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Mac 101: Publish iWeb '09 sites to FTP

More Mac 101, our series of tips and tricks for novice Mac users.

Now that the winter holidays are almost upon us, we're thinking about sharing stories, photos, and movies with far-flung relatives and friends. There's a slew of ways to get this done, and this post focuses on creating a simple site in iWeb '09 and publishing it not to Mobile Me, but to your own host via FTP.

If you're unfamiliar with iWeb '09, I'll say this: It does what it does well. If your goal is to share photos, movies and stories with minimal fuss and zero coding, iWeb will work. When I travel, I typically create an iWeb gallery and movie page. Yes, there are many other options, but this one works for me.

If you'd rather not publish your iWeb site to MobileMe and have access to FTP, you're in luck. The setup is simple. First, create your site. Next, click the title of your site in the iWeb '09 sidebar (this doesn't work with previous versions of iWeb) to reveal the publishing options. In the first drop-down menu, select "FTP Server." Give your site a name and enter a contact email.

Below that, enter your FTP settings. You'll need your server address, username, and password. Next, enter the path to the directory (http://mysite.com/paris, for example). Just make sure the directory already exists on your server or you'll get an error. It won't hurt to test the connection at this point by clicking the button that's available for just that purpose.

Finally, enter your site's URL and then click Publish. Off it goes! If you set it up correctly, your iWeb-powered site will be uploaded to the proper place on your site. Subsequent updates require re-publication, so just hit that Publish button again when you're done making changes

That's it! Have fun sharing your holiday experiences with iWeb '09.

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