How to publish to a test URL or export your project

When experiencing an issue or conflict and contacting 1LD support, providing a link to the page in question can prove to be quite helpful. That way our support team can troubleshoot the issue by inspecting the website. The two tutorials below will help you get our support team what they need to help. First we will need to figure out which method is best.

Do you have hosting and a domain name and your site already published?

If your website project is already live/published, we understand that you may not want to publish your changes just yet as you don’t want the issue to be live on your site. The tutorial “Publish to a test URL” below will show you how you can publish the page in question and set it to not be visible to your page visitors.

Do you have hosting and a domain name but have not published your site yet?

For those who are working on a brand new website project and are able to publish, the tutorial “Publish to a test URL” below can still prove to be helpful. You will not need to duplicate the page as mentioned in step 1.

Are you unable to publish your site?

For those who are working on a brand new website project and are unable to publish, whether it be because you have not obtained hosting/domain name or you are still learning, exporting your site is an alternative way to provide our support team with a way to inspect your website. To do so see the tutorial “Export Your Project” below.

Publish to a test URL

Step 1: Once you have opened your RapidWeaver project, duplicate the page in question by right clicking (or ctrl + clicking) on the page title.

Step 2: Then navigate to the page and open the Inspector > General Settings tab. Uncheck “Show in navigation” which will remove the page from your navigation menu.

Step 3: Now create a unique name to put in the “Folder” field (IE testing).

What this does is create a duplicated page that can only be found by typing the address into the browser’s address bar. After you publish your site, no wandering visitors will be able to see the page that is still in development. If you are unable to publish your site for some reason, exporting the project may be another option for troubleshooting, see the tutorial “Export Your Project” below.

Export Your Project

Step 1: Once you have opened your RapidWeaver project, click on File dropdown menu and select “Export Site…”

Export your project

Step 2: In the Export Site menu navigate to the location you want to save your exported website, in this example we will be saving it to the desktop.  Then Click the “New Folder” button in the bottom left corner and give the folder a name.

Create a new folder

Step 3: After clicking the “Create” button click on the “Export” button.

Step 4: Now locate your newly created exported project where ever you have saved it. Once you find it, right click (or ctrl + click) the folder and select “Compress” from the menu. This will create a compressed copy of your website that you can now add as an attachment to an email.

Compress Exported Website Folder

Consolidate CSS

What is it?

The Consolidate CSS option can be found in the RapidWeaver 6’s wrench icon on the top left in the Advanced option.

Consolidate CSS RW6

By default RapidWeaver will have this option checked.

If checked, all your CSS files will be combined into one CSS file. This works well with RapidWeaver’s built-in themes, but can cause major conflicts with 3rd party developers’ themes and more specifically with those that have a high amount of customization options.

Why Use It?

The only reason, that I’m aware of, why anyone would like to use this option is entirely due to Internet Explorer’s (IE) nonsensical structure. IE is the only mainstream browser on the market that limits the amount of stylesheets that can be called within a single webpage. If you go over that limit, 31 stylesheets, all additional stylesheets (32 and up) will be completely ignored.

Well of course Microsoft has realized this problem and made sure to stop such nonsense in the latest versions of IE (8, 9, 10) right? NOPE! They haven’t – nothing has changed in this area. If you’re running IE6 or IE10 you are still limited to this archaic rule. Will they ever fix this? My guess is no, because they don’t care at all about their customers or developers as you might have noticed, whether you follow any of their products (i.e. Windows, Office, XBox, etc).

I’ve heard argument regarding it saving on time, but I have not experienced this problem on any noticeable level personally.

My Recommendation

If you’re using a browsers with built-in code inspecting tools, my favorite being Chrome, you can right click and select “Inspect Element,” which will bring up a section in your browser where you can view the code. If you go to “Resources” you can see all the stylesheets that are being called in.

I recommend that if this amount is not over 31 then you really have no reason to consolidate CSS.

A majority of our themes often contain a stylesheet count somewhere in the lower 20’s. Why so many? RapidWeaver structure requires theme style options to work largely by alternating between different stylesheets – in other words, it’s just the way RapidWeaver is built.

What if I have a ton of Stacks on a page? No worries there – Stacks already consolidates the CSS, so if you have one stack or several there is still only a single stylesheet being called in.

Hosting Your Website

When you website is ready to be launched you will need to host it on a server.

The typical process looks like the following:

  1. Purchase a Hosting Plan
  2. Publishing Your Website (FTP)

What to look for in a hosting service

Speed, Service & Pricing

Pricing is certainly the most eye catching portion of most hosting advertisements, but it is certainly no where near the most important. “If the price is low, but your website’s slow” then you may find yourself regretting the decision later on.

Unless you are very familiar with servers then I would also recommend getting a company that offers great service. Not just great in that they are polite, but one that is open 24/7, offers service with technically savvy workers (not just ones reading a script), has been around a while, and has a great inventory of tutorials.

Shared vs Dedicated

The average size of most RapidWeaver websites are not extremely large, in which case you would need a dedicated server. Most websites do not need a dedicated server and can be hosted on much less expensive Shared Servers. However, I find clients often want to start small and possible work their way big later on. For that reason I would recommend finding a company that offers both.

See a hosting comparison chart by First Site Guide.

Publishing your website in RapidWeaver

You will need to obtain information before you can upload your site, which includes (1) your server, (2) your username, and (3) your password. If you don’t know these then please contact your host for assistance.

Uploading Your Website in RapidWeaver

The first time you upload your website, or as RapidWeaver calls it “publish” your website, you have to enter information to tell RapidWeaver where your website files are going to be uploaded to. After that, every time you hit publish you will not be shown the information, but if you wish to change it press Command + K.

1. Click the “Publish” button located in the top right of RapidWeaver’s backend (where you edit your websites content).

Publish RapidWeaver Themes - Upload FTP

In RapidWeaver 6 this image is replaced by the following:

Publishing in RW 6

Note that the CMD + K function can be found as an option in the drop-down as well.

This button will open the screenshot image below where you will need to add your login information. You can test the connection with the “Test Connection” button.

Many hosts will also require a path to be put in an inner folder, such as /www/ or /public_html/ or /html/

Publishing Details

Hit publish when you are finished and go have a snack or something because the first upload can take a while. Don’t worry though, future uploads will only upload the files you have edited and not the whole site over again.