Backing Up Site Definitions in Dreamweaver
Have you ever looked for missing remote server names, user names, and passwords?
Jan. 8, 2006 04:45 PM
Have you ever looked for missing remote server names, user names, and passwords? Have you ever tried to transfer a site definition to another system by copying the data stored in the Site Definition dialog box? If so, you probably discovered that it doesn't work because the password is encrypted.
Tip: If you are not in a hurry, try my Get Dreamweaver FTP Password feature at my Web site (www.moredw.com/getPW.php).
Fear of losing user names and passwords is but one reason to back up your site definitions. You should also back up your site definitions each time you add a new site or edit an existing site because your computer could crash and you might lose your data, or something could go wrong when you install an upgrade or update that causes you to lose your site definitions. Backing up your site definitions also safeguards you against an occasionally temperamental Dreamweaver installation that might "forget" your site definitions.
To complete this tutorial you will need to install the following software and files: level 2 subhead Dreamweaver 8
As a Dreamweaver user, you have the following options to back up your site definitions. You can:
Note: This extension currently does not recognize Dreamweaver 8. An updated version will be available in early 2006.
- Use the Dreamweaver export and import feature (available for Windows and Mac users)
- Back up the registry key (Windows users)
- Back up the Site Prefs file in the Sites folder (Mac users)
- Use the MM-Exporter extension (Windows user)
Tip: Always print out and store everything that contains the remote server access data, even if you are a paperless office fan!
Considering the Number of Sites
Your back-up strategy also depends upon the number of site definitions you want to back up. For a single site definition or a small number of site definitions, the best way is to use the export and import functions of the Dreamweaver site manager. If you have to back up many site definitions at the same time, you might be better off working with the Dreamweaver Sites registry key (Windows users) or back up the Site Prefs file (Mac user).
Transferring Site Definitions Between Platforms
The only way to transfer site definitions between Windows and Macintosh platforms is to use the export and import feature.
Note: Don't forget to edit your site definitions after importing the site definitions on the new operating system. You'll have to point the site folder to the correct local folder where all the site's files are stored!
Using the Dreamweaver Export/Import Feature
One easy and fast way to back up a site definition is to use the built-in export and import feature in Dreamweaver. This built-in function is available in Dreamweaver MX, Dreamweaver MX 2004, and Dreamweaver 8. Dreamweaver 4 users must download and install a special extension, Site Import Export.
Note: The export feature backs up only the site definition. It does not back up your site's files. You have to do that manually!
Exporting Site Definitions in Dreamweaver 4
Dreamweaver 4 doesn't have a native import and export feature. Instead, you have to use a special extension for exporting and importing site definitions.
Note: The Site Import Export extension is not compatible with Dreamweaver MX/MX2004/8. These versions have a built-in export and import feature. Dreamweaver 4 does not recognize STE files used in Dreamweaver MX and later. Therefore, you cannot import a site definition exported from Dreamweaver 4 into a newer Dreamweaver version. However, when you install Dreamweaver MX, Dreamweaver MX2004, or Dreamweaver 8, your existing Dreamweaver 4 and UltraDev site definitions will be imported automatically into the newer version of Dreamweaver. In short, do not uninstall Dreamweaver 4 before installing a newer version of Dreamweaver.
- Download and install the Site Import Export extension for Dreamweaver 4/4.01
- To export a site definition, choose File > Export > Export Site.
- To import a site definition into Dreamweaver 4, choose File >
Import > Import Site. After importing a site definition you must shut down and restart Dreamweaver before the imported site appears in Dreamweaver.
Exporting Site Definitions in Dreamweaver MX/MX 2004/8
To export site definitions in Dreamweaver MX/MX 2004/8, follow these steps:
Tip: Use the name of the site for the SiteName so that you can recognize it easily later when you want to import it.
- Choose Site > Edit Sites (Dreamweaver MX) or Site > Manage Sites
(Dreamweaver MX 2004/8) to access the site manager. Alternatively, in Dreamweaver MX 2004/8, you can also select Manage Sites from the pop-up list in the Files panel to access the Site Manager (see Figure 1).
- Highlight the site name you want to export and click Export (see Figure 2).
- In the Export Site dialog box, Select the "Back up my settings" option and click OK (see Figure 3).
- Save the SiteName.ste file.
When you export a site definition, Dreamweaver writes the settings into an XML file with an STE extension. Do not change, add, or remove anything in that file!
Importing a Site Definition File
To import a Site Definition file, follow these steps:
Note: Always use the Done button. Dreamweaver can behave strangely if you leave the Manage Sites window using the X in the upper right corner!
- Open the Manage Sites window.
- Click the Import button (see Figure 4).
- Dreamweaver adds a new site name called Unnamed Site 1 to the list. This is a placeholder for the name of the site you want to import (see Figure 5).
- Navigate to the STE file you want to import, select it, and click OK. It might take a few seconds until your imported site name appears in the list. The imported site's name will replace Unnamed Site 1.
- Click Done to save the new extended list and to close the Manage Sites window.
Backing Up the Registry Key (Windows Users)
If you are on Windows and you want to back up all of your site definitions in one single step, export the registry key that contains all of your site definitions and settings.
To export the registry key for your site definitions, follow these steps (Caution: Do not to change, add, or delete anything in the Windows registry!):
- Select > Start > Execute.
- Type regedit into the dialog box and click Execute to open the Registry editor.
- In the left-side window navigate to:
- Dreamweaver 4 users:
- Dreamweaver MX users:
- Dreamweaver MX 2004 users:
- Dreamweaver 8 users:
- Highlight the Sites key (see Figure 6).
- Select File > Export in the menu bar.
- Select Selected branch in the Export Range section of the Export Registry File dialog box.
- Choose a name you can easily remember. (Tip: I always add the month and year to a file's name. For example, sitesDW8_11_05.reg for the sites definition key in Dreamweaver 8, saved in November 2005. This way, I always know when I backed up of the Sites registry key.)
- Click Save to save your site definitions as a Registration File (*.reg).