This tutorial will show you how to properly publish your iWeb site, so that you can avoid having your website URL be longer than necessary.
If you use iWeb, you already know that when you type in your website’s URL, once you are taken to your page, the URL in the address bar will forward to your domain name, followed by the site name that you gave in iWeb while publishing, followed by your page’s file name. This URL you see here is just an example of what this might look like.
What we are going to be doing in this video, is reduce the length of the URL by getting rid of the site name so that the URL goes from looking like this, to looking like this. I will not be teaching you how to have the domain read just www.yourdomain.com. The reason for this is because the easiest way of actually doing this to an iWeb site would be to turn on what is called domain masking.
I will quickly tell you what domain masking is, and why you don’t want to use it for your website. Domain Masking is basically hiding the name of your site and replacing it with something else. As an example, notice how when I click to various pages on this site, the URL in the address bar stays the same. The reason why domain masking is not recommended, is because it makes other pages on your website unrecognizable by search engines and it makes it impossible for your users to bookmark an individual page on your site.
Now that we have a good understanding of the URL structure with iWeb sites, let’s get right into reducing the length of our URL’s. The first thing I want you to know is that you will be required to have a third-party FTP tool to publish your site. This means that we will no longer be publishing our websites directly from iWeb.
I recommend using Cyberduck or iWeb SEO Tool which are both available for free. Cyberduck is a basic FTP client which allows you to transfer files from your local hard drive to your web-space and vice cersa. iWeb SEO Tool is a great application for iWeb users to optimize their sites for search engines, AND it also includes a built in FTP client. I’m going to be using iWeb SEO Tool in this demonstration, because I want to show how this method of reducing the length of our URL’s applies to people who use iWeb SEO Tool as well.
So the first thing we are going to do, is publish our website to a local folder in iWeb. It will be easiest for you if you create a new folder and publish your site to this new folder. You will need to remember where you created this new folder on your hard drive. I am going to call my new folder My iWeb SIte. While the site is publishing, I want you to take note of my Site Name, Photos By Matt which can be seen here…and here. Keep this in mind for later in the tutorial.
When our sites have finished publishing, go ahead and open the folder where you just published your site to. You should notice that there are three things inside this folder. There is an index.html file, a file with a long name that has the word ‘assets’ at the front, and finally a folder with your Site Name on it. Inside this folder, is where all of our website files are. The reason we get long URL’s is because we publish all three of these files.
Here is how we will fix this. In iWeb SEO Tool, when I press the Open Website button, I will first locate the folder that I just created. Many people will select this folder and choose to load the entire folder. This is how we end up with those long URLs. Instead, I will select this folder, and then locate the folder inside of it that contains the Site Name for my website, which is Photos By Matt which, we took note of earlier.
When we publish this to our FTP account, our site will now not have the site name in the URL.
If you wanted to publish to an FTP client such as Cyberduck, make sure that you do not just upload the folder with your Site Name on it, but that you select all of the contents of the folder and upload them directly to your FTP.