For all the wonders of the iLife suite, occasionally I run into bizarre quirks that don’t seem to have any easy solutions. This week, the newest quirk I discovered was in iWeb. Now, I have to say that I love iWeb. I know it bugs the heck out of some people that it’s impossible to directly edit the html, so it’s not nearly as robust as most site-creating applications, but it has some really amazing user-friendly features that have really gotten me hooked.

For example, I needed a quick, clean, professional site for my home business and iWeb helped me create and maintain it in just a few hours. While I still get the itch to fire up BBEdit and get my hands dirty in the code, it’s really not necessary for my needs.

Something that is necessary, however, is being able to edit my site on multiple computers or to access the files for my site if I somehow lose my local copy. This was the issue I ran into this week when one of my clients called up our support line to say that he needed to “re-download” his iWeb-site from his iDisk. His hard drive crashed, and, due to some extenuating circumstances, he also lost the backup he had on his Time Machine.

However, he’s a MobileMe member and the latest edits to his site had been uploaded to his iDisk, so he, logically, assumed that he could just import the site from his iDisk back into his iWeb program. Wrong!

After doing a little research, I found that there is no way to reimport an iWeb-made website into iWeb. Just for reference, the iWeb files are kept in your user folder in Library/Application Support/iWeb. In there you’ll find a Domain file that is a package created by the iWeb program.

At first I was hoping that I could just take the site folder from MobileMe and create a package with those contents, but if you actually view the package contents of an iWeb domain (select Domain -> Right Click -> Show Package Contents) you’ll see that it’s not laid out like a site folder at all. Frustration!!

What’s the solution? Well, make multiple backups of that iWeb domain file (see this Apple Support article for more details). If you’re a MobileMe member you might want to consider manually backing up the iWeb Domain file to your iDisk so even if your computer and external hard drive fail there’s another copy of your Domain off in cyber-space that you can easily re-download.

Also, if you feel like editing your site on multiple computers just be sure to transfer that Domain file to the Application Support folder of the user account on your other machine. Launch iWeb and it’s all gravy from there. For now, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that some swanky Apple-programmer out in Cupertino finds a way to make importing a site into iWeb just as easy as exporting one.

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