How To Get Rid Of Site Redirect In iWeb & Shorten iWeb URL

November 23rd, 2012

One of our most popular video tutorials is shortening your iWeb URL. In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to shorten your iWeb URL, but also learn how to get rid of the home page site redirect. For an illustration of this, watch the video below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to never miss out on an important video.


In this video tutorial, I am going to show you how you can make your iWeb URL not forward to the site name and first page name.

To illustrate what I mean, here is what a typical iWeb URL looks like after typing in the domain name. Notice how turns into

Where do each of these part of this URL come from? This part of the URL, the domain name, is the obvious one, as this is what the user selects and purchases when registering a domain. This second part is the Site Name, and it comes from this section of the iWeb publish page. You will also notice it right above the pages in the column on the left. This part of the domain, is the page name. It comes from the name you give to your page in the menu on the left hand side.

So to just give you a bit of background on the way all of this works, whenever you publish an iWeb site, you will see three things right away. The assets file, the site folder, which will have your site name and contain all of your website’s files, and an index.html file. When these items get published to your server, and you subsequently type in your domain name in your web browser, your server will default to the index.html file, which then has a line of code instructing the browser to forward to the first page of your website. That first page of your website is located within the other folder which is labeled with your site name.

Now that we know how all of it works, let’s change it so that our URLs are shorter, and the browser doesn’t forward when we type our domain name into a web browser. In other words, we’re going to change it so that when you type in your domain name in your web browser, all you will see is the domain. Then, when you click to go to a subsequent page on the site, you will only see the domain and the page name. This is the normal way the most websites operate.

I want to quickly mention that doing this will change the structure of your URL, so if your site ranks in search engines and is giving you traffic, then changing this might hurt those rankings.

The first thing we’re going to do is change the name of the first page of our website to index. Make sure you type it in just like I have done. You will notice how I used only lower case letters, and there are no extra characters or spaces. This is an extremely important step, so make sure you have followed the instructions as I just outlined.

There is one other drawback to this. When we change the page name to index, it will show up in our navigation menus. If you’ve watch some of our other tutorials, you will remember how I recommend users to disable the navigation menu that iWeb makes, and create your own. Once again, I will recommend doing this, but if you don’t want to, just make sure you at least take this main page out of the navigation menu by clicking on the Inspector button, clicking on the Page tab, and then un-tick the Include Page In Navigation Menu option. If you want your home page to still have a link in your menu bar, you can add it via a text link, or via an image linked to the homepage. This part is entirely up to you, but I recommend removing the word index from your navigation menu as it might confuse many of your visitors.

Our next step is to publish the site to a local folder on our hard drive. To make things as easy as possible, let’s publish the site directly to our desktops. When I say directly to the desktop, I don’t mean in a folder on the desktop, but rather directly on the desktop.

When we do this, we’re going to see those three items that I mentioned earlier; the assets file, the site folder, and the index.html file.

All we are going to do, is publish just the contents of the site folder. You can do this by dragging and dropping all of these files into your favourite FTP client.

I will show you how to do this using iWeb SEO Tool since I know a lot of users’ next step would be to load their site in iWeb SEO Tool.

So all I will do is drag and drop this folder onto iWeb SEO Tool’s local sites column. Now you can optimize your site for search engines, or press the Re-Apply Saved Tags button to get your old tags back, and publish your website.

When you are done, type your domain name into your web browser, and you will notice that the URL does not change. It will only change when you click on a link to be taken to a different page on your site.

If you are having problems making this work correctly, the first thing I want you to do is make sure that you have correctly typed in the first page of your site as index. If that was not done correctly then this will not work. Also, unless you publish the site folder contents correctly, this method will not work.

Before assuming that you did it incorrectly, try restarting your computer, and checking again. You can also check the website on your phone to see if it works there. Sometimes it can take several minutes to several hours for some users to see the changes. If you are still having trouble, please send us an email.

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3 Responses to “How To Get Rid Of Site Redirect In iWeb & Shorten iWeb URL”

  1. Jean Says:

    Very well explained, very good tutorial, but it didn’t work.
    I had
    and want to get rid of this /home.html

    It changed from to 2013/index.html (longer!)

    I thought it was because I published the folder “Website 2013” (website name, not the html and assets as you explained) but not the bunch of files inside this folder.
    So I deleted everything and publish the bunch of files that were inside “Website 2013”

    It changed to
    So, Instead of /home.html that I had before I got /index.html

    So, I decided to get back to /home.html to not make people confused.

    Using Fetch FTP for years now to upload to Godaddy server.

    It used to be just until August when upgrade the server from Windows to Linux, trying to work with WordPress but
    I couldn’t even make a page in WordPress, couldn’t understand it at all.
    I think I will give a try to this EasyWeb just to be more updated following you advise.

    Thank you,

    Jean Pierre Rousselet

  2. Shaun Weston Says:

    We are working on Gianna’s House Charity site next. I tried EasyWeb but found many of the iWeb features are not here. I did purchase (years ago) Iwebseo and was very happy to see the results applied for SEO, meta tags and titles, image replacement names etc all worked perfectly.

    I deleted the iWeb navigation and will start building pages now at Is there a site map program that works? or a Navigation Menu program that codes for search engines? I agree with the reason to not use iWeb menus see my site we have great rankings so I think I need to keep the old pages live & not place them in the new menu directory. Thoughts?

    Web ranking for John Coughlin the founder is critical as we have many other John Coughlins online.

    Is their anything new in the latest version that helps with SEO? I’m on v 1.9.1
    I would be happy to participate in any Beta next generation of your easyweb but we need to be on par with iweb09 first.

  3. paul Says:

    What features do you need in EverWeb? Please be specific so we know what needs to be added. You should take this topic to the EverWeb discussion forums as they are a more appropriate place for them.

    EverWeb’s features are much more SEO friendly including the navigation bar.

    For Sitemaps, if you mean XML sitemaps you should try Sitemap Automator which is the only Sitemap program that works properly with iWeb sites.

    iWeb SEO Tool 2.0 and later bring a lot of new features. EverWeb is the future though. We do have a new beta version which introduces Master Templates and can be found under the Announcements tab in the Forums linked above.

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