FTP publishing guidance question


I am a brand new user and definitely not a Pro user. I began with iWeb, just about got the hang of it when Apple pulled the plug and I moved to Sandvox which proved to be very limited and irritating, so here I am.

I do not want to be longwinded in my first posting but I am asking, in the first instance, if someone can point me at a good detailed guide for the publishing process. I have two domains to which I publish and I have several completely discrete sites which begin with the domain prefix but are separated out by subfolders. Such that anyone breaking down the address of one site cannot find their way to the other.

I want to try to be very organised about this with the new sites produced on RW and would welcome some tips on how the hierarchy should look. For example, if I have a site which is http://www.domainA/projects/project1 I would want to have several other sites which vary only in the last part.

On that same domain host I want to have other task-specific sites which are ad hoc and might be something like www.domainA/specificjob/images which I can use for disseminating specific information to specific parties and which cannot be seen by others who do not have the full address.

I got this ‘sort of’ working with Sandvox okay but there were often errors and it required me to head over to the host using FileZilla and having the feeling that I was making as much of a mess as I was solving the problem.

I have published a first trial site and, though there was a bump in the road when uploading it seemed to resolve but when I get the notification saying “the site has been successfully uploaded” and I click on “Visit the site” I get a domain host 404 page. If I put in the chosen address into the browser I get taken to my published page. So it sort of works but I have the sense that I am not doing it quite right yet, so far as the folder structure and path is concerned.

It may be that I just need some general and very basic FTP publishing tuition :0)

Sounds like you might want to use sub-domains. Have you ever done sub-domains?

You refer to FTP publishing but how your site is laid out as far as folders, sub-folder (child folders) and such depends upon how you name them in RW. RW allow you to simply publish (upload) to your server directly or you can “publish” (output) to a local folder on your Mac and then FTP up to your server. I do both. Publishing to a local folder allows you to use your favorite FTP app if you wish and it is great for learning what RW does and how it produces pages.

Bottom line… as you add pages to RW consider carefully their name, path, folder name, etc. Consider also carefully the folder structure (parent pages and child pages) as you add them to RW because that important to main navigation which RW automatically handles. (With your help of marking pages as “show in Navigation.” And as you name your folders and filenames (pages paths) that is how RW will create the file and folder structure.

Again, are you familiar with sub-domains? Sounds like that is mainly what you are asking about.

Hi Greg, thanks for getting back to me. I have not really considered using sub domains except in the context of a possible cost saving with our host (2 businesses, same address, two domains…) I think I am happy to keep going with a folder hierarchy for now.

The reference to FTP is only to describe the protocol used to upload from RapidWeaver. I do not publish locally and upload from another application.

Currently I have three sites directories operating under one of the domains so they are configured thusly: domainA/item1/content + domainA/item2/content + domainA/item3/subitem1/content + domainA/item3/subitem2/content and domainA/item3/subitem3/content and they are all nested in the www folder.

If you’re getting a 404 when clicking on “visit the site” it may be due to having an incorrect Url in Settings > General > Web Address, as that is the address RW uses when you click on “visit the site”. It may be caused by something as simple as having www (or not having www) in the web address if you don’t have that set up in an .htacess file on your server.

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I’ll take a crack at explaining this.

The First thing to know is: RW requires a home page for each project, and the folder for the home page is the URL you put in the web address field in the project settings (under the spanner wrench). You will see why it’s important to remember this later.

The second thing to know is that RW builds the folder structure based on the folder names you enter into the folder field in the page inspector. and on their position in the pages column.

Example: if I set my address in the web address field as; http://www.mydomain.com when I publish, RW will put the index file for what ever page I marked as the home page into the DocRoot of that domain. If your DocRoot is: /public_html, the folder structure might look like this in your file manager or FTP program:
But the file would load in a browser from; http://www.mydomain.com (that’s because the server knows that your DocRoot is: /public_html)

Okay now if you add another page, it will be placed as a folder (that you name in the page inspector) within your home page folder (public_html in this example).

If you add an about-us folder, you would now have: http://www.mydomain.com/about-us/index.html in a browser and: public_html/about-us/YourIndexFile.html in the file manager.

If you add a sub page under about-us and you name the folder address, then you get …/about-us/address/YourIndexFile.html.
And so on…

RW automatically makes your navigation based on the names in the pages column (not the folder names they point to). You can choose in the page inspector if you do or don’t want them to show up in the navigation.

Where it gets tricky is if you want certain pages to show or not show depending on what page the visitor landed.

The easiest way to deal with this IMO is to break your site down into separate RW projects. That’s where we go back to “The first thing to know” paragraph. If you want multiple groups of pages, each with their own navigation. Break them down into separate projects and set the URL in the web address field (for the home page of that group) and the publishing folders (for where in the folder hierarchy it publishes) accordingly for each project.

Note: It’s generally good practice not to enter a file name in the page inspector and let it default to index.html (or php depending on your settings) because the server looks for a file named index by default. and the user does not have to type the actual file name in the browser just the folder - http://mydomain.com/about would load the index file in the folder named about in the DocRoot directory.

It’s a lot more complicated to try to explain than it is to do.
I hope I haven’t confused you further.


Thanks again Greg and many thanks David and Scott, all very helpful and I appreciate you taking the trouble to write such a full response Scott. I will have a long head scratch and try to get it right from here.

I might add that, even from my very limited experience of RW so far, I am loving it and I look forward to learning enough to be able to tailor the sites to a much higher standard than achieved hitherto.