Note: This post was created based on the first release of iWeb.
Today Murphy’s answering some reader mail. Steven wrote in because he couldn’t change the color of his hyperlinks using the iWeb interface. Apple doesn’t support changing the color in iWeb, but it can be done a couple ways.
You might have to watch this screencast twice to realize Murphy ultimately only changes one word in one file to perform this task. But along the way he shows you lots of stuff – and that might make this look complicated. It’s not.
What is the complication? iWeb doesn’t cooperate when you alter its output after publishing. But we can deal with that too.
You might want to watch yesterday’s screencast before proceeding to get a handle on what CSS is all about. Or watch it afterwards if you have more questions. Either way, today’s screencast goes hand in hand with What is CSS?
There’s another approach too: Edit the templates iWeb relies on for its themes. Detailed instructions are available. Murphy will probably tackle this process in the next few weeks. If you take this route you avoid wiping out your tweaks the next time you publish from iWeb.
Here’s something else to consider – Put multiple domain files in play. Why would you want to do something so awkward?
You publish site A from domain file A. You tweak the published files on .Mac. The next time you publish from .Mac the untweaked files replace the tweaked. Time to re-tweak.
Publish site A from domain file A. Take domain file A offline. (rename it).
Create domain file B and don’t make any sites with the same name as site A. When you publish from iWeb to .Mac your site A will remain unchanged, including your tweaks.
If juggling your domain files sounds like too much trouble, take a look at iWebsites, a donation-ware product.
What’s a domain file you ask? It contains all your iWeb sites, in edit-ready format. You should be backing it up from time to time, Murphy covered this earlier.
One more warning: taking a site published to .Mac out of the folder you published to could break things like counters and blog comments. You should test that stuff first.
So Steven, you can change your hyperlink color, by changing a single word in a single file. Or you can alter the templates. What’s it going to be?
Everyone: Get your .Mac snippet requests in! Murphy has a trial .Mac account for 60 days!!
For some reason, you’ve decided not to go with .Mac. Murphy made the same decision. But it’s not an easy call to make.
.Mac makes a lot of things really easy. Like Photocasting and publishing iWeb sites. You get a backup tool and other stuff that’s tightly intergrated with OS X.
But Murphy couldn’t ignore the math. Apple’s .Mac give you a single gig of storage and ten gigs of transfer for about $100 per year. Other hosts charge about the same, but might offer two HUNDRED storage gigs and THOUSANDS of gigs in transfer. The difference in cost per gig is enormous. With that kind of storage space you could keep a copy of all your valuable photos and music online.
Whatever the reason, we’ll assume you’ve decided to publish your iWeb sites outside of .Mac and its fabulous toys. Now you have to get your web site from a folder on your disk to a web server on the Internet. No big deal if you do it every once in a while, just use a web-based upload tool.
But if you blog, you might be updating every day. You don’t want to endure a tedious process every time you write seven paragraphs about your cat. You only want the changes copied, with minimal effort.
That’s where rsync comes in. You’ll need a host that provides shell access. Not all of them do. Google for web hosting and ssh to find some suitable hosts.
Shell access means the host lets you use your Mac Terminal to manage your site. Tools like scp and ssh that facilitate command-line remote control of a server. It’s a security risk for the provider, so they might not allow it. They get peace of mind by limiting you to web-based tools they provide.
If you’re updating sites frequently, take a look at this screencast. It might be worth it for you to switch providers.
Never used Terminal before? In the wrong hands it can be a bad thing! Watch the warning before proceeding.
Update: See Murphy’s post about using SSH without a password. It let’s you use rsync securely without a password too.
iWeb has some great looking themes. But not all of them make your hyperlinks all that obvious. If you’re not into html you might find workarounds for changing a theme a little tough to take. Like changing the color of hyperlinks.
Murphy uses images for hyperlinks he wants to draw extra attention to. Then he reuses the image on other pages. Take a look at the Snippet to see how.
iWeb tries to hide all the messy stuff involved in creating web content. You never see a single line of html. You never have to pick a place to save your files. It all happens automagically.
iWeb isn’t worried about backing up all your hard work. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about it. Creating a backup is easy. Do it as frequently or infrequently as you dare.
But remember, the movies, the photos, every page that you painstakingly arranged – it’s all in one file. If it gets damaged you’ll be kicking yourself. Especially when you see how simple it is to give yourself some insurance.
Take it another step: Copy the file created in this Snippet to another drive – or better yet – another computer.