iWeb FAQ - Two computers



How do I edit one website from two computers? What about using Dropbox for that?

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To edit one website from two different computers you have to transfer the file where iWeb stores its files. 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

To get the site showing up in iWeb just open the Domain.sites file by dragging it into iWebDrop while iWeb is closed 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.

To transfer your domain.sites2 file from one mac to the other you can put it on a USB-Stick, on a CD/DVD or if you can do that by establishing a network and have the two computers communicating with each other.

If you edited your website on computer A and want to edit it on computer B transfer the file from A to B as mentioned before. If you now want to edit your site on computer A, after you edited it on computer B, you will have to retransfer the domain.sites2 file from B to A.

Caution: Be sure not to overwrite the newer with the older file!

NOTE 1: Note that in either cases 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 you don’t change permissions you will find an error while publishing and saving.

You better make a backup of the file mentioned above from time to time, how do I make a backup?

Using a USB Stick

If you put the Domain file on a USB-Stick (USB flash drive) all you have to do is plug the usb stick in one of the computers and drag the Domain file on the USB flash drive (without moving it to the computer!) into iWebDrop with the iWeb application closed. It will open in iWeb and save changes to the USB stick, plug it into the second computer and same thing. You could publish a site from both the computers without missing data and without fearing of overwriting the older with the newer file.

Using DropBox

If you like techy stuff you can also use DropBox to edit your site from multiple computers.

DropBox adds a folder on your computer and everything you put into this folder is instantly uploaded to DropBox's servers as a backup. This can also be used to synchronize some data between multiple computers. As soon as you update a file in the folder the copy on the server is updated too. If you have two computers (or more) and use DropBox on both computers as soon as DropBox sees that there's a newer file on the server because you edited it from the other computer it downloads the newer file to your current computer for you to always have the newest version of it (cloud).

1. Go to www.dropbox.com and make an account (2GB of storage are free)

2. Go to the bottom of the page and hit Install to download the DropBox application

3. Open the application and enter your login data. Under Choose setup type I did choose Advanced for me to choose where the DropBox folder is placed (I did choose to have it on my Desktop)

"I want this computer to sync all of the folders in my Dropbox"

As an aside note it is especially worth mentioning that by ctrl+clicking on a folder inside the DropBox folder you can choose to Dropbox=>Share This Folder... with friends and family or colleagues. And you can also access any file through www.dropbox.com and download it in case you need to do so.

4. That's it. Put anything you want to sync between your computers into the Dropbox folder. In case of iWeb put the site's Domain file inside the Dropbox folder for it to sync between your computers.

5. If you install Dropbox on another computer and have it logging in with your account Dropbox will automatically first sync the Dropbox folder on the current computer for you to have the latest documents on the current computer and for it to like the folder on the other computer.

Caution 1: Your computer has to have an internet connection for DropBox to update the files

Caution 2: If multiple people manage the same site from different computers at the same time this can cause problems (like your changes being applied while the other people's changes not or vice versa or corrupting the Domain file).

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

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