Nubee question about replacing an old site

I built an “educational” site more than 20 years ago with Adobe DW, which I’m now planning to replace with a RW-designed site. The old site includes hundreds of links to PDFs on a dozen pages. There are probably a few thousand sites on the Internet that have links to those pages and the PDF files on the old site.

Is it correct to assume that the URL names of the pages and the PDF links on them on the new RW site must remain the same as the old names if those thousands of Internet links are going to keep working?

What I don’t see on RW is how to find and change the name and link on each page to match the old names, or is this question totally off-base?

May we see a url to the old site?

If you are using Apache for your webserver, RapidWeaver has a built-in editor in the publishing settings for something called the htaccess file.
In the Apache htaccess file, you can use something called a redirect.
So you can forward any requests for the old URLs to the new URLs.

You should put together a spreadsheet “mapping” all the old URLs to what will be the new URLs (including the download links)

Then simply create the htaccess rules


It’s a mess, but here goes:

Thanks for your reply. I probably should have noted that, in addition to be a complete nubee in web design, I’m also elderly, and easily overwhelmed by what for me are the big technical challenges involved in your proposed fix.

The rules are pretty simple to implement.

The hard part isn’t technical, it’s taking the time to “map” the old URLs to the new ones.

That’s why I suggested that you put together a simple spreadsheet that lists each URL on the existing site, and show the new URL you want.


Obviously, I’m at the very earliest stage of this project. Given all the complications of creating an entirely new site to replace the old one, especially at my advanced age, I’m trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to create a new site or fix the old one.

The problems with the old one are not overwhelming. The home page needs to be brought up to date appearance-wise, changed into a master-page (with the title and slogan carried over to all the other pages), which of course I have no idea how to do with Adobe Dreamweaver (the site creation software). A few other pages will need to be “redesigned” after having some of their links removed.

THe first thing that strikes me when viewing the site is that it isn’t ‘responsive’ in that it doesn’r automatically adjust its width when viewed on different devices such as a tablet ot phone. It would be a bit of a job, but if it was me I’d start again from scratch.

1 Like

Yeah, I was afraid of that, since I discovered as much recently. It’s a strong argument for starting from scratch with RW, since learning how to use Dreamweaver is twice as daunting.

Do RW pages automatically adjust their width when viewed on different devices? Or does that have to be specified as one goes along creating each page?

I think that pretty much every built-in or 3rd party theme will be responsive by now.

The real question is where to start with RW. You can create perfectly acceptable sites using the supplied RW themes, but you are stuck with the theme layout you choose. However, for you that might be the best - and most cost effective way to go.

There are so many alternative ‘frameworks’ produced for RW now that take it way beyond its basic capabilities. I use Stacks from Yourhead that allow you do so much more, and Foundation 6 from Weavers Space. These allow me to start with a blank theme and build the site I want - but if you are starting from scrach with RW, that means addition expense and a significant learning curve.

I’m sure others will advise here, but I think the basic RW programme and built in themes would do all you need?

You’re thinking certainly fits my very limited abilities and ambition—simplest is best.

The project does seem daunting at this point, but I can take my time and work out the challenges one by one. And, as you say, others will advise and help.

Be well (and Happy Thanksgiving if you’re in the U.S.)

Clearly, I’m at the extremely most punctual phase of this venture. Given every one of the intricacies of making an altogether new site to supplant the bygone one, particularly at my old age, I’m attempting to sort out whether it appears to be legit to make another site or fix the former one.

The issues with the former one are not overpowering. The landing page should be raised to date appearance-wise, changed into an expert page (with the title and motto continued to the wide range of various pages), which obviously I have no clue about how to do with Adobe Dreamweaver (the site creation programming). A couple of different pages should be “overhauled” in the wake of having a portion of their connections eliminated

It seems that most of what appeared overwhelming only a few days ago has not proved insurmountable. At this point, I’ve got all my pages set up and all the linked Media and Download files mapped.

I decided to try Stacks to do the last half-dozen pages, and that’s worked out well. All that’s left now is to try to improve the first few pages using Stacks. But it seems that, once a page is otherwise created, say using Styled Text, it’s not possible to add stacks to the page. Do I have that right?

I wonder if my experience might be helpful. I moved this site: from a web design app called Sandvox to RapidWeaver (mainly because Sandvox is no longer being developed in contrast to RW which is actively updated). You’ll see that the site is mainly text with numerous links to downloadable files - so is not dissimilar to

When I made the move I kept the same webhost where the downloadable files were all in a set of folders on the server. When I made the change to RW I retained those folders, which meant I could just paste the text and links from Sandvox into a RW file. (In fact I used Scrivener as an intermediate step and I keep a copy of the website text and links there to work on, but that is not a necessary step).

It is possible to handle external links in RW by putting them in the Resources folder, but that is not necessary and it seemed to me easier to keep the folder organisation I already had.

The main tasks in transferring the website were creating the layout and fixing the internal links which have a different format in Sandvox. The home page of my site has a list of all the RW plugins I used to create the layout, especially the invaluable Stacks (YourHead software) plus the Note Pad theme (Will Woodgate) which is excellent for text sites and has a lot of options for layout and appearance.

Thanks for relating your experience.

I hope that my ISP, GreenGeeks (that provided very helpful tech support in the past), will help me make the transition. The folder structure on the GG server (originally created using an early version of Dreamweaver) closely but not quite matches the one created in RW. We’ll see.

You are correct. Styled Text pages and Stacks pages are two different page types. You can’t add one to the other. Best to re-build your Styled Text pages using Stacks. You won’t regret it.


Thanks for the reply.

The only page I’d really like to re-do at this point is the Home page. But I’m leery about messing with it and causing some kind of major mess.

Think I’ll leave it for another day.

Hey Moshe,
I followed your thread and it seems that you like to DIY… and that it is great. But. .have you never considered spending some money on the project and contract a professional to do it? It might give a better result and should be not too expensive, seeing the small scope of this project.
abs P

1 Like

Hi Pierre,

Yeah, getting professional help was my first instinct—contemplating the replacement of the web site I stumbled through creating more than 20 years ago fed all my catastrophic fantasies. But we’re a mom-and-pop nonprofit without any budget at all, surviving on SS, so I dismissed the idea of paid help.

As it turned out, the practical demands of creating the new site were not all that daunting. It’s taken less than two weeks to finish the new site, get it up and running on a sub-domain, and get all the typos and broken links fixed—so it’s now ready for my partner’s okay to put it online.

It really made a difference for me to have the practical help and encouragement of the folks here. Without it, I probably wouldn’t have made the attempt.


Just when I thought the new site was completely wired, the following glitch emerged:

With Firefox (91.3.0esr, 64-bit) running on two M1 (ARM) iMacs (OS 12.0.1) and on an Intel iMac (OS 10.14.6), I get the error message “No video with supported format and MIME type found” for all the mp3-linked files on one page of our site, while two other pages with mp3 files do not have the same problem.

I have cleared the history and cache, entirely recreated and uploaded the problem-page (using a different page type), and renamed some of the files—all to no effect.

Out of necessity I’m using my Chrome and Safari browsers, neither of which has any difficulty loading the mp3 files on the problem-page. The same mp3 files can also be loaded without difficulty on my iPad (current model with iOS 15.1).

FYI, the problem files can be found at Liturgy | Gather the People

Any ideas?