How To Create Visitor Friendly Short URLs with iWeb

August 24th, 2010

If you use iWeb, you already know that when you type in your website’s URL, once you are taken to your page, the URL in the address bar will forward to your domain name, followed by the site name that you gave in iWeb while publishing, followed by your page’s file name. It will look something like this;

What we will show you in this tutorial is how to shorten the URL so it only looks like this;

The steps to do this are actually quite simple and if you are already using iWeb SEO Tool there really isn’t much more to it. It does require that you have a real web host with an FTP server, but if you are serious at all about your website, you should have one already.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them below. This video has also been added to the iWeb SEO Video Walkthrough Tutorial

70 Responses to “How To Create Visitor Friendly Short URLs with iWeb”

  1. paul Says:

    You are just opening your exported website in iWeb SEO Tool. So wherever you saved your local site in iWeb too (for example on your desktop, maybe), you would then open that in iWeb SEO Tool.

    Then you publish with iWeb SEO Tool.

  2. Tamsin Says:

    Hi Paul

    I have read this thread and watched the video about ten times to see if there is something I am missing but still my iweb site hosted by mobileme has the ‘sitename’ in the address.

    Please take a look my url becomes As my iweb sitename in iweb is ‘TM’. I publish it to a local folder on my hard drive to folder tamsinmaewebsite, and within that are the 3 items you show assets, index & the folder TM with the site in it, open iwebseo, select open website (the little folder top left) go to the hd, open folder tamsinmaewebsite and then the folder ‘TM’, load it in iwebseo and do my seo then got to Publish – to mobileme. It’s a big site so takes a while but still all of the pages have the long url – Am I missing a step somewhere? I did think that maybe I needed to highlight the items ‘within’ the sitename folder but iwebseo doesn’t allow you to do that.

    Also I am updating my site often as I have a blog, is there a way to update changed files only?

    I will of course be looking for alternative hosting in the NEAR future and like the Rage products but really need to keep the work flow and upload times down to a minimum so I am testing out most of your software for that purpose.

    I hope you can help. Many thanks in advance – Tamsin

  3. Ellen Says:

    I have followed all the instructions. I have iWeb SEO 2.2, Lion, and am hosted by RageSW. I still get the long title.
    Is there something to do once you have chosen the folder inside the folder with iWeb SEO?

  4. paul Says:

    Publish your entire site site by going to the File menu in iWeb and selecting ‘Publish Entire Site’. Open your site in iWeb SEO Tool and then publish again. It should work now.

  5. Mike V Says:

    done it! i think they need to empty the cache first. i tried on my Chrome browser its the same but tried it on my Safari and now it has a shorter URL. Thanks for this tutorial 🙂

  6. Luk Says:

    I did this a few weeks ago and it worked, but now I changed the lay out of my site a I tried it again but I always see my old version and not the new one. How can I solve this problem?

  7. Jeremy Says:

    The next time you publish your site in iWeb, try to go to File and select Publish Entire Site. Then load the site in iWeb SEO Tool (short URL way) and publish.

  8. Georgi Says:

    Hi Paul,
    I fallow the video step by step but when i open SEO and load my site nothing happen. No text no nothing in Head Code or Footer Code. On your video they come soon you upload the site from the local folder. Do i need to type my self anything or i do something wrong.
    Hope you can help.

  9. paul Says:

    Those fields are to enter your Google Analytics or other website visitor tracking code. You don’t need them for short URLs but if you want to learn how to use them you can check out or SEO for iWeb Walkthrough Video Tutorial:

  10. Georgi Says:


  11. Valerie Says:

    @Paul (or whoever wants to help)

    I am SO very thankful for this, as it is EXACTLY what I spent endlessly searching for hours. However, I am wondering if there is a way to change it even further. Can you take out the “.html” from the end of each? For instance,

    In the homepage, I would just like it to say “” instead of “”
    In subsequent pages, I would like “” instead of “”

    Is there a way to do this? I use iWeb 08 and I have published to a folder and then uploaded my files directly to my host via their “Unlimited FTP” icon.


