In the first blog post, Off Loading EverWeb Project Content: Planning Your Strategy, we looked at the choices you can make if your website becomes too large so that it becomes difficult to manage, to edit or takes too long to publish. If this is something that you have experienced, breaking down your EverWeb Project file in to two or more project files may be the solution for you. In the first post on this topic, we also discussed the disadvantages of this approach as well so you can make a more informed decision as to whether this approach is right for you.
If you have decided to proceed, this blog will help you look at what to do before splitting up your large project file in to smaller, more manageable project files. The information below should help you along the way. In our example, we are going to split one project file from an art gallery in to three smaller project files…
Back Up Your Project Files
Before we begin, we can’t emphasise enough the importance of backups. The more backups you have the better. At minimum use EverWeb’s own backup feature on the EverWeb-> Preferences-> Backup menu option to set up a backup feature for your project files. In addition, you should also include EverWeb’s Project files in your computer’s backup regime too. EverWeb Project files are stored in your Library-> Application Support-> EverWeb folder on your local hard disk.
Check Your Local Disk and Server Space
Depending on how many project files you will be splitting your original into, the total amount of disk space you will need locally, and on your server, will vary. Make sure that you have enough local disk space (or Cloud storage if your project is stored in the Cloud) and that you have enough ‘clearance’ space on your server to cope with any extra space requirements needed during the project file splitting process.
In the following example, the main project file is called ‘Artwork’. The Project file contains many of images of artwork. These images are in a folder called ‘Galleries’ which is a directory folder under which are several art exhibition pages. It makes good sense, therefore, to put this folder and its contents in their own Project file. The images will then be in a self contained, relatively static (i.e. a not updated often) Project file. This strategy will reduce the size of the main project file and will have the advantage of making editing and publishing the main file much faster.
The second project file that will be created will contain the website’s blog. The advantage here is that the blog is relatively small (100 posts) at the moment so it will be quick to edit, update and publish without having to open the main Artwork Project file. As the blog grows it will not impact the main project file.
Duplicating Your Project File
Let’s start by duplicating the original project file twice:
- Launch EverWeb if you have not done so already.You will now see the Projects Window.
- If you already have your project file on screen, use the File-> Projects Window… menu option to go to the Projects Window.
- Click on the up/down arrows to the right of the name of the project file that you want to duplicate, in this example, Artwork.
- A submenu will appear. Select the ‘Duplicate’ option.
- A duplicate will be made and will use the original Project file name with the word ‘Copy’ at the end of the name.
- Rename the duplicate by double clicking on the file name to open the Project.
- Double click on the Project name in the Web Page List and rename it. Alternatively, use the File-> Rename Website command.
In this example the main Artwork Project file will be split in to three, therefore, two duplicates would be created. At the end of the process there will be an ‘Artwork’, ‘Galleries’ and ‘Blog’ Project file.
Working On Duplicate Project Files
You might want to start by working on one of the duplicate project files, in this example, the ‘Galleries’ Project file. Prior to starting to work on the duplicate file you should do the following…
- Create a Subdirectory for Each Duplicate Project File The first thing you may want to do is to go to the Project file’s Site Publishing Settings and create a subdirectory to publish the site to. This subdirectory will be under the main domain name of the site. To get to the setting, either click on the Project file name in the Web Page List or use the File-> Edit Publishing Settings menu option. In the Subdirectory field, enter a new Subdirectory name ‘Galleries’. You may already have this folder created on your server when you published your main (e.g. Artwork) Project file if it uses the same file structure in its Web Page List structure. If this is the case, be careful about publishing the ‘Galleries’ project file as it will overwrite the existing folder on the server. This could have severe implications on your main live site so be careful.
- Navigation When splitting up a Project file in to smaller, multiple Projects, you will need to consider how to handle navigation between each project file. In this example, the three Project files – Artwork, Galleries and Blog, will need linking together.
If the navigation is a simple one line menu structure, you can easily hard wire each Project file’s URL links in to each project file’s navigation.
If you are using a drop down menu structure, you will need to mimic the navigation structure in each of your Project files and use redirection to get to the right page when the user selects e.g. an option from the navigations’s ‘Galleries’ menu.
You may want to simplify things completely in respect to your site’s navigation. For example, you may have a ‘Galleries’ menu option in the main Project file that takes you to the ‘Galleries’ Project file content. The navigation in the Galleries Project file could simply be a list of art exhibitions with a ‘back’ to main site button to take the visitor back to the main Artwork Project file site. It’s a simple solution, although it has its own shortcomings and limitations.
Before you start work on the splitting the main Artwork Project file up, decide how you want to design your navigation first.
- Remove Unneeded Content and Pages When working on your Project files, you will be stripping out content from each Project file. Depending on how you design your navigation, you will either be stripping content from certain pages and folders, or removing pages all together. For example, in the Galleries project file, I only want the Galleries folder and the pages within it. However, I still need the rest of the pages in the site as they are needed to create the navigation structure. For these pages and folders, though, strip out the content as these pages will be used to redirect the visitor back to the correct page in the main website.
In the Blog project file, I would again remove the content of all of the folders and pages as these will be used for redirecting the visitor back to the appropriate page in the main website. I would keep the Blog folder in tact.
For the main website project file, I would remove the content of the Galleries folder and the content of any pages that that folder contains. For the Blog I would delete the Blog itself and replace it with a regular page that I would call ‘Blog’. This ‘dummy’ page would redirect the visitor to the content in the Blog project file.
- Removing Assets After you have removed the content and/or pages from the Galleries project file, you can now delete any assets that are no longer used, or needed, in the Project file. To do this, click on the Assets tab, then on the Settings Cog to the right of the Asset Tab’s Search bar. Select the option to ‘Find Unused Assets’ and delete any, or all, of the assets highlighted as they are no longer being used in the Project file.
As you can tell from the above, there are many thing to consider when you start to split a large Project file in to smaller, more manageable pieces. Navigation is a key area to think about as well as whether you need to delete a page’s content or the page itself from your Project file.
Linking the three Project files together via redirection will be discussed in the next blog post as well as publishing and maintaining your Project files in the future.