How to upload via Transmit


I’d like to ask for help with uploading my current RW project via Transmit (FTP), something I’ve never done before. I am brought to this step because starting today, RW 8.8.1 suddenly and without provocation, stopped publishing normally, and instead consistently terminates in-progress attempts to publish on my iMac running 10.14.6.

The program waits till the last moment…

Screen Shot 2021-04-08 at 19.12.26

Then throws this at me:

Screen Shot 2021-04-08 at 19.12.41

In earlier posts, I see that others suggest using FTP to upload files for those occasions when RapidWeaver is having a tantrum. Thus, I’d like to ask for step-by-step instructions for uploading a project directly.

Thank you for any assistance you can offer!



Do you have space remaining on the server? Stopping the upload part way though might suggest there isn’t any host space left?

Remember that RW NEVER deletes anything off the server, so it’s quite easy to fill the available space as you develop a site.

If there isn’t any space left, then Transmit won’t help I’m afraid. Do you have a control panel (cPanel) or similar login to the server to see what’s going on?

As @Ruyton suggested, you might not have enough space on server. Of course, cPanel could be used. But Transmit certainly still can be helpful and is my preferred method of uploading/editing my websites.

First, create a folder on your desktop – for ease of finding it and transferring it with Transmit. Use this folder as a target for the complete local export.

Using Transmit, log in to your server. In the folder where your domain lives, delete all files that were placed there by Rapid Weaver. Make sure that you don’t delete any other files, like your SSL certificate, etc.

Finally, upload contents of your locally exported folder to the folder on server.

If you need more detailed instructions, let us know.

As Gary pointed out, space on some servers can be limited, though at my server at Fatcow, space is not a problem (Fatcow offers unlimited disk space for ‘normal’ website usage).

Under File, I found the Export Site option, and exported the site to a new folder as you suggested. Upon examination of contents of the new folder, I see lots of folders that ‘somewhat conform’ to folders existing on my server. I say somewhat conform because I placed some folders there as storage for warehoused images for the Screrer stack, and a few others for non-RW ecommerce and backup files.

However, I am wary of deleting all files placed by RW on my server for these reasons:

  1. Deletion on the server is permanent. If this new process (uploading RW files via cPanel or Transmit) were to fail, I’d be screwed.

  2. Nowhere in the newly exported RW folders on my desktop do I see files for the homepage. Where in that RW folder are all the files used on the homepage? (I’ve a lot of time invested in creating that page. See 1. above.)

  3. During the normal publishing process, RW uploads many unrecognisable jpgs that don’t appear in the exported files. What’s with that?

unrecognisable jpgs

Perhaps I could selectively upload files via Transmit without risking breaking the site?

Recently I noticed that RW seemed to be mixing up files during the automated uploads. For example, I’d make changes to a page, then find those changes appearing on a different page, but not on the intended page. I could never clearly define what was happening; I’d just go back, fix the problem and republish, and move on. Maybe I’ve just used up my allotment of RW publishings?

Anyway, please advise where RW hides exported files destined for the homepage. If I understand how RW processes homepage files, I’ll feel better about pressing the delete button.

Thanks, Rob, for your help.


If you home page is index.html or index.php and it is in the root directory, then the files for your home page will by in the /index_files directory

See here where my page is /nets/index.php the page contents are in /nets/index_files.

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I did not mention that, but the obvious thing to do is to back up all files and folders that you are about to delete. If anything goes wrong, you can then reinstate them and find the reason for a failure…

I would hope the hosting company provides a backup and restoration. Most excellent host due as part of their price, but you can also do a backup yourself prior to deleting anything. Transmit works both ways, so it’s simply doing a backup on your own prior to deleting anything.

If your host doesn’t backup for you, or you just prefer peace of mind, then it’s important to get in the habit of backing up your site periodically. This is especially important if you are warehousing images, using a flat-file CMS or storing anything on the server.

