When I first started using EverWeb, even before its official release over six years ago, the Assets List was one of the new features that immediately differentiated it from iWeb. At the time, though, it seemed as if the Assets List was just a list of the files in the project. Nothing more, nothing less. So there didn’t seem to be much to the Assets List and there were lots more exciting things to try out before EverWeb officially launched back in November 2013…
Now over six years later, I find that I use the Assets List a lot more than I had first anticipated. There’s much more to it than first meets the eye. Once you discover its capabilities you’ll find that the Assets List will save you time, effort and resources!
Here’s a rundown of all that you need to know…
What is an Asset?
An asset in EverWeb is a file that is available for use in your website project. The most common type of asset that you’ll use is probably an image file. However, you can use other types of file as well, such as audio, video, PDF and ZIP files.
How Assets Are Stored in the Assets List
All of the assets in your project file are listed in the Assets List whether they’re actually used in the pages of your site or not. You can drag and drop image files directly onto the Assets List for use later. There’s no need to always drop files directly on to the Editor Window if you’re not going to use them straight away. This makes the Assets List a great filing repository that you can call on at any time. You can even set up directories within the Assets List to organize your files however you like.
If you no longer need an asset, such as a particular image, and have deleted it from the page it will still be available in the Assets List for use elsewhere in your project. However, if you have unused assets that you do want to delete from the project file, follow the instructions in the ‘Remove Unused Assts’ section below.
Images and External Files
The Assets List has two sections: Images and External Files. Each section can be expanded or collapsed using the triangle symbol to the left of their section names. The Images section, as you would expect, supports a large number of image file formats such as JPEG and PNG files.
When you drag and drop an image on to the Editor Window from outside of EverWeb, the image file is automatically added to the Images section of the Assets List. If you bring in a very large image file, EverWeb will offer you the chance to import the file at web resolution (which helps your page load faster), at high resolution (which may slow the loading of the page) or as an External File (which a visitor could potentially download later).
External files are usually types of media such as audio, video, PDF, ZIP files and so forth. As with images, EverWeb automatically categorizes these files in to the External Files section. Essentially an external file is any file that needs to be downloaded from the Host Server to the local PC.
Assets and Your Website’s SEO
Before adding files in to the Assets List, it’s best to rename the file so that it reflects its content if you need to. For example, photographs usually just have a sequential alphanumeric name as the file name, so renaming it as something meaningful will help you easily find the file in the future. Additionally, importing files with meaningful names is best for your SEO when the files are used in your website’s pages. If you have already imported images, or external files, in to the Assets List that do not have meaningful names, you can still rename them benefit your SEO. To rename a file in the Assets List, just double click on the file in the Assets List and enter your new SEO friendly name. Press Enter to finish.
The Assets List Settings Cog
The Assets List was revamped in EverWeb 3.0 adding the ability to create directories within the Assets List. You can now store your assets how you like within folders and subfolders. The other noticeable change was that the familiar up/down arrows used for display the Assets List’s settings was replaced with a new Settings Cog. The functionality of the settings feature remains the same through, so you can still order your assets by name, file size, date added or in custom sort order. You can also expand the information you see about the assets in the list using the ‘Show File Info’ option.
Removing Unused Assets
The Settings Cog is also the place to search for assets that are not being used on any pages in your site. This is useful if your project file is getting too large and is slowing down the loading and functioning of the project file. Reducing the project file size by deleting assets that are no longer needed will help reclaim memory and speed up the usage of the project file.
Start by selecting the ‘Find Unused Assets’ option to search for unused assets. EverWeb will search the Assets List and highlight any assets that are not used. You can then check the files to see if you want to delete them if they are not needed in the future for your project.
Using and Reusing Assets
The Assets List is mostly used to place images on the pages of your website. The advantage of using the Assets List is that you can reuse assets as many times as you want on any page in your site. This saves you having to import the asset every time you want to use it. It also keeps the size of your project file from ballooning unnecessarily.
The Assets List is displayed as just that – a list. If you want to see the contents of the image file, there a couple of ways to do this. When you start dragging the image file out of the Assets List, you’ll notice that a thumbnail of the image appears. If this is the image you want, continue to drag and drop it on to the Editor Window. If it’s not the image you want, drop the image file back in to the Assets List.
The second way to view the image is by using the Preview Eye to the right of the image file. This will open up a Preview Window which is scaleable. Furthermore, the Preview Eye allows you to open the image file in Apple’s Preview. You can then use the features of Apple’s Preview to edit the image file. Note that when using this option, Apple’s Preview app will create a duplicate that can be edited, so as to leave the original file in tact.
The Assets List is a great way to store, manipulate and manage the files of your EverWeb project!
If you have a question about this post, please let us know in the Comments Section. We’re here to help!
When I republish the ‘Entire Site’ do all the External Assets such as mp4s and flip books get refreshed? With a large number of external assets of reasonable size this appears to be a lengthy operation. However I am directly uploading some assets to my website using Filezilla so presumably these remain untouched by a refresh. Have I got this right?
If you do a full republish all assets will be refreshed. You should not need to do a full publish usually unless it’s the first time you are publishing or if you have e.g. a master page that you change that affects all pages, or if you have issues by not doing a full publish (e.g. if hyperlinks don’t get refreshed properly) so I think that your approach is fine when you have large external files. Usually just hit the publish button to just publish any pages that have changed.