iWeb for Musicians

Trouble Shoot and Backup iWeb

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Tips On Using iWeb

iWeb is an easy application to build a basic website with but there are one or two things you need to know to make sure that you don’t run into trouble and lose all your precious work.

Take note of what I say here because I don’t want to have to say “I told you so” when you are on the verge of a breakdown having lost your website.

iWeb is unusual in that it stores all your website data in a file called domain.sites2.

This file is located in your user library and the path is - Home Folder/Library/Application Support/iWeb.

The important thing to remember is that you can export your website files to a folder but you CANNOT import them back into iWeb

If you lose your domain file or it gets corrupted you’ve lost your site. Its gone - Kaput!

The Domain File

As with any application, its important to save regularly as you work - Command S - and, in the case of iWeb, to backup your domain file and update this backup every time you make changes.

If you don’t have Time Machine, backup your domain file to an external hard drive or, at least to another folder in your Home Folder.

Its also pretty essential to make incremental backups or keep dated versions in different folders.

This is to guard against the dreaded domain file corruption.

Backup & Save


When things go wrong in iWeb the first thing you need to do is decide whether its in the application or with publishing.

Publish your website to a folder on the desktop and double click the index.html file to launch your website in the browser directly from your hard disk.

If the site works OK, then you have a publishing problem.

If the site is screwed up in anyway you then have to trouble shoot the application itself.

A lot of problems can be solved simply be quitting the application, deleting the iWeb preference file and relaunching.

This file is located in your user library in your Home Folder. The path is - Home Folder/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iWeb.plist

After you relaunch, don’t forget to reset your preferences in iWeb/Preferences.

If this doesn’t fix your problem, the next step is to repeat the above, restart your Mac and run Disk Utility to repair permissions.

Disk Utility is in Finder/Go/Utilities.

Restarting regularly is good for iWeb and also for your Mac. A restart dumps out all the redundant files from iWeb just like doing a bit of house clearing now and again and again .....

Disk Utility should be run at least every week to keep your file paths in order. This should prevent a hard disk repair being necessary or, worst still, a hard drive crash.

I backup to Time Machine and also do a weekly incremental backup to two external hard drives using SuperDuper. I can also boot my Mac from these external drives if necessary.

This may seem like overkill but I have suffered a hard drive crash and burn - twice!

Fix iWeb


If you need to have a closer look at what you are doing in iWeb you can enable Zoom In/Out.

Open System Preferences/Universal Access and turn on ZOOM.

In iWeb:        Zoom in: Option Command =        Zoom Out: Option Command -

More keyboard shortcuts - http://www.apple.com/support/iweb/shortcuts/

Viewing Published Changes

How many times do we hear this, ”I have published changes to my website but they don’t show up in the browser”.

Always empty your browser cache before visiting your published site - Option Command E - and then hit “Enter”.

You can do this from the “Safari” drop down menu - figure [1].

I usually reset Safari at least once a day [figure 2] and my settings are shown below [figure 3]




How to Reinstall iWeb V 3.0.4

If the troubleshooting steps don’t resolve your issues with iWeb it may be time to consider reinstalling.

Before you do this, make a safe backup of your domain file(s).

Delete the following:


Home Folder/Library/Preferences/com.apple.iWeb.plist

Home Folder/Library/Cache/iWeb

System Library/Receipts/iWeb.pkg

System Library/Receipts/iWeb_304.pkg

Its not necessary to delete the Receipts packages but why keep something you don’t need?

You can use Pacifist to do a custom install of the iWeb application only......


After installing, run the update(s) and do a restart.

Now drag your domain file backup into Home Folder/Library/Application Support/iWeb, launch iWeb and reset your preferences.

Domain File Corruption

If iWeb is not functioning properly and you suspect that your domain file may be corrupt, you can test this out by creating a new blank one. To do this, go to Home Folder/Library/Application Support/iWeb and drag your domain file into the trash. Launch iWeb and it will offer to create a new one. Accept this offer, add some content, publish to a local folder and launch this to see if everything is as it should be.

If all goes to plan with this new domain file its a sure indication that your original is corrupt.

If its not OK, or you still have problems, then a reinstall is in order. Drag your original domain file out of the trash and reinstate it before you forget about it! Do I have to remind you to backup your domain file(s) before attempting any troubleshooting?

Its possible to troubleshoot a corrupt domain file if it hasn't turned too bad. Sometimes you can pin it down to one page by creating a new site on the same domain file and copying over the original pages one by one until you find the rotten apple. You may even be able to pin it down to one item on that page by deleting each one in turn. Good luck with that!

Jump Start iWeb

New users sometimes find that iWeb will not open - no matter what they try. If you have never launched iWeb there is no .plist to delete and there won’t be a Domain.sites2 file in the Home Folder/Library/Application Support/iWeb folder. Maybe there is no iWeb folder to be seen!

Click HERE to download a blank Domain.sites2 file. Go to Home Folder/Library/Application Support/iWeb and drag the Domain file into it. If you don’t have an iWeb folder in Application Support then create one.

Now double click the Domain.sites2 file to open iWeb.

Click HERE for tips on using iWeb with Lion OS X 10.7 and Mountain Lion OS X 10.8

Copyright © Roddy McKay - 2009 - All Rights Reserved

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FTP Publishing Problems

Many users who switch from MobileMe to other hosting find it difficult to get their heads around FTP. I would encourage you to sign up with a service that has proven tech support and will move your files for you. Click HERE for more info...

Click HERE for more info about publishing and HERE for FTP info.

Mobile Website for iPhone/Android/Blackberry

Nowadays its important to have a version of your website that is easy and convenient for smart phone users. Click HERE to find out how use iWeb to create a mobile version of your website for iPhone, Android, Blackberry etc.