iWeb FAQ - Publishing and Hosting

iWebFAQ.org

 

How can I publish my site? How do I publish to a folder? What is an FTP client? Why do I need it? And how does it work? Which hosting is the best?

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This page is written for iWeb 3 (’09). For Publishing to a  folder in iWeb ’06/’08  go to File=>Publish to a folder and read Chapters 2.1, 2.4, 2.6 (2.7) of this page.





Chapter 1: Notes about publishing to a server other than MobileMe

Chapter 2: How to publish to a server from iWeb using iWeb’s integrated FTP

Chapter 3: How to publish to a folder and why

Chapter 4: How does an FTP application work (basic)

Chapter 5: Why you need an FTP client even if you publish to your server from iWeb itself

Chapter 6: How can I avoid uploading the whole site (which is really time consuming) each time I publish to a folder?

Chapter 7: Which hosting is the best? And what server should I use?




MobileMe was discontinued on June 30th, 2012. See here for more details. If you're currently hosting your website on MobileMe you will have to move it to a hosting other than MobileMe by this date. Have a look at Chapter 7 of this page for suggestions on which hosting to use instead.




Chapter 1: Notes about publishing to a server other than MobileMe


Publishing your website to a server other than MobileMe (which was discontinued in June 2012) some iWeb features will not work. Among the features which don’t work are:


- Hit counter

- Password protection

- Search feature in Blogs

- Comments and attachments

- RSS feeds (unless you specify the url when publishing)


For most or all the MobileMe-only features you will find a working alternative in this E-book and on my iWeb FAQ website which work when not publishing to MobileMe and also when publishing to MobileMe and which are much more reliable.


Chapter 2: How to publish to a server from iWeb using iWeb’s integrated FTP


In iWeb select the site you would like to publish from the left menu




and you will see the following window:




Publish to: Choose “FTP Server”

Site name:

Contact email: (if you want, I don’t)


Server address: usually it is ftp.yourdomain.com (where yourdomain.com stands for the domain you choose when you signup, note the ftp. in front of it)

User name: the one you choose when you signup

Password: the one you choose when you signup

Directory/Path: that’s a little tricky. For most servers it is just a simple “/” (as on the image above). Other servers have a folder named “public_php” where you should upload the files to, in this case write “/public_php/”. On my server there’s a folder with my domain so I need to write “/iwebfaq.org/”  in there.

Protocol: FTP


Website URL: type in your URL as on the image above.


Click “Publish Site” at the bottom left or go to File and choose “Publish Site Changes” or “Publish Entire Site”.


Chapter 3: How to publish to a folder and why


In iWeb select the site you would like to publish from the left menu




and you will see the following window:




Publish to: Choose “Local Folder”

Site name:

Contact email: (if you want, I don’t)


Location: Hit “Choose...” and choose where you want to publish to on your computer.


Website URL: type in your URL as on the image above.


Click “Publish Site” at the bottom left or go to File and choose “Publish Site Changes” or “Publish Entire Site”.


Even if iLife ’09 allows to upload the website via FTP in iWeb itself I still prefer to publish toa  folder and upload via Cyberduck (FTP application). The main reason for that is editing the HTML source code. Since I hate HTML Snippets I add HTML codes post- (after) publishing (see Alternative HTML). That’s not possible publishing directly from iWeb to the server. Also HTML Snippets don’t work for some codes.


Chapter 4: How does an FTP application work (basic)


An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) is used to put files from your computer to a server on the web (upload) or get files from your server to your computer (download).


First thing to do is, of course, choose and download an FTP application. Have a look at the Useful Applications FAQ for this.


I will use Cyberduck for the example here. Cyberduck is Freeware (or Donationware), it is pretty good, really easy to use and the one I like the most...


First thing I have to do when I launch the application for the first time is configure it to allow it to access the server and retrieve/send data.


I click on Open Connection




and get a dialog window like this one:




In the FAQ’s and/or Support section at my hosting I am told what I have to insert in those fields

What the server is, what the username is to access and of course my password.

I check the Add to Keychain box (so I don’t have to insert the data each time) and click Connect.


It now is ready to connect to my server and retrieves the data from it. It displays the files that are on my server in the main window




To make things easier Bookmark the location you upload your files to in Cyberduck.


Click on
then Click on “+” at the bottom of the Bookmarks to add a Bookmark.


Next time you use Cyberduck simply go to




click on the downward flash at the right and a drop down menu will appear from which you choose the bookmarked location on your server to connect to it.


To upload a file go to the File menu and choose Upload, choose the files to be uploaded (index.html + Folder having the same name I named my site in iWeb) or drag&drop them from the finder into the main field.


When the upload starts a window will popup displaying upload progress




and that’s it...


To delete files select them in the main window, hit ctrl+click and choose Delete.


Chapter 5: Why you need an FTP client even if you publish to your server from iWeb itself


The iWeb integrated FTP is an upload-only FTP. When you publish you site, then change it and republish there may be some files on the server that aren’t used anymore (example: you have an image on a page, publish, decide that the image doesn’t fit, remove it, publish again, the image is still on the server). To delete those obsolete files you need an FTP application.


You also need an FTP application to upload files that are part of the website but not in iWeb (example: a Flash slideshow, music, images, ...).


Chapter 6: How can I avoid uploading the whole site (which is really time consuming) each time I publish to a folder?


Here are two things you could do:


1) Using Cyberduck. This is the one I like the most and always use publishing my websites. Please note that this works only up until v.3.3 unfortunately it doesn’t work with v. 3.3.1 and newer.


