Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 26, 2012 9:40 AM by Old Toad
jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all,


After an extended hiatus, I have decided I'd like to return to updating my website that I published using iWeb. However, it's been so long since I last used iWeb that not only have I changed computers (I upgraded from an old white MacBook to a MacBook Air late last year) but MobileMe has been replaced altogether by iCloud. So I'm now wondering if it's even possible to retrieve all, if any, of my old iWeb content.


I have a series of questions that can roughly be divided into 3 areas of concern:


1) I had my old white MacBook backed up to a Time Capsule. Should my iWeb files, etc., be on there. I


2) If my iWeb content can be found on my Time Capsule, how can I retrieve them without transferring the entire content of my white MacBook's hard drive onto my new computer?


3) If my iWeb content can NOT be found on my Time Capsule, is there any other way to the content of my website. I visited my old MobileMe URL and I was told that "mobileme is closed"; is there any other way of viewing my old mobileme address so I can at least copy and paste the content from my old address?


I have a sinking feeling that the answer to all these questions is 'no', but I put too much heart and soul into that website for me to just abandon it without first making 100% sure that there is nothing I can do to salvage it.


As ever, thanks in advance to all those who provide feedback, love you guys.

  • Ethmoid Level 6 (11,050 points)

    Well, as long as you backed up your domain.sites file that iWeb creates to Time Capsule, then yes, you should be able to retrieve your website.


    iWeb stores all data under User/Library/Application Support/iWeb/domain.sites.  Note it's your user library and not your system library.  Also, note that if you are using Lion, then your Library file will be hidden and you need to do a search of this forum to get details of how to make the folder visible in Lion.


    Also, any Mac must have iWeb installed on it to be able to use it.  You should be able to connect Time Capsule to your Mac Book Air and just open Time Capsule and copy or drag and drop the relevant domain.sites file from your User Library to your Mac Book Air and then double click it and iWeb should then open it.


    It all depends exactly what you backed up on Time Capsule - did you deliberately make a backup of your User Library with the application support folder containing iWeb and then your domain.sites files?


    MobileMe is now long gone and you can't recover anything from there now - there was a grace period of a few weeks after it closed down at the end of June when you could still recover things, but that is long gone.


    Bottom line, if you have not backed up your domain.sites file on Time Capsule then you'll have to re-build your site from scratch and then backup so the same thing does not occur again.


    Also, you need to be aware that iCloud DOES NOT offer web hosting in the same way that MobileMe did, so if you still want to update and host your website, then you'll have to register a domain name and purcahse hosting from a company such as or

  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks a lot for the advice Ethmoid. Shame that iCloud doesn't offer web hosting. What with that and Apple's terrible new map app, it seems like sometimes Apple takes 2 steps back to go 1 step forward.


    I'm going to connect my MacBook Air to Time Capsule now and see if I can retrieve the files from the location you told me. I never specifically requested Time Machine to back up those files, but I think the whole hard drive was being backed up regularly so fingers crossed the files are there.


    I'll let you know how I get on.

  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    I used Migration Assist to see what files I could retrieve from my old computers hard drive. Happily, it looks like the hard drive and its data is stored on the Time Capsule. I'm unsure, though, which item(s) to migrate. I have 4 choices:


    jackonthemac (my old User profile)


    Computer (under 'Settings')

    Other files and folders on MacBook HD


    I've attached a screenshot below showing the options I've been confronted with.


    Which one(s) should I migrate?


  • Ethmoid Level 6 (11,050 points)

    Well you want to transfer the Users file, because that is where your domain.sites file will be located, under your User/Library/Application Support/iWeb/domain.sites.

  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, thanks Ethmoid.


    Once I've migrated the Users file and restarted my computer, will I then be confronted with the choice of 2 user profiles to log in to - my current profile and the old one (jackonthemac)? If so, is the best thing for me to do:


    log in to my old user profile,

    locate the domain.sites file,

    copy it on to a USB stick,

    log in to my current profile,

    paste the file in iWeb,

    and then delete my old user profile?

  • Ethmoid Level 6 (11,050 points)

    Probably to open the old copied user files and then locate the domain.sites file(s) that you want and then place them in the same place on your new user on your new Mac.

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,507 points)

    If you have problems opening the domain file once you get it into your Users/Home/Library/Application Support/iWeb folder on the new computer try the folowing:


    In Lion and Mountain Lion the Library folder is now invisible. To make it permanently visible enter the following in the Terminal application window: chflags nohidden ~/Library and hit the Enter button - 10.7: Un-hide the User Library folder.


