When Apple moves existing MobileMe users to its new iCloud service later this fall, the venerable iWeb hosting feature won’t make the transition.
MacRumors published email correspondence presumably between a MobileMe user and Steve Jobs, confirming the death of the service. The authenticity of the email exchange cannot be verified, however, MacRumors says that the email headers look legitimate.
Q: Dear Mr. Jobs,
Will I need to find an alternative website builder and someone to host my sites?
I have invested a lot of time and effort and the thought of re-training sucks more than mobileme ever did.
Sent from my iPhone
Giles Turnball at Cult of Mac noticed the omission of iWeb and the MobileMe hosting service from Apple’s keynote and in the support documentation, leaving him (and plenty of iWeb users) to posit that Apple was considering shutting down the service feature. The company will continue to support all MobileMe features until June of 2012, so likely existing iWeb/MobileMe users have a year or so to find a new web host.
On the whole, the move makes sense. Apple hasn’t updated its iWeb software since iLife ’09 (iLife ’11 simply came with an old version of iWeb) and the company shut down its .Mac homepage publisher in November.
To be sure, a small — if vocal — community of users who publish their websites through iWeb to be hosted via the MobileMe service still exist. But this group continues to dwindle.
When iWeb was released five years ago, the personal publishing — and web hosting — space was quite different than it is today. Platforms like WordPress were still just getting started and Tumblr and Posterous didn’t even exist. For small businesses or individuals who wanted an easy, affordable way to host their own static web content, iWeb and MobileMe (nee .Mac) was a great tool.
Today, however, the world of static web hosting no longer makes as much sense as it once did. First, low-cost web hosts are available en masse. Second, those web hosts offer one-click installs for dozens of web publishing platforms, including WordPress. This significantly reduces the amount of friction involved with getting a website up and running.
Moreover, the type of personal publishing that was once reserved for a home page has become usurped by Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook — not to mention self-hosted blogs and websites. Publishing updates, photos, videos and links to Facebook takes less time than publishing to a blog or static website, and for many users instantly pushes their updates to those that they care about.
Still, for the loyal iWeb user, moving on from the service may prove difficult. The good news is that as long as the iWeb software continues to work under the latest versions of Mac OS X, users can still publish content to a third-party web server using FTP.
In the event that the software stops working or users want more features, third-party publishing solutions like Sandvox 2 and RapidWeaver are still going strong.
(article by Christina Warren which I found in mashable.com on my trusty Flipboard )