iWeb FAQ - Having and managing multiple websites

iWebFAQ.org

 

How can I have multiple websites? And how can I publish just one of them instead of all of them or none of them?

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To better explain this topic I will use my iwebfaq.org website as an example. Before we start I would like to give you two definitions:


- Domain file (in the text also Domain): equals where iWeb stores its files on your computer (for more info refer to the Backup and retrieve FAQ)

- domain (in the text also domain name): equals www.yourdomain.com hence your web address


Unfortunately Apple did choose Domain as the name for the package where iWeb’s informations are stored on your computer which at times is quite misleading and people may not always know if I’m talking about the Domain file or the yourdomain.com domain. For informations about yourdomain.com domains have a look at this page.



1 Managing and editing multiple websites

2 How to create a new empty Domain file

3 How to split a Domain file into two or merge two Domain files into one

4 Publishing multiple websites to the same domain

5 Publishing multiple websites to different domains


Remember to always have a Backup of all Domain files. It's REALLY important to have Backups!




1 Managing and editing multiple websites


To me each website should have its own domain under which you publish it to and the domain should in some way represent the content of the website with a keyword in it. My iwebfaq.org website perhaps has the keyword “iWeb” and is about iWeb. Often searching on Google the “iWeb” of the domain is used as a keyword for search results. If my website was about music-recording the domain should contain “music” or “recording” but not “iWeb”.


iWeb ’09 allows you to have multiple websites showing up at the same time in iWeb. You can publish them one at a time and to different locations or servers if you want. However to manage your websites on your computer I found it to be useful to have a Domain file (where iWeb stores its files) for each domain name hence for each website. To me doing so allows you to better group informations, it is cleaner and easier to manage than having all the websites in one Domain file. I would really recommend it to you. Read the next sub-chapter to know how you get another Domain file.


What I have is two Domain files (I renamed them with the web address of the website they contain)




When I drag a Domain file into iWebDrop while iWeb application is closed iWeb opens and displays the website which is in the Domain file I dragged into iWebDrop.


Each of my websites is built out of multiple sites...


iwebfaq.org (the first Domain file) for instance is made of




which show up at the same time in iWeb. I think that’s pretty good not only for multilingual websites as in my case but also if you have a website about various topics.


The only thing you have to take into account when publishing multiple sites to the same location (whether it is on your computer or on a server) is the index.html file. As you can see the result of the publishing process is an index.html file and a folder with the name of the site. The index.html file is the one which redirects people to the first page of your website when entering your domain in a browser. When you publish a site through File=>Publish Entire Site or publish a site for the first time the index.html file which already existed in that location will get replaced with the new one. Thus people would be redirected to a new first page.


To solve that either decide which site the domain has to take people to and make sure that the right index.html file is uploaded to the server redirecting people to that site or add a same page at the top of the page-list of each of your sites on which people can choose where to go to. Since the page would be the same on all sites it wouldn’t matter which index.html is uploaded. Also remember to link the various sites to each other.


This is how I publish my websites...


On my Desktop I have a folder called “iWeb websites”. Inside it there is a folder for each of my websites named after the appropriate domain (example: iwebfaq.org) going with it. I publish all sites of a website into that folder. I uploaded to my server the index.html file which gets created when I publish the /site/ site since that’s where I want people to get redirected to when they enter my domain. I then synchronize only the content of the site folders when updating my sites (as described in How to avoid uploading each time the whole website when publishing to a folder). This way the index.html does never get changed and people are always redirected to the same site when typing in my domain in their browser.


If I want to edit another website I simply drag the Domain file of the other website into iWebDrop for iWeb to open the other website for me to edit it.


2 How to create a new empty Domain file


To create a new Domain file for a second website close iWeb and drag your current Domain file out of its current location (read the Backup and retrieve FAQ if you don’t know how to find it). Open iWeb and you will see a new blank project. Save and that’s it. You now have two Domain files on your computer which are completely independent from each other. You can now move the new Domain file and the other Domain file to any location. Of course you can rename the Domain file with whatever you want. I usually rename them with the appropriate domain of the website they contain. If you want to edit a website just drag the appropriate Domain file containing the website you want to edit into iWebDrop.


3 How to split a Domain file into two or merge two Domain files into one


Maybe you already built two websites in one Domain file and you now think it would be better to have them in separate Domain files or you have two sites which are part of the same website but are in a Domain file each and you now want to have them in a single Domain file. There are two ways to achieve what you want: either manually or automatically.


To split a Domain file manually. Duplicate the Domain file. Open iWeb by dragging a Domain file into iWebDrop. Delete one of the displaying sites. Close iWeb. Drag the other Domain file into iWebDrop and delete the other site displaying. You now end up having two Domain files with one site each.


To split a domain automatically. Go to Mistergregg.com and Download iWebSites. Put the Domain file into the User/Library/Application Support/iWeb/ folder. Open up iWebSites. You will see your sites on a list. Select the Domain you want to split and hit “Duplicate”. It will now build a copy of that Domain file. Now go to iWeb and on one Domain file delete one site and on the other Domain file delete the other site.

Note: For the application to work with iWeb ’08 or ’09 Domain files you need to File and select “Upgrade files for iWeb ’08” first.


To merge two Domain files manually. Open the two Domain files in separate iWebs (read the “Having two iWebs” chapter) and copy and paste between the two to have both websites in one Domain.


To merge two Domain files automatically. Go to Mistergregg.com and Download iWebSites. Put the two Domain files into the same User/Library/Application Support/iWeb/ folder. Open up iWebSites. You will see your sites on a list. Select both sites and hit "Merge". It will now build a new Domain file containing both sites.

Note: For the application to work with iWeb ’08 or ’09 Domain files you need to File and select “Upgrade files for iWeb ’08” first.


4 Publishing multiple websites to the same domain


All you need to take care of is the problem about the index.html file discussed towards the end of “Managing and editing multiple websites”.


5 Publishing multiple websites to different domains


Setup the appropriate parameters in the publishing settings for each site to be published to the right domain.


If the websites are made out of multiple sites all you need to take care of is the problem about the index.html file discussed towards the end of “Managing and editing multiple websites”.




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


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