Your home page will be a file, not a folder in the roots level of the folder you exported into. It will be called index.html or index.php.

That’s impossible to say from here, We don’t have access to the folder that you published or the directories on your server. My best guess is that RW is exporting these files you just aren’t seeing them as images because of size take a much longer time to export to the remote server and that happens much faster on the local folder. Does the total number of files match?

So letes get back to the subject of using Transmit to upload the site outside of RW.

My first step would be to backup the current site.

I don’t use the same host you will need to figure out the login credentials and the directory (path) that you publish to. Once you have gotten that worked out and you know that you have the correct directory, connect with transmit.

Make a new folder on the desktop, In this example I called it backup-site.

On the left side of the transmit window you will see your local computer. Select the desktop and choose the empty folder. On the right side is the server, make sure you are in the proper directory (e.g. public_html, htdocs, domain-name).

Once you are sure you are in the correct directory for your hosting company, then select the first file.

Make sure the left-side is the new empty directory.

Now with the first file selected hit ⌘ Cmd+A to select all the files on the server.

Now hit the Transfer selected files button (or you can choose download selection (⇧ Shift+⌘ Cmd+R) from the transfer menu.

After the transfer is complete, the new folder on the desktop will be a backup of what is on the server.

Once you are comfortable that you have a backup, then you can delete what you want or just upload overtop of what you have.
Change the left side to the folder you exported the RapidWeaver site to and select all like above and transfer the other way.


I was surprised to discover that the contents of the homepage are shoehorned into the index.php file. But skimming through 5115 lines of its code convinced me that it was all there, so (after backing up the existing index.php on the server) I uploaded a revised version using cPanel, and lo and behold, the revised version appears on the site. With that I proved I can incrementally update individual pages. So this ‘back-door publishing’ method looks like it will work for me.

By the way, I wanted to see if the automated RW publishing process would also upload a revised homepage, even when it terminated the upload with the unhelpful ‘aborted by an application callback’ error. In fact, the homepage was updated, before the process ended with ‘Couldn’t upload to your FTP server’.

Thanks Rob, and Gary, for your help!

As I wrote this I see that Doug has added some great tips; I’ll get back later after chewing on that.

I rarely post on these forums but, since I had exactly the same problem with uploading files yesterday and was also considering using Transmit to get round it, I thought I’d add my two pennyworth.

I have RW 8.8.2 and I’m running it on MacOS 11.2.3 on an Intel Mac. Yesterday I added just a few lines and half a dozen weblinks to my RW file but the uploading stalled at exactly the same point with “Couldn’t upload to your FTP server”. I had a dialogue with the tech department of my web host which pinpointed it was an RW problem and not a host problem.

I tried a couple of reboots which made no difference so I uninstalled and then re-installed RW and it started working again. So I presume something in the RW program had got corrupted.

While all this was going on I published my site to a local folder (that worked all right) and thought about using Transmit (v.5.7.3) to update my site. I think this would be more straightforward than described in earlier posts. if you line up the local folder in the left hand window of Transmit and log in to your web server in the right hand window you can then use the ‘synchronize’ function to update your site without needing to delete anything. You can avoid any worries about getting it wrong by looking at the very detailed video at: Synchronizing Folders with Transmit 5 that shows exactly how to use the synchronize function.

Using the ‘Synchronize’ function is the next step in utilizing FTP apps (like Transmit). But first and most important step is to do a manual “housekeeping” – deleting everything that is polluting the public_html folder. After that, "Synchronize’ is fine.

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Many thanks for your illustrated instructions; they have helped me a lot with this problem–and with resolving other problems in the past.

It turns out that my hosting company (Fatcow) was the source of the problem with publishing updates via RW. When Fatcow fixed their problem, the problem I had publishing via RW vanished. Uploading files via Transmit isn’t as convenient as “Publish” in RW, but when I can’t Publish in RW because my host is having its monthly conniption, Transmit is my backdoor.