My Apple Dilemma: Keep iWeb or Upgrade to Lion?

Unlike most people, I have not been looking forward to 2012 because I knew 2012 is the year I must resolve my issues with Apple. I’m fairly new to Apple technology. I bought my first Mac in August 2008. After only a few months with my MacBook, I decided I liked Apple so much I wanted to upgrade my desktop which was my primary computer. I purchased my iMac in May 2009. Prior to owning the iMac, I had reached a point in my writing career where I thought I could not carry on much less keep up with the changing technology. I was constantly at odds with my desktop PC. My poor husband was weary of helping me with it. I couldn’t check my email. The internet would not work. I didn’t know how to use the printer. On and on and on! All of those problems disappeared the day I brought my iMac home. By the end of Summer 2009 I was convinced that I made the right choice. Moving everything to Apple transformed my life. My productivity increased. Not only could I use my email, internet, and printer (All by myself!), suddenly I could turn my books into videos using iMovie. I started a YouTube Channel. I began to explore social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Best of all, I joined MobileMe. I loved it so much I purchased a second MobileMe account. I use one account under one username, and the other account under another. Why two separate accounts? One account is for my published children’s books. The other account is dedicated to my unpublished work for adults. I created a pen name for my historical novels and built a website for the novels under my pen name’s MobileMe account. For my children’s books I built two websites under my ‘Tammy Bronson’ MobileMe account: tammybronson.com and seahorserun.com. I felt like I accomplished more in two years with my Mac than I accomplished in the eight previous years with my PC. I shoved my PC onto a storage shelf in the garage and said, “Good riddance!” My Mac was my best friend. Until June 2011.

Apple announces iCloud, iTunes Match; Kills MobileMe

In June 2011 Apple announced that MobileMe would switch to iCloud. The switch is not optional, and some MobileMe features (such as websites built with iWeb) will not transfer to the Cloud. Aargh! How could my best friend do this to me?

I talked to a few Mac people, read articles on the internet, and called web hosting sites. A service rep for a very popular web hosting service told me that iWeb would continue to work. I could still build my websites with iWeb, but I would upload my websites to their server instead of Apple. That representative was only partially right. With a Leopard platform, I can keep using iWeb to build and publish my websites. However, by staying with an old platform (Leopard or Snow Leopard) I can no longer update iTunes which means external devices like iPods cannot be updated either. If I stick with Leopard, I also can’t move to iCloud with the rest of the world. If I want to update software on my computer, I must upgrade to OS X Lion, however; once a computer is upgraded to OS X Lion, iWeb can no longer be accessed as an application. If you do not copy, print, save, or move your iWeb data to another website-builder, iWeb data will be lost once you upgrade to OS X Lion. What is the solution?

Do I keep my laptop computer with Leopard or Snow Leopard as long as possible, so my iWeb program will still exist and continue to work on that computer? A possibility, but not a very good long term solution. Initially, I didn’t want to find a solution. I just wanted to cry. I went through months of trial and error and even private training at an Apple store (paid by the hour) in 2009 in order to learn how to use iWeb. Now it is going away? After much  investigation, I finally formed a plan.

Step 1) Move all of the iWeb content I want to save to another platform such as WordPress. This is the most time-consuming part of my plan. I tried downloading my MobileMe site backups so I could move them to a new host, but those MobileMe/iWeb backups look like a jumbled mess in Dreamweaver. I realized that by the time I sorted the mess out, I could retype everything into WordPress.

As luck would have it, a Word Camp happened in my hometown right after Apple’s announcement. I went to Camp and decided to move my websites to WordPress. After much debate over whether or not to use WordPress.com or WordPress.org, I went with dot.com. While moving my information has been time consuming, I’m pleased with the results. I managed to find a template at WordPress that looks very similar to my iWeb site.

My original iWeb Homepage for tammybronson.com.

I like the font better on my WordPress site. In fact, WordPress has many more advanced features than iWeb. Overall, I’m extremely pleased that I made the switch. After six months I’ve moved one  website (this one- tammybronson.com), and the second (seahorserun.com) is a work in progress. I still have the largest website (my novels) to move. Solution? Unfortunately, there’s only one. Move faster! Now is not the time to work at a snail’s pace.

Compare my old website at tammybronson.com to this Blog. I now redirect ‘tammybronson.com’ and ‘tammycarterbronson.com’ to my WordPress Blog.

Or compare my old seahorserun.com to the new WordPress site.

Step 2) Once all of my websites have migrated to WordPress, I need to upgrade my Leopard to Snow Leopard. It comes in a box. Why buy Snow Leopard first? Why not just get OS X Lion? Apple explains it best:

“To upgrade your Mac to OS X Lion, you must be running OS X Snow Leopard. If you have OS X v10.5 Leopard, purchase OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard now and install it on your Mac. Then buy OS X Lion as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

Step 3) So, now I have Snow Leopard, I can visit the online Apple store and purchase the OS X Lion upgrade. It is an App, so it can only be purchased online and downloaded. You can’t go to your local Apple store and buy OS X Lion in a box. The days of owning your software on a disc are over. Everything is now floating in the ether.

Step 4) Once I’ve installed OS X Lion I can visit my MobileMe accounts and move them to iCloud. At least, I hope I can move both of them.

Using Apple IDs with iCloud

Apple says: “If you have a MobileMe account (you have an email that ends in @me.com or @mac.com), you should enter your MobileMe email address when prompted for your Apple ID. This will set up MobileMe mail, contacts, calendar, and bookmarks on your device. This is also an important step for moving your MobileMe account to iCloud.”

But, what if you have two MobileMe accounts, like me? Can I move both? Apple store representatives tell me that I can. Essentially I will have two iCloud accounts. Please let that be right! One MobileMe account has all of my iTunes purchases and contacts, while the other account has all of my business email, important Safari bookmarks, etc. I paid for two accounts. I want to keep both.

Step 5) Now that I have OS X Lion, I can update my iTunes which means I can finally update my iPod and iPad.

To quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

This would not feel like such a bad transition if step one didn’t exist: moving my websites. I hope by Summer 2012 my Mac and I will be best friends again. For now, our relationship is still a bit frosty.

Further Reading

Lion: Ten Things That Bug Me by Erica Sadun July 2011

Mac OS X Snow Leopard vs. OS X Lion by John Cox, Network World

Snow Leopard vs Lion: Performance Head to Head by cNet

Related articles