I'm pretty new to webhosting, and want to make sure I understand something before making a host selection. Is there a difference between a content management system and tools like SiteStudio and FrontPage? Ideally, I'd like to find a way to transfer the site from one host to another without having to rebuild it using a tool like SiteStudio, and then use some sort of content management system to maintain it.
Well frontpage might be a pretty hopeless alternative to golive and dreamweaver, but I dont think it is fair to say it can only do single pages. Certianly the laterst version is meant to be rather good now, as opposed to older versions which were awful.
However, the question on CMS systems is that really none are compatible with offline web creation software. Many will allow the insertion of html pages, but not entire website structures.
A good CMS allows you to create an entire website online, with no offline coding required. Some give you virtually nothing to begin with (phpwcms for example) and you build your structure and content from that basis with quite a bit of design freedom. Others give you everything but the kitchen sink (like postnuke for example) and you have to work withing a greater confine of layout and blocks - but heaps of extras available and templates.
Really depends on what your application will be for the website you are designing. the one thing they all have in common is the easy (once it is setup) administration of content from any web browser. Offline packages such as frontpage allow easy updating of websites, but it all has to be handcoded from scratch and it has to be done offline with special software.
Macromedia contribute may be another alternative for you though.