    To open your domain file in Lion or to switch between multiple domain files Cyclosaurus has provided us with the following script that you can make into an Applescript application with Script Editor. Open Script Editor, copy and paste the script below into Script Editor's window and save as an application.

    do shell script "/usr/bin/defaults write iWebDefaultsDocumentPath -boolean no"

    delay 1

    tell application "iWeb" to activate


    You can download an already compiled version with this link: iWeb Switch Domain.


    Just launch the application, find and select the domain file you want to open and it will open with iWeb. It modifies the iWeb preference file each time it's launched so one can switch between domain files.

    WARNING: iWeb Switch Domain will overwrite an existing Domain.sites2 file if you select to create a new domain in the same folder.  So rename your domain files once they've been created to something other than the default name.




  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks guys. Old Toad, I entered the Terminal command and it worked a treat


    So, just to be sure, when I migrate over the Users folder from my old HDD it's not going to overwrite my current User profile, right?

  • Old Toad Level 10 (135,507 points)

    If you use Migration Assistant it shouldn't. 

  • Mark Abbott2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I just had a very similar issue.


    My MBP w/Lion died on me a few weeks ago.  I just purchased it's successor.  I had several site created on iWeb with my old computer, but I never exported and saved the domain files on a backup.  Luckily I had Time Capsule/Time Machine.  I did not want to restore from time machine, but instead I chose to start fresh and drag off files from accessing the disk image on Time Capsule.  Accessing the iweb domain file was challenging because it is hidden. 


    Here's how to do it so you can drag off just the domain file. 


    -Connect to your Time Capsule from the Finder/Shared.

    -Enter your password.

    -Access the Data folder to mount the disk image on your finder. 

    -Access the disk image of your backup. 

    -Navigate to your latest or specific backup

    -Access User/"your user name".  At this point you will see your user files, but you will not see your library. 

    -Type: Command-i for your user name folder.

    -Select the entire Path to your user folder. (This is very long)

    -Type: Shift+Command+g to bring up the Go to the folder box.

    -Paste the path into this box and add "/Library" then click go

    If your path is correct, it will show your hidden library in the Time Capsule. 


    -You can then access:  Library/Application Support/iWeb/

    Find the file called domain and drag it off. 


    -You then hold option+access finder/go/Library.

    -Enter "~/Library/ to access show and access the hiden library on your computer.

    -Access: Library/Application Support/iWeb and drop in the domain file you took off from Time Capsule. 

    Warning: This will overwrite your computers existing domain file.  So if there is anything on that you want to keep, change it's name so you don't overwrite it.

  • Roddy Level 6 (17,265 points)

    It isn't necessary to store your Domain.sites2 file in the library. You can store it in any folder in your Home folder - or anywhere else for that matter.


    To store multiple Domain files, either change the name to "mywebsite.sites2" or keep Domain.sites2 and store them in individual folders.


    See this page for how to handle multiple Domain files when using Lion/Mountain Lion...



    Note that you can "expose" the library folder using Terminal, create an alias to it or add it to the Finder sidebar if you need easy access. 

  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    Mark Abbott2, thanks so much for the advice. I have to be honest, though, you lost me at about half way! Your method seems a lot more lengthy than the alternative (i.e. using Migration Assistant). What is the advantage of doing it your way over using Migration Assistant?


    I've been away from my Time Capsule for quite a while so I haven't had a chance to try either solution, but I'll be home in a week so I'll be able to try then.

  • jackinov Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks Ethmoid, Old Toad and Abbott2, I accessed the disk image of my backup and was able to drag and drop the file entitled 'Domain' into my iWeb folder without a hitch


    I don't know now how I'm going to publish my website online, but now I have the material I can, at the very least, copy it all onto my blog.


    Once again, thanks guys for the advice.

  • ChkRazr Level 1 (5 points)

    Mark:  You had the information for which I was searching:  how to find and access the hidden "User/Library" file from a Time Capsule backup.  It took some doing, but by golly, it worked and I recovered the data for which I was searching from the "Application Support" folder in the Time Capsule backup of a now-crashed iMac so that I could restore it to a temporary replacment Mac.  I'm going to repost your method in reply to another fellow here in Communities who, as of this morning, was still searching for such a method.  Thanks!


    Terry K. Gutierrez

    Omaha, NE

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