Publish to a Web Server
When you’re ready to publish your RapidWeaver website, you'll want to select the Publishing view in the sidebar. You can configure RapidWeaver to publish your website to more than one location - for example, a preview server and a live server.
RapidWeaver can publish to the following locations and services:
- Local (to your Mac)
- SFTP / FTPS
- Amazon S3
Publishing your site is an exciting moment: you’ll be able to enter a website address into Safari and see the fruits of your work.
Depending on who your hosting provider is, you may need to tweak a few options in RapidWeaver before you publish your website. This is entirely normal and is simply due to web hosts having different requirements when publishing your site.
Most importantly, you’ll need to remember that the details you enter into RapidWeaver are supplied by your hosting provider, not RapidWeaver or Realmac Software. Many hosting providers will require you to use publishing details that differ from any details you may use to access their control panel in a web browser. While this may be frustrating, it’s designed to keep your private information safe. If you are at all unsure about what to enter into RapidWeaver, drop your hosting provider an email, and they’ll be able to advise you.
RapidWeaver publishes websites using a technology called FTP, which nearly every hosting provider supports. Three different flavours of FTP can be used: FTP, FTPS and SFTP (sometimes known as FTP over SSH). Some hosts may require a specific variant of FTP, and most support more than one. One thing you should note is that FTPS is the rarest of the variants, so if you’re asked to enable it we recommend clarifying that with your host!
There are substantial differences between SFTP and FTPS publishing, and despite the similarities in name, they’re very different upload methods.
RapidWeaver works with almost any host (and if you’ve already sorted some web hosting, you can skip ahead now!). If you’re still deciding on a hosting provider, and are looking for a company with roots in the RapidWeaver community, Chillidog is the official hosting partner of Realmac Software. Every aspect of Chillidog’s hosting is built to ensure absolute compatibility with RapidWeaver, and all the friendly support staff at Chillidog are all familiar with RapidWeaver.
If it's a brand new site you're publishing for the first time, when you press the Publish button, you'll see this dialogue box.
With the information you've received from your hosting company, fill out that information and click Next. If all goes successfully, you'll be asked next to choose the directory on your server for your site. Once again, this is information you'll get from your hosting company.
Sometimes, the automatic method doesn't work and then you'll need to choose the Other Methods button and choose Configure Manually.
Here's how the manual publishing window looks in RapidWeaver (see below). Enter the details your hosting provider gave you, and press the “Test” button to check the connection works. If everything worked, you can then press “Publish” in the toolbar to get your website online.
We've tailored this specifically to Chillidog Hosting as they are our preferred hosting partner, but the details will be similar for all hosts.
You can find out more about publishing settings for Chillidog at the Chillidog Hosting Knowledge Base.
This is the address for the online server that hosts your site and is required to publish your site. In many cases, it looks like a regular web address (e.g. ftp.mysite.com), or is exactly the same as your domain name. Some hosts require that you use a particular port number to connect. To specify a custom port number, add a colon and the port number to the end of the server address you enter, e.g. ftp.mysite.com:404
Your username is part of the identity used to authenticate with your web host. Make sure the username is exactly as your host supplied it - check zeros are not Os, and that the case of every letter matches.
RapidWeaver does not support anonymous FTP login.
When entering your password, make sure the password is exactly as supplied by your web host. Check the number of characters in the password field match the password given to you by your host, and when copying and pasting be careful not to copy any extra whitespace or characters. You can use the “Reveal Password” option to show the password - when you reveal a password, the password will be selected to easily show any extra whitespace at the beginning or end of your password. Passwords that you enter into RapidWeaver are stored securely in the OS X Keychain - RapidWeaver never stores passwords in your RapidWeaver project. Instead, RapidWeaver stores a reference to the Keychain in your project and requests the password from your Keychain when publishing a site.
When publishing your website, RapidWeaver needs to know which folder to place your website into on your host’s server. The “path” is used to describe the location of this folder to an FTP app. The most common publishing issue is an incorrect publishing path - this is because the path varies greatly from host to host (or sometimes even between different hosting packages with the same company!). If you don’t know what your publishing path is, contact your hosting provider. Note: In some cases, you may not require a path at all - in this case, you can just leave the Path blank. A blank path tells RapidWeaver to publish your site to the folder your server provides when the app logs in.
We strongly recommend that you use the Test Connection feature to check your credentials are correct before publishing your site.
To publish your RapidWeaver website to your web server account using FTPS follow these instructions:
- Open RapidWeaver on your Mac.
- Open your project.
- Select File > Publishing Settings.
- Enter the following settings:
- 1.Publishing Method: FTPS
- 2.Server: Supplied by your hosting company
- 3.Username: Supplied by your hosting company
- 4.Password: Supplied by your hosting company
- 5.Path: public_html/ (your path may vary, but that is a common one)
- 7.Mode: Extended Passive (Default)
- Click the Test button to ensure there are no error messages.
RapidWeaver supports a wide variety of publishing configurations, including Active Mode FTP, three different methods of FTPS authentication, and FTPwith SSH Key Authentication. If your host requires this, or you’ve chosen to use SSH Key authentication, read on!
We highly recommend SFTP for publishing as it's a more robust and secure protocol. It's often set up in the same way as FTP, but you might need to add a port number to the end of the server address.
You may need to contact your hosting company for the exact details.
While password-based FTP is still the most common way to upload to a web host, RapidWeaver also supports authentication using SSH keys. SSH keys are a great way to allow multiple users to access your web hosting over an encrypted connection, without needing to share a password. Each user generates a pair of cryptographic keys on their Mac - one private, one public. The public key (which is uploaded to your web server) can then be used to verify that a private key is permitted to access the server. Check with your web host to see if they support SSH key authentication - the instructions for getting an SSH public key onto your server will vary between hosts. You can learn more about generating SSH keys using GitHub’s guide.
We’ll assume that you’ve already generated a private/public key pair and that your server is configured with your public key. Start by selecting SFTP as your publishing method: enter the server, username and path details, and then check the Use Public Key Authentication option.
You’ll now need to enter a few further details: the locations of your private and public keys, and the passphrase for your private key (if there is one).
With your keys selected, run a test with your credentials to ensure they’re valid.
SFTP (FTP over SSH) is not to be confused with FTPS (FTP with TLS), these are very different.
Due to the varied, and sometimes complicated, nature of SSH authentication, we can only offer limited technical support when using an SSH-based setup. We only recommend using SSH Key Authentication if you’re familiar with key-based authentication, and are aware of how SSH keys are stored on your Mac.
RapidWeaver can publish directly to Amazon S3. Keep in mind that Amazon does not support PHP, so make sure all your pages are just html. Your page file names should end with .html. To Publish to Amazon S3 you will need an AWS account, and the relevant details. Server, Access Key ID, Secret Access Key. To generate the required Access Key and Secret Access Key, login to your Amazon S3 account. Click on your name in the toolbar at the top of the page. Select My Security Credentials from the menu. Next, click on the Access Keys (Access Key ID and Secret Access Key) toggle. You will then get presented with a blue button to Create New Access Key. Click this button and follow the onscreen instructions. If you will be the only person who ever needs to login at a root level to change files, they you can create a key for yourself. If you intend for other people to have access for file uploads, you may wish to consider setting up something called an 'IAM User'. Amazon provides full documentation on their website, if this is required. Now you have a key and secret key, you can paste these into RapidWeaver, and press the Browse button to locate the folder where you want to publish your website too. For more information on Hosting a static website on Amazon S3 you can watch this video.