You can publish your site either when you’re done building it, or for a live test. You initiate publishing via the “Publish website…” option in the File menu or through the "Publish" icon in the toolbar.
On first publish you will have to set up a location. Click on the “Setup…” button to get started.
A publishing location stores all settings so that updating the site is a single click away. Sparkle also uses the location information to only publish actually changed files.
Where to publish
To publish your site to the web you will need to have a hosting plan with a web hosting company. This isn’t included in Sparkle. We generally recommend any of the top sites listed on this ReviewSignal page.
The initial screen reflects this.
Export to disk
Exporting to disk is straightforward, you are requested to pick a folder and name the location. Additionally the text encoding option lets you choose how non-ASCII characters are represented in the web page code. It conservatively defaults to ASCII text, which makes the page source somewhat larger but is compatible with all web servers. You can set it to UTF-8 for a more compact page source if you know the server is compatible (the browser will otherwise show incorrect characters). This setting is auto-detected when Sparkle publishes directly to the web.
By default Sparkle produces high performance HTML that works when uploaded to a web server. If you intend to load the HTML files directly in the browser from the local disk you will need to set the code generation option to “Offline compatible”.
Publish to the web
Publishing to the web is more complex, but while it has some upfront annoyance, once it’s done you can subsequently publish updates with a few clicks.
Initially you need to tell Sparkle at what address your site will live on the web. This should not include any detail about the hosting for the site.
While referencing your web host’s settings, either in an email or in the section of their web portal that discusses FTP and domain management, fill in the setup screen:
Sparkle needs the web address because it will check that the FTP space it connects to corresponds to the web address you want. This helps autodetect a number of settings that ensure Sparkle works with the widest variety of web hosts and servers.
Your web host will provide the server address and user name and password. They might also suggest a preferred protocol. You can use the advanced section for that.
A higher number of connections generally corresponds to a faster transfer speed, though will also need a faster connection for the higher number of connections. Some web hosts limit the number of connections, in some cases blocking any further connection for some time, and note that this counts for all apps you might have open on your Mac. For example if your web host only allows a single connection and you already have an FTP app open, Sparkle might not be able to connect.
If the connection succeeds and your web host is set up in a way that Sparkle can auto-detect, after a few seconds you will see the location save screen, signaling setup completion.
The purpose of the publishing setup is for Sparkle to find the server folder where the domain or web address lives. Where this folder lives on the server is not a standard, though there are some common patterns, so before getting to this step Sparkle attempts to auto detect it making some educated guesses, and publishing a detection file to the server, then checking its existence at the web address you entered.
But in some cases Sparkle can’t figure it out, either your web host is using a folder naming scheme that Sparkle doesn’t know about, or a server cache is interfering with the “probe file” from showing up at the web address. In these cases you need to assist Sparkle to complete the setup.
Before the setup completion screen, Sparkle will show the filesystem of your web server, and you will need to locate the folder where the website needs to be published, to be visible at the requested address, if your domain has older content then the folder containing that content is the right one.
A couple common issues that will prevent this from working entirely:
When you make changes and want to update the website, click on the Publish toolbar icon and click on the Publish button for each location you want to update.
A notification will inform you of the publish completion if you have switched away from Sparkle.
Sparkle’s goal when publishing is the performance of the published website. This has informed some choices that make the publishing process slower than what would be intuitive, but the end goal is a speedy experience for the site visitor.
In order to avoid re-compressing the images every time you publish, Sparkle associates a disk cache with each publish location, you can manually clear it from the Sparkle preferences window, but more importantly re-using the same publish location is what ensures publishing is fast and only transfers changed files.
Settings communicated by your web host:
The FTP server name
The FTP username
The FTP password or the server SSH key
Number of connections to the server
The protocol generally works with auto-detection, but you can manually set it based on your web host’s suggestions if Sparkle has trouble connecting
Sparkle combines an all-in-one approach, an understandable interface and a focus on producing high performance and search engine optimized websites.
All in a powerful native Mac app.
Nothing else comes close.
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