  12. paul Says:

    No you can’t take out the .html and you shouldn’t anyways. It need to be there.

  13. Melanie Says:

    Thanks for this tutorial! I published my website to a local folder, then entered keywords in the iWeb SEO Tool, and published that to the same folder, and then used Cyberduck (which I use for my FTP client) to publish the website. However, I’m still getting the really long URL. I’d really appreciate your help on this!

  14. Melanie Says:

    Well, I just checked my website several hours after doing the steps I just described, and now the URL is short! It wasn’t immediately after publishing the changes, but it is now, so it must take several hours to populate. Thanks again!

  15. Rebecca Says:

    I have a few questions about sorting SEO and URL on my iweb site – what software is best with iwebSEO tool (which I have not bought yet, but am planning to today if I get a response to this):

    1.Can you advise on iwebSEO tool and publishing direct to an FTP server (direct to my web hosting package from iweb SEO tool) or using something like Cyberduck FTP client to publish to my FTP Server (webhost).

    I have built my website on iweb and launched it, but it has no meta tags or title tags (H1 etc) as I can’t find where to put these in i web. It also has the long URL with my website twice. I understand that purchasing iweb SEO tool can solve these but before I do I want to understand whether I also need an FTP client to manage the files for my website.

    2.My web host has said I cannot solve the long URL without an FTP client. Is this correct or can I do it in iweb SEO tool without using an FTP client?

    3.I want to have a blog on the website and was thinking of doing a wordpress blog, and linking it to my iweb website, will this work? Or can you do a blog in iweb- if so how?
    Will both methods be visible to google & other search engines?

    4.If I am making regular changes to my site updating blog & content – can I republish only the changes within iweb SEO tool rather than publishing the whole site again? (I presume that would take much longer). I want to avoid meta tags and headers wiping.

    5.If I had Cyberduck or similar could I use that to publish only what I have changed for speed? For example use iwebSEO tool to publish to my FTP server host if I changed the whole site, but publish through Cyberduck only if it was just changes to the blog and I only wanted to publish those changes-if I did this would the meta tags and titles all wipe or will they stay as long as I go from iweb SEO tool to Cyberduck to Webhost FTP Server?

    I am trying to decide whether I need an FTP client as well as iwebSEO tool.

    6.Can you also offer any advice on adding social media widgets to the iwebsite? Can you get code from developers blogs for the more ‘designed’ looking widgets and add it to the HTML box in iweb? do they work OK? If I get iwebSEO tool will the widgets I add work OK when publishing through iwebSEO tool?

    Many thanks in advance for your time and help.

  16. Paul Woods Says:

    Hallo Paul – or anyone!
    I am pulling my hair out. Bought the program, believed the promises. Have tried everything, read all the comments and blogs. My iweb seo adjustments are simple NOT happening – pleeeeeese help. Thanks in advance.

  17. paul Says:

    @Paul Woods: Your website is optimized and published correctly with a short URL. You are most likely visiting your old website because it is in your history. Your new site is here:

  18. Tom Says:

    For some reason, I am not getting these “long” names in my urls that you speak of.
    However, the reason I got the iWeb SEO Tool was to give Titles and Meta Tags to my pages. Someone suggested doing that to make search engines find my site more easily.
    So my question is this:
    Do you have any tutorials on how to use Title and Meta Tags in the iWeb SEO Tool???
    That would be very helpful to me.

  19. bob groome Says:

    I used SEO Tool for the first time a day or two ago. since then my home page is no longer found (error 404) by my hoist. I can get to my other pages such as and others through any browser; but not the home page which is

    What did I do wrong with SEO and how do I go about fixing it?

    I have considered the new web creation software you offer and very well may buy it soon. But want to get the site back up and running first.


  20. paul Says:

    Use the publish entire site feature under iWeb’s File menu.

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