makes a folder by date and putting that "profile" folder there.  That way you have a few spares. 

NOW, the problem is if you created or deleted folders or files, it will confuse Site Publisher with this old file.  See if it runs without errors.  If it does, good.   If not, delete the sync folder (just click on it) run the check and when it starts to check "remote site", click the Sync folder and it will make a new sync copy (profile).  Then copy that "Profile" folder again.  I have thousands of files and it takes 30+ min to sync.  Sometimes you get a "can't find folder" error on a profile, something when wrong.  It doesn't happen a lot, but this saves 20 min of setting up the correct profile again.  Just re-run the sync.. your good to go again.

FREEDOM:  Once your site is on your PC's HD, and use Site Publisher, you can move to any server !  Since you don't have to worry about FP extension, it's just a basic web site.  You only have to know the directory of the home folders, they change depending on the site.  They will send you this information.