Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

iWeb heads for the island of discontinued Apple products

June 13, 2011: 2:00 PM ET

Joins a long sad list that includes AppleWorks, Hypercard, OpenDoc and Shake

Source: Apple Inc.

If the e-mail to a MacRumors reader attributed to Steve Jobs is real -- and there is no reason to think it isn't -- Apple's CEO has confirmed with a "yep" what thousands of loyal Apple (AAPL) customers feared: The iWeb service that Apple has provided for building and hosting websites, blogs and podcasts since January 2006 will be set adrift in July 2012.

That's when, to paraphrase a remark Jobs made in 1997 when he discontinued OpenDoc, the company is scheduled to "put a bullet through" MobileMe's head.

By then, MobileMe will have been superseded by iCloud -- by all accounts a more powerful and, at $0 per year vs. $99, far more affordable service.

Nothing, however, has been said about replacing iWeb, and Apple PR has yet to reply to our query on the matter. Until then, we can only assume that iWeb will go the way of .Mac HomePage, Apple's previous aborted effort to provide Web hosting services for its users.

To get a feel for what HomePage's ignominious end was like, see Apple's official FAQ below the fold (note all the references to the soon-to-be defunct MobileMe). Click here for an annotated list of discontinued Apple products.

What was .Mac HomePage?

.Mac HomePage was a feature of the .Mac service that allowed users to publish web pages using their .Mac account.

When was the .Mac HomePage application discontinued?

The HomePage web application was discontinued on July 7, 2009. As of that date, members were unable to create new pages or edit pages they had already published.

Can friends and family still view my published pages?

Web pages created using .Mac HomePage will still exist on the web, but only the HTML, text, and other content contained in the Sites folder on iDisk will be viewable. Photos and movies will no longer be viewable after November 8, 2010 (unless they are also contained in the Sites folder).

If you created HomePage photo pages, please see this article for more information on moving that content to MobileMe Gallery. If you have a HomePage movie page, this article has similar instructions.

Will my content be deleted after November 8, 2010?

No. All of your content is still on your iDisk and can be accessed by going to me.com/idisk and clicking Home in the sidebar. The HTML files that make up your site can be found in the Sites folder, and any pictures or movies you have used for your pages can be found in the Pictures and Movies folders respectively. You must remain an active MobileMe member to access your iDisk.

Does this affect my @mac.com email address?

No. @mac.com email addresses are unaffected by this change and will continue working.

Will iWeb or Aperture web pages be affected?

No. iWeb sites and Aperture web journals and web pages will continue to be available for viewing. iWeb and Aperture users can continue publishing new content to MobileMe.

What should I use for sharing photos and movies?

MobileMe Gallery is recommended to quickly and easily share photos in an online gallery directly from iPhoto (iLife '08 or later), Aperture (version 2 or later), from the web at me.com, or directly from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. You can also share movies on MobileMe Gallery directly from iMovie (iLife '08 or later) or QuickTime Player X. Please read these instructions on moving HomePage photos and movies to MobileMe Gallery.

What should I use for creating my own website?

iWeb (part of iLife '08 or later) comes with your Mac and enables you to create a custom website and publish it directly to MobileMe. iWeb provides Apple-designed templates for creating photo pages, blogs, travel sites, and more. Please read this article for instructions on moving HomePage movies to iWeb.

What should I use for sharing documents?

Simply upload a file you want to share to your iDisk. Then, log in to me.com/idisk, select the file, and click Share File, or use the iDisk app on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to share your files.

You can also use your iDisk Public folder to share several files at once. After you copy the files to the Public folder on your iDisk, tell the person who you want to share files with to visit your Public folder by typing its URL in a web browser (https://public.me.com/%5Bmembername%5D).

I published content to homepage.mac.com using my own HTML editor and my content is located in the Sites folder of my iDisk. Do I need to do anything?

Content within the Sites folder of your iDisk will still be available for viewing on the web and can still be edited with an HTML editor. However, any website content stored in the Pictures, Movies, or Public folders of your iDisk will be unavailable in your web pages after November 8, 2010 (although a folder called Pictures within the Sites folder would continue to work). If your web pages reference content from any of those folders, you will need to move the content to your Sites folder and update your HTML accordingly.

Can I still delete my published pages?

Yes, you can delete the published pages from the Sites folder in your iDisk. The website address for a page you want to delete might look like:

http://homepage.mac.com/membername/PhotoAlbum1.html

To delete this page, go to me.com/idisk and open the Sites folder. Locate the file (named "PhotoAlbum1.html" in the above example) and delete it.  That will remove the page, and you and others will no longer be able to visit the page.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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