The Life After MobileMe (Part 1) - The transition of iWeb

9/20/2012 7:13:26 PM

How to transfer your iWeb site to a new server

It sounds like ancient history, yet it is just six years ago – exactly at Macworld Expo 2006 – when Apple presented what most people called the essence of the brand’s iLife suite. iWeb, a web design tool, got along with iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand and iDVD. As the digital center’s newbie, iWeb played as a chain to connect all iLife apps into one unit. With the help of Apple’s tools for network sharing – first Mac then MobileMe – this ecosystem gave a fast and simple way to create websites which were beautiful, sophisticated and associated with iLife apps such as text, photo, album, video, music, blog and podcast. By several clicks and simple configurations, MobileMe brought your iWeb site online.

Of course, MobileMe can do more than that. It gave access based on private cloud with no ads sent to your email, contacts, online storage and photo album, beside a way to share and back-up your assets. It was a closed garden – maybe not Eden – but many Mac users have been with it for a long time.

At present, both iWeb and MobileMe are being shut down. MobileMe will have been ended on June 30th. However its users can move to an iCloud (free, new and from Apple), which provides some attributes of MobileMe. While iWeb is not going to end immediately, its death has already been sentenced – Apple didn’t supply update and remove it from Mac App Store. Though, this transitional period gave birth to a new beginning. The following instruction guides you through steps required to update your iWeb site and host it with some effective tools.

Description: The life after MobileMe

The life after MobileMe

The transition of iWeb

With the fact that Apple’s web builder was outdated, let’s carry out these steps to re-create your website at present.

It is sad but true. With the end of Apple’s MobileMe online service, it’s time to not only move your website to a different host but also get away from iWeb web builder completely. Every sight has warned an end in the future because updates for Mac OS and iWeb are no longer supplied.

During this transitional period, bear in mind that changing a design tool may not be an emergency. You shouldn’t have to make a thorough change at the moment. All you need to do, when MobileMe is closed, is saving your website into a folder then moving it to a different webhost.

However, it is time for checking other options. There are many Mac website builders to pick – they can be either offline software or online service. Finally, you have to choose one. Your choice will be based on whether you still love your current website design or you prefer a totally new one. We suggest you pursue a new one because website is always evolving. Like good publications, website should be periodically re-designed to take advantage of new technologies and enhance interest in visual and contextual aspects.

Here are some basic steps for you to start.

Select a new design tool

Your tool will be a native Mac app such as iWeb or web-based one. Most native Mac apps all provide benefits (including designs and features) familiar with OS X, local Time Machine back-ups and offline to adjust website offline. You have to pay for hosting apps/services like you did to MobileMe, Fortunately, your money that have been paid for MobileMe can be spent for a new webhost.

Web-based site builders are often free and they allow you to build and edit website with Flash-based tools in any newest browser. This means although you cannot edit your sites on an iOS device you can still watch them on iPhone/iPad in full-screen view or custom view which automatically formats the content for mobile devices. However, web-based services cannot compete with specific apps dedicated to WYSIWYG adjustment and integration with iLife.

The most vital step in choosing a new replacement for iWeb is to judge appearance and goal of the website. Does your site either store blog posts full of texts or show photo gallery? Do you use any templates from Apple or edit them too much? Answering these answers would help choosing the right tool. Besides, the simpler a website get, the easier it is to be built.

Common bloggers should consider RapidWeaver of Realmac Software ($82, available at Mac App Store, The interface inspired by iLife looks neat and robust. In addition, blog-building tools in Sandvox of Karelia Software ($82, available at Mac App Store, may not as fashionable but a variety of plugins for Twitter, Skype and IM will turn your blog into a social communication center.

Description: RapidWeaver of Realmac Software

RapidWeaver of Realmac Software

Description: Sandvox of Karelia Software

Sandvox of Karelia Software

Web-based design tools like Jimdo ( and Weebly ( also provide powerful blogging tools. Posterous Spaces (, which has recently been purchased by Twitter, does give tools creating free microsites and an iPhone app helping you set up blogs quickly.

If you prefer media galleries on Mac, you will find RapidWeaver and Snadvox very useful thanks to their integration with media librabies of iLife. Jimbo’s Dropbox integration allows you to turn a folder full of images in cloud into a photo gallery but in order to add videos into your website, you have to first upload them to a service such as YouTube then add them as HTML widget to your pages.

Designers finding way to escape from themes and templates of iWeb will appreciate Tumult’s Hype ($52, available at Mac App Store, This user-friendly tool, for making interactive HTMl5 animation without coding, let you build own website from the very start. If templates appear better fit, Weebly’s intuitive interface will help you change the website’s design and features.