Cyberduck looks for the date a file was modified last and the size of the file. If the size of a file equals the size of a file on the server this file will not be uploaded.


All you have to do is Synchronise using Upload. And here’s how it goes:


Open Cyberduck and insert the data to connect to the server as explained in Chapter 1.

Go to your Bookmarks and select the server you want to use.

Go to Action




and choose Synchronize




Now you will have to choose the folder to synchronise with, thus the folder you publish to from iWeb (The folder containing the index.html file and the folder named with the name of your site).


A popup window will display. There choose Upload.





Click Continue.


Cyberduck now compares the files on your computer and on your server and uploads only the files that changed since the last time you published.


From time to time delete all files from the server and re-upload the whole website to delete obsolete files from the server (files that aren’t used anymore). I do that once every 4 month, about three times an year.



2) Manually select the files you want to be uploaded. Say you change something in the index file, you can go to your ftp client select the index file and then upload only the index file and the folder that contains the documents (like pictures) used in the index file or whatever file you upload.


If you add pages that do not appear in the nav bar, means that on a page you have links to that pages, in your ftp client you can select the pages you added and the page you inserted the links to those pages and upload only those.


It doesn't make it all that complicated if you change the navbar and now want to upload the files you added to the navbar.

You should just remember to upload


The Scripts folder

sitename/Scripts/


and the feed.xml

sitename/feed.xml


too.


It worked for me and as you can see it's not complicated at all. Scripts and feed.xml are not huge files less then 500KB together so it will not take you a lot of time to upload them.



I like 1) the most.


Chapter 7: Which hosting is the best? And what server should I use?


Basically all hostings are iWeb-compatible. If you can choose what server to use to host your site choose a Linux server.


There are a lot of free hostings to be found on the web. I tried about ten or fifteen of them but I really wasn’t satisfied by any of them. I found them to be pretty unstable, sometimes even signing up for an account was a hassle and the support was poor. I’m glad I switched to a paid one...


The only problem is that there’s a jungle of hostings out there. As always in a jungle there are good hostings and there are bad hostings. The good hostings care about their customers, the bad ones don’t. It’s pretty difficult to know which hosting is good and which one is bad. Unless you know someone who has a website and ask him whether he’s happy with the service his hosting company provides or not.


If you’re looking for a good hosting I would really recommend you to use HostGator since I’m using it for my own websites. It’s working great and their customer support is great too. They are definitely on the good side of the jungle. Also I think it’s really easy to use.




HostGator currently offers the following hosting packages: Hatchling, Baby, Business, VPS.


Hatchling Plan


Recommended for:


People who plan to build only ONE website.


Specifications:


- Toll free support

- Unlimited space

- Unlimited monthly datatransfer

- Unlimited MySQL

- 1 Domain allowed



and more...



Signup for 3.96$/month

Baby Plan


Recommended for:


People who plan to build multiple websites.


Specifications:


- Toll free support

- Unlimited space

- Unlimited monthly datatransfer

- Unlimited MySQL

- Unlimited domains allowed



and more...



Signup for 6.36$/month

Business Plan


Recommended for:


People who plan to build multiple websites.


Specifications:


- Toll free support

- Unlimited space

- Unlimited monthly datatransfer

- Unlimited MySQL

- Unlimited domains allowed

- 1 dedicated IP address


and more...



Signup for 10.36$/month


All plans offer toll free customer support by Chat, Phone, Ticket and Forum.


Hatchling allows only one domain so it's only for people who want to build only one website. Baby allows unlimited domains hence unlimited websites. The Business Plan adds a dedicated IP address. A dedicated IP ensures faster response during periods of high traffic load and may also improve your website's ranking on search engines.


If you decide to use HostGator I would not recommend you to use the Hatchling plan unless you want to build only one website since otherwise it's way too limited. I would recommend you to at least use the Baby plan but better use the Business plan (which is the one I use). Of course you can upgrade your plan at any time.


If you plan having a lot of different websites or a website with a lot of traffic then you may want to have a look at VPS which offers more resources.


When you signup you can either choose a new domain or provide a domain you already own. You will also have to choose a username and a password. If you signup with an existing domain make sure to change the DNS Servers with the ones you will be provided by HostGator at your current registrar.


You will find a short review I wrote about HostGator as well as some basic instructions and FAQs on how to use HostGator on this page.





Other Hostings:





www.hostexcellence.com


In comparison to HostGator HostExcellence doesn't offer a Forum for support and I find CPU usage on HostExcellence to be pretty limited. CPU is particularly important when having WordPress Blogs or PhpBB Forums. I used HostExcellence myself but am not using it anymore.


You will find a short review I wrote about HostExcellence as well as some basic instructions and FAQs on how to use HostExcellence on this page.






www.bluehost.com


I didn’t try it myself.





www.dreamhost.com


Compared to HostGator DreamHost doesn't offer customer support by Phone nor does it offer Live Chat. I'm really not a friend of the phone and use it as seldom as possible but I'm happy to know I actually have the possibility to call HostGator if I need to. I didn’t try it myself.





www.godaddy.com


An often used hosting is GoDaddy. While GoDaddy is great for Personal Domain registrations it doesn’t seem to be as good for hosting too. A lot of users complain about the poor customer support provided for GoDaddy’s hosting. I didn’t try it myself.




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


iWebFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with iWeb and for iWeb.

It’s an EBookStoreToday.com company. It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.


Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,

- Cédric -


 

 

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