Freeway layouts are not HTML. This is an important point to remember. Like InDesign and QuarkXPress layouts, they are built in a layout model that is far richer and more flexible than the final output media can achieve - and this is what makes it a good design tool. Make a layout, and when you preview it Freeway generates the code required to recreate your design in HTML form. Go back and adjust one thing on that page and preview again, and Freeway throws out all the code it just made and generates new, optimised output from scratch.
Uploading is normally best done from within Freeway rather than with a separate FTP client application. This lets Freeway handle keeping the contents of your web server current; as well as uploading new content, it will remove pages and files that are no longer in use, things you’ve deleted from your Freeway document. This meas you can focus on managing your site from the single Freeway document, using the Site panel on the left of the window, and leave the grunt work to the software.
So what’s the difference between previewing, publishing and uploading? These are all related things, but they do have different roles. Most of the time, as you work, you’ll use the Preview options to see how things work both in terms of precise rendering in a browser and in terms of the interactivity of rollovers, links, menus and so on.
When you use Freeway’s built-in preview feature, just the page you’re working on is generated and you’re shown that within Freeway.
When you preview in a browser all the altered pages in the entire site are rebuilt, and the page you’re on in Freeway is shown to you in a browser.
When you publish, all your altered pages are regenerated, but nothing is shown to you in a browser.
When you use Freeway’s Upload feature, your site is published (see above) and then Freeway handles uploading new content and clearing out the old files.
Oh, and those ‘browser hack’ things that web programmers research, fine-tune and put into their pages to get different things to work properly in rogue browsers such as Internet Explorer? They’re included automatically as required, even the ‘PNG Fix’ that forces sophisticated transparency to render properly in Microsoft’s poor excuse for a web browser. Life is good, so get on with designing.