What To Do With Your iWeb Site

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Last week I posted here about the lack of mention of iWeb and MobileMe website hosting in any of Apple’s communications about its forthcoming switch to iCloud.

I’d understand it not being mentioned by Steve on stage, but I expected to see at least some sort of help document somewhere. But no, nothing.

I even contacted Apple’s press people and asked them directly: “What’s the official advice for iWeb users who host their websites on MobileMe?”

I got no answer.

So I’m assuming that means there is no official advice. So if you’ve been using iWeb to build your site and MobileMe to host it, what are your options?

1. Continue to use iWeb to build the site, and host it elsewhere

In your site publishing settings, enter the details of an SFTP service from a web host. There are thousands to choose from.

This is going to be one of the simplest short-time solutions, but unlikely to be a good choice for the long term, because if iWeb is sidelined then sooner or later it will simply stop working. Apple will no longer provide support for it, declaring it obsolete. Chances are you’ll end up having to use different software eventually.

2. Switch to a different site building tool, and host elsewhere

Your options here are almost endless. You could move to an entirely hosted service like WordPress or Blogger, and transfer your domain there. While both of them started life as blogging services, both have matured into decent hosting services for all sorts of sites, not just blogs. With a little work and imagination (not to mention a good choice of theme), you can turn sites here into almost anything.

Another option is to switch to an alternative desktop site editor, and set it up to publish your site at another web host. If you liked iWeb, the closest alternatives are Sandvox and RapidWeaver. Both have their pros and cons, and both are available for free trial download. Try them both before you make a decision.

Here’s the thing: I can understand Apple’s decision to kill this service. Few people used it, and Apple’s interests lie in serving the many, not the few. Fair enough.

But those few were still customers, people who have paid Apple money for a service.

If Apple intends to continue its hosting services for iWeb sites, photo galleries and so on, it could at least do those paying customers a favor and answer their pleas for more details. And if it doesn’t intend to continue those services, it should make that plain too.

If Apple expects people to put their trust in iCloud, it wouldn’t hurt to demonstrate that the trust people previously put in MobileMe wasn’t misplaced.