Free trial versions of these tools are all available via download or web-based services and they are as free as registrations.

Choose a new webhost

Once you have used MobileMe to host your iWeb site until now, you need a new hosting package. Most packages cost less than $60 per year and depend on storage and monthly bandwidth. If you choose a Mac app for the new site, consider hosting service suggested by app developers. By this way, people supporting your software and those providing hosting service will easily get on well together.

For example, Karelia Software suggests A2 Hosting ( for Sandvox websites. Realmac Software recommends Little Oak ( for RapidWeaver.

Web-based design tools provide free hosting but include many prices depending on features. Weebly’s free package supplies unlimited storage and bandwidth but uploading is limited with data under 5MB. Pro package starts at $27.5 for 6 months and increases uploaded data’s limit to 100MB. Jimdo’s free package contains 500MB storage and unlimited bandwidth. Besides, annual package costs $90 and provides more storage starting at 5GB.

Replace features of MobileMe

Moving from iWeb to a new design tool has more meaning than just learning other ways to edit a website. Some handy iWeb features that you could count on – especially protection for password, blog and photo’s comments, blog searching and view counting – needed MobileMe hosting to work. Luckily, you can receive most of these features plus even enhanced ones by using similar opponents from your new design tool and host.

While Sandvox doesn’t offer password protection at present, 10-dollar Lockdown (, a plugin of RapidWeaver, can hide particular pages from public eyes. It requires website’s host use specific software on its server; though a free trial lets you try before buying it. Jimdo provides restricted password protection for free package when Weebly ask for money to protect your website’s password.

Sandvox has come closest to setting up a system for iWeb’s commenting photo and blog via adding more comments from Facebook, Disqus and Intense Debate into any page – it even put separate comments for every single photo of a gallery. RapidWeaver supports commenting system from Disqus but only in blog pages. Weebly and Jimdo provide similar commenting system on their pages. No tool presents iWeb’s blog searching feature though each of them can create RSS feeds that visitors can look for by a RSS reader.

Description: Sandvox of Karelia Software

Sandvox of Karelia Software

Copying iWeb’s old-styled hit counter is the easiest with Page Counter feature from Sandvox. No other tool supplies the same built-in feature yet each of them may use third-party HTML plugins to do that. Moreover, each tool can use Google Analytics to monitor visitors specifically.

Stream your iLife media

Whatever website you did create with iWeb, it certainly contained images, videos and other media that you want to transfer to the new website. How you will do this depends on the selected design tool.

If your media files are still in iWeb’s relative libraries, using a tool with iLife integration will give you fast access to them, like you did with iWeb. Without iLife integration, you need to first export file to a Finder folder then upload them manually to your website. Otherwise, you can also upload iLife media to serives such as YouTube or Flickr, and then add these files into your web pages via a HTML plugin. Share option in the menu bar of iPhoto or iMovie all manage to do this well.

Once having added media files to your iWeb from many different sources, you can move them from their original locations. However, they will be available in iWeb documents and you can enter them quickly by publishing the website to a folder on Mac. This adds an extra benefit of exporting website’s properties in an easy-to-access format in case that iWeb is malfunctioned or it is, in other words, error in future versions of OS X.

Choose your website in iWeb’s sidebar then select Local Folder in menu Site Publishing Settings’ Publish To. Select a destination and press Publish Site button. In the next folder, you will see folder named after each image gallery on website. In every gallery folder is Media folder consisting of folders for its images. An image having the highest quality will be used to name your photo file. You can search for podcast and movie file in the website’s Media folder.

Recreate your iWeb site

Recreating your iWeb site depends on the website and the tool you chose. You have to make a decision by yourself but with some general rules. The most important is that you need to build your website from scratch.

Unfortunately, there’s no way, which is similar to saving a Pages document in Word, to export website from iWeb. But if you get stuck to themes and templates of Apple, your job will be easier.

For instance, we chose to recreate a website in Sandvox which provides blog, gallery and basic document page, like iWeb. Using these pages is a quite simple process: match page’s styles with our site’s pages then fill new pages with media. Copying texts from old website and pasting them into new one took more efforts. However, we managed to finish the new website within less than 2 hours. Though, the allotted time is dependents on your website’s content but the result will be worth it.

No one is fond of recreating the website that they have been hard-working to build. Fortunately, if you ever consider recreating your website, there are available tools which are able to make your process more convenient and interesting.

Description: Mac apps, such as Rapid Weaver and Sandvox, provide familiar features.

Mac apps, such as Rapid Weaver and Sandvox, provide familiar features.

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