Porting a ColdFusion site over to plian HTML

We have a potential client who’s unhappy with the way his current web host/designer is treating him (that co. was bought out by a soulless and disinterested mega-hosting service, which won’t even acknowledge his existence, much less do web design work).

So we said we might be able to take over his site (and site maintenance … and potentially some print design work … etc.). The only problem: it’s in ColdFusion, which is not our preferred server-side language (we use ASP). But the site itself, though kind of large (page-count-wise) is not terribly dynamic. It looks mostly like the ColdFusion is being used in a template fashion and to operate an events calendar.

What would the site lose if we just copied the HTML output/image files and set everything up again as HTML, rather than CFM?

(Our other option is to buy and learn ColdFusion, which I do not relish.)

I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall that ColdFusion was free to download… it’s the developer tools that aren’t free…

If I’m not mistaken, CFM is pretty much the same as ASP in practice. You can have a whole Web site of .asp pages and not one lick of dynamic ASP code in there - just pure HTML. As with ASP I would venture to guess you will see zero actual CFM code on the resulting page in the browser, only the HTML.

Have you had a chance to view the actual files to see how much ColdFusion is doing? Is it just serving up templates which can be copied into ASP and made into Includes?

How long would it take you to view & copy the source to HTML and put the site in a development area to see what it looks like as plain HTML pages?

However, I think dre2xl is right about CFM being a free thing to set up on your server. If you’re going to become this guy’s host, it wouldn’t hurt to look into getting it set up as-is on your server in CFM and then presenting the guy with a scope to re-design the entire site from the ground up with ASP instead.

Totally doable to port a site over to plain html as long as there are no dynamic elements such as info that is read from a database or other dynamic elements that require a server side technology such as guestbooks, forums, email forms, etc.

As for the price of the cold fusion server - cold fusion is far from free:

but there are many hosts that are reasonable priced which do cold fusion hosting.

do a global search of the source code files for <CF , that is, any HTML-style tags starting with the letters cf. This is how all the coldfusion server-side commands are encoded.

Not all of them have to do with connecting to a database (though the best ones do.) Some just use repeating loops to display certain data, check the various input values available from a web surfing request, or show fancy features that regular HTML cannot (usually with the help of java applets built into coldfusion.)

Hope that little tidbit helps.

Cold Fusion is very easy to learn – way easier than doing .asp programming. Download the free trial and check it out.

That’s the fancy development tools, I think… usually the “free” barebones version is as hard as all-get-out to find, but this page has a link to the free Developer Edition: http://www.macromedia.com/software/coldfusion/

I’ve not tried it, but I’m pretty sure that I’ve read on MS that the Visual Studio .NET API is free, too, it’s just that Visual Studio .NET IDE isn’t.

Does the free developer edition actually allow you to run a website for commercial purposes, such as hosting?? I’m not that familiar with the changes in coldfusion since Macromedia took it over, and released the MX version, but it didn’t use to.

Actually I recall running a ‘developer free’ edition of coldfusion that would only accept requests from one address on the net at a time - if you wanted to reset it to switch to a new internet address you had to go in and enter your master password that allows complete reconfiguration of most of the server settings. Obviously, you can’t run a website for public interest of any sort that way - it’s only good for development and testing.

Macromedia/coldfusion does not work on microsoft’s business model, or anything like it. (I imagine they can’t afford to.)