iWeb FAQ - Backup and retrieve a website

iWebFAQ.org

 

How can I make a backup of my iWeb website? How can I retrieve my website?

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Important warning:

It is strongly recommended to periodically make a backup of your iWeb files. If you don’t do it you may lose hours and hours of work.



Chapter 1: How can I make a backup of my iWeb created website?

1.1 Manually backup

1.2 Scheduled auto-backup (strongly recommended)


Chapter 2: I lost my website, it doesn’t show up in iWeb anymore. How can I retrieve my website?

2.1 Using Time Machine

2.2 If you used MultiSites

2.3 I have the html files of my website same as I see them when visiting my page on the internet with a browser. Is there any way I can get my webpage back to iWeb?



Chapter 1: How can I make a backup of my iWeb created website?


First you need to find the file where iWeb stores its informations. iWeb stores its informations in a file (or package) called Domain.sites2 (by default but can be changed). Note that the extension .sites (iWeb 1.0) or .sites2 (iWeb  2.0 and 3.0) may be hidden, hence it could also be called Domain only.


To find a Domain file it's best to use a freeware application called Find File since Spotlight doesn't search everywhere. Once you downloaded and installed the application type ".sites" (without quotes) into the search field of Find File and it will list all the Domain files of all iWeb versions on your computer.


To see if a Domain file is iWeb ’06 or iWeb ’08/’09 select the file press Command(Apple)+i under "Name & Extension" you will find that it is .sites or .sites2.


Once you did a backup and want to restore (get the pages from the backup back to iWeb) you just have to open the file by dragging it into iWebDrop while iWeb application is closed. Note that the location where the file is placed doesn’t matter.



NOTE 1: Note that you have to change permissions of the Domain file to be able to edit, save changes and publish a website from another user account and from another computer as well.

Select Domain file press Command(Apple)+i under Ownership & Permissions go to =>Details =>Everyone (or Others) and select Read & Write

You have to do that in the original user account and computer in which the Domain file was created.

If your computer goes nuts and you didn’t change permissions you will find an error while publishing and saving.


NOTE 2: Beware of replacing the newer Domain file with the older when backing up to an external HD, USB Stick or other things like that


NOTE 3: About copying/moving:


..From Finder's Help viewer: "If you drag the files or folders to a different disk, or if you drag them from a locked folder or disk, they will be copied, not moved."


Since Apple's document recommends: "Some sort of external storage where you can access your Domain file (a folder on your Dropbox, your iPod or other external hard drive, etc)" ..."moving" your Domain file to external storage implies "copying".



Now there are different ways to backup a Website created with iWeb. Here are some of them:


1.1 Manually backup


Copy the above mentioned file to:


  1. An external HD

  2. Burn it on a CD/DVD

  3. Put it on a USB Stick


1.2 Scheduled auto-backup (strongly recommended)


Mac OS X Leopard and later do it all by themselves if Time Machine is enabled.

Also have a look at Dropbox.



CHAPTER 2: I lost my website, it doesn’t show up in iWeb anymore. How can I retrieve my website?


The only way to get iWeb pages back to iWeb and edit those pages is to have the Domain.sites2 file where iWeb stores its files. To find that file go to

Macintosh HD/Users/Your username/Library/Application Support/iWeb/Domain.sites2

If you can’t find it here search for it with spotlight. Note that the extension .sites (iWeb 1.0) or .sites2 (iWeb  2.0 and 3.0) may be hidden, also search for Domain only. To see if a Domain file is iWeb ’06 or iWeb ’08/’09 select the file press Command(Apple)+i under "Name & Extension" you will find that it is .sites or .sites2.


To get the site showing up in iWeb just open the Domain.sites file by double clicking on it and your sites and pages will show up on the left side in the iWeb page browser. Note that the location, where you put the file, doesn’t matter.


2.1 Using TimeMachine


If you have TimeMachine turned on then you will be able to retrieve the Domain file going to the default location on your computer


Macintosh HD/Users/Your username/Library/Application Support/iWeb/


Go to your Dock and hit the TimeMachine icon. Search in your backup history for the domain file.


When you found the domain file select it and hit “Restore”.


2.2 If you used MultiSites:


Multisite for iWeb stores all of its sites in your home folder’s Documents folder in a single package called “Multisite for iWeb Data.mfi.”


Inside the package there is a folder called “sites” and within that is a folder with the name of each site you have managed. In each of those folders is a single “Domain.sites” file that iWeb uses when it’s editing that site.

You need to locate the "package", right click or ctrl+click it and choose "show package contents". From there you should be able to find your domain file.


If there are multiple domain files for your site then merge them into one domain file using iWebSites

or keep them separated and you just have to double-click the one containing the site you want to edit


2.3 I have the html files of my website same as I see them when visiting my page on the internet with a browser. Is there any way I can get my webpage back to iWeb?


iWeb can't "import" html files.


If you don’t have the above mentioned domain file anymore and did not make a Backup of it but the website is still online then that’s what you should do:


1. You have to rebuild the website from scratch in iWeb re-creating each page


2. Use the published version on the server to copy&paste the content from it so you don’t have to re-type it in all over again. This makes the process of rebuilding the site from scratch really fast.


3. You shouldn’t do that by selecting all and then paste it into iWeb, it’s gonna be a mess. The best way to do it is text field by text field.


4. Images go by Drag&Drop. However the images on the published version aren’t full-resolution images. So if you still have the original image (full resolution) you better use this one. Especially if someday you want to increase the size of the image you will see that the one you took by Drag&Drop from the published site is poor quality.


5. Take advantage of the situation to re-organize your website and re-elaborate/modify it.


I'm sorry there is no better answer... But at least you don't have to type the text of your webpage all over again... And it's quite quick to do copy&paste (Believe me! I once did it for 300 pages!).




This FAQ is also discussed in my iWebFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


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