Multisite 2.4 Adds Website Flexibility to iWeb

| In-Depth Review

Apple's iWeb uses a quasi-hidden location to store multiple Websites, and users don't have control over either the file management, location or breaking multiple sites up into logical components. Multisite 2.4 from Clarkwood Software solves that problem for iWeb users.

iWeb works by hardwiring a path for a single package. That package is found in: /Users/user_name/Library/Application Support/iWeb/Domain.sites. Even if a user defines multiple Websites, they're all crammed into a single package and all updated at the same time. If the user wants to move a site to another Mac, the entire contents of the single package must be moved -- and all the sites defined inside it. That is, if the package can even be found by a novice.

Multisite works by 1) allowing the user to identify and name individual sites, 2) see them in a small file manager, and separate them for publishing at the time of the user's choosing. An export function creates a file representing a single Website that can be simply copied to another Mac.

The modest app creates a working space where one can see how the various Websites have been organized.

An iWeb project named Family Site, but contains multiple sites

The next step is the hard part. One has to manually duplicate the master file created within iWeb with a Multisite function, then go into iWeb and remove the unwanted components. There's a help file and documentation on how to do this, but the process is manual and subject to human error. Despite fairly clear directions, I messed it up the first time.

For example, the single iWeb package, when done, gets split up into two pieces like this:

Step 1

Duplicate and rename. Remove unwanted site.

Step 2

Fully separated sites

Multisite has convenient buttons for launching and quitting iWeb, something that's done often during the split up process. If the user wants to go back to the original, Apple, way of doing things, the File menu has a function called: "Stop using Multisite."

This is not a complicated application, and it does its intended job properly. It's well documented with an FAQ that should get most users up and running. Another page goes into some nuts and bolts of the data organization. For those who are curious, Multisite modifies iWeb's default storage location in /Users/user_name/Library/Preferences/ A typical location is in /Users/username/Documents/Multisite for iWeb Data.mfi.

In evaluating a program like this, my first reaction was that there should be some kind of script that takes care of the bookkeeping when splitting and renaming individual Websites. (The company agreed.) Other than that, users of iWeb who hate what Apple has forced them into will find the application a handy additional tool. That said, for what it does, this reviewer believes that the app is substantially overpriced.

Multisite 2.4 supports iWeb ’09, ’08 and iWeb 1.1.2. It requires Mac OS X Tiger or later.

Product: Multisite 2.4

Company: Clarkwood Software

List Price: US$19.95



Allows iWeb users to create, duplicate, delete entire Websites, import and export, and generally better manage the files associated with iWeb. Well documented.


Some initial error-prone tedium in breaking out Websites, expensive.

Popular TMO Stories



Yes, I lost one site because of the way iWeb hides it. It was not transferred to a new machine and I could never have imagined that Apple would not program it in such a way that one would run the risk of losing the entire site. And there is no info and no warning. One is not being told about this risk at all, as far as I have been able to see.

Any application for making websited gives the user the control over where to save it and also to work with different projects at the same time so it is some miss of Apple not to have this ability built in into iWeb. One should not have to rely on third-party software to be able to do so. I would say that the lack of this and hiding the site away the way they do, renders the whole application nearly useless, which is a pity since it is otherwise nice enough and produces nice web pages, but perhaps one should say that Apple should not always try to think different? Think logically will do well, mostly.

Log in to comment (TMO, Twitter or Facebook) or Register for a TMO account