Archive for November, 2011

Backing up and restoring Dreamweaver site definitions

We often hear from people: “I’m on a new computer. How do I get all of my Dreamweaver sites over to the new computer as well?”

Variations on this theme include: “My computer got wiped out; how can I get my sites back?” as well as “I had to reinstall Dreamweaver and lost all of my sites. How can a restore them?”

The answer to all of these questions is that you must import Dreamweaver site definitions (information that is kept in an .ste file) in order to restore a previous site. As Adobe Community Expert David Powers says, “Losing your site definitions in Dreamweaver can be a disaster, but it does happen sometimes. The best way to prepare for such an eventuality is to back up your site definitions on a regular basis.”

Create backups of your site definitions

You can back up all of your site definitions in a single operation:

  1. In Dreamweaver, choose Site > Manage Sites.
  2. In the Manage Sites dialog box, Shift-click to select all site names.
  3. Click Export.
  4. Dreamweaver asks if you want to include passwords and login details (this is the default option). Whichever option you choose will be applied to all sites, so if you want to export passwords/login details for some sites and not others, click Cancel and then export your sites in two sets by using Ctrl/Cmd-click to select them.
  5. Click OK.
    Dreamweaver asks where you’d like to save the exported site definitions. Navigate to a suitable location, leave the File name field unchanged, and click Save. Although only one site name is listed in the File name field, Dreamweaver exports all of the site definitions as .ste files in a single operation.

NOTE: This process backs up only the details of your sites, such as the location of the root folder, FTP details, and so on. It does not back up the actual files in your site, such as .html (or .php, .asp, .cfm) files, images, and style sheets. It’s a good idea to use your normal file backup routine on your actual files from time to time, as well as exporting the site definitions.

Restore site definitions

In the event of losing your site definitions in Dreamweaver or moving to a new computer, open the Manage Sites dialog box (Sites > Manage Sites), and use the Import button to navigate to your backup .ste files.

For more detailed step-by-step instructions you can consult the Import site settings documentation in Dreamweaver Help.

Thanks to David Powers, who posted the original version of this topic on the Adobe Dreamweaver forum.