Sitebuilder Desktop

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  • Announcement
  • Updated 2 days ago
We apologize for any inconvenience, however, we have become aware that Sitebuilder Desktop’s connection to our servers is not working at this time. This is due to a required security update that occurred on Feb 5th, 2019.

As you are aware, Sitebuilder Desktop was replaced by Sitebuilder Plus several years ago. We do understand how much you enjoy using Desktop Builder, and we are doing what we can to get it operational for you again.

In the interim, you can use Sitebuilder Plus to make your urgent updates. We highly recommend you check out our Latest Builder “Website Builder” and consider rebuilding in this state of the art editor, providing hundreds of updated templates, free SSL and Mobile Responsiveness. We have amazing tutorial videos to help get you started using the new editor. You can view these HERE

As additional updates become available in resolving desktop connection issues we will post responses promptly.

Thank you for your patience while we work through these issues.
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Elyzabeth , Official Rep

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Posted 5 days ago

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John5647

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Is Homestead Sitebuilder offline?.

I have Homestead Sitebuilder. For the past 5 hours, I have been unable to get online to update my site. I am online with other programs (email, twitter, etc.) but not Homestead Sitebuilder. I even tried another computer to no avail.
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Connie7227

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The multiple responses to this problem seems to have become buried.  Here is a link to the number of customers who have expressed concern:  https://community.homestead.com/homestead/topics/is-homestead-sitebuilder-offline?utm_source=notific...
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William0820

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Now that thread says
This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.
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William0820

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Guys this is driving me insane!  First off I get it desktop is having issues since the security update thing and many of us can edit but can't publish with it. 

SO I go over to homestead and sign in and use the "PLUS" version, WHICH LACKS FEATURES I USE AND I DO NOT WANT TO USE, but ok I need to do some edits.

Well first off what I see in plus is NOT what I have live on the site itself and not what I had last successfully published with sitebuilder before all this.

So if I monkey around in plus and publish I have to change a TON of stuff to cross reference and bring them both to the same level, if I hit publish site in plus this is gonna really mess up my site since plus is showing pages that are not up to date with what I currently have live showing on my site itself.

Just one site I have 19 pages of content I don't want to have to go thru 19 pages and cross reference the differences between what is already live vs what sitebuilder "Plus" is showing me.

I am afraid to even do a basic edit in plus as what it shows as current is NOT what the live site shows.
(Edited)
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Hi William. I do apologize. Sometimes when Plus has not been used, it ceases to sync correctly. I can get the published site copied into the Sitebuilder Plus editor for you so you will have the same data. Can you tell me which site needs to be fixed?
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William0820

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I am honestly nervous about continually messing with this between desktop and plus, there are many many hours of work into what is published right now vs what plus is showing, I generally use desktop without an issue but being over a week now and updates coming in I am trying but it''s just a complete frustrating mess here.

I have only tried in plus on this one site and it's a complete different mess than what is currently published, man I am really afraid to have this "Sync" thing done, also IF they get desktop working again do I need to uninstall and reinstall it for it to see and update to the current state of published site stuff after usiing this "plus" which I hate btw.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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I do not yet know what may need to be done with Sitbuilder Desktop.

Plus was meant to replace desktop, so they do not sync with each other. Each one syncs only to the published site. If I copy the published site to the Plus editor, you should be able to see, edit and publish the current site. When you open desktop the next time, it should download those changes. If it does not, then you can simply close desktop and rename the site folder(I can provide the path to the folder), and reopen desktop. At that time it will download the entire published site.

You can always make very small changes in Plus, to get started, in order to make sure it is working correctly. 
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Dave6376

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Drew ~ Would you be able to copy a published site into the Plus Editor for me? When I try to open this particular site it fails to load an edit site option. See attached image. Any help would be much appreciated. The site is peachtreecitylandscape.com
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Drew N, Community Manager

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I am getting to work on that for you Dave. One of us will post here when it is done.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Hi Dave, can you take a look now and see if it looks correct?
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Dave6376

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Yes. Thank you Drew. Was able to get in and make the updates needed. Appreciate the help!
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Drew N, Community Manager

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You're very welcome
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Emery Heuermann

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Any idea of a fixed date for Sitebuilder Desktop?

Also, are you at liberty to tell us how many Desptop Sitebuilder users there are? Judging by the number of unique posters with complaints for not being able to publish, it seems to be about 50 or so left. Either that, or there are a lot of dormant websites out there. Your support desk is taking the brunt of complaints I suppose. Anyway, just curious how many are left, of which I am one.

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Drew N, Community Manager

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I do not have an ETA at this time.
I also do not have exact numbers on how many people still use desktop, but it isn't many. I do know it is over 50 total, but many of them do not make regular edits. As it turns out, not all desktop users are affected by this issue. It might be that some ISPs do not yet adhere to the new security protocol, but we are continuing to look at the issue. 
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Emery Heuermann

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Thank you for following up. I know you guys are trying . . just don't let anyone give up on getting a fix. Now at 7 days and counting, maybe a few more.
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Emery Heuermann

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2-14-2019 12:05pm cst
I have just had a lengthy conversation with Michelle at Homestead in sales.
1. I repeated everything she said and she agreed that I did not misinterpret what she is authorized to tell people who are calling in.
2. She was very patient with me and spoke factually and confidently.
3. She did not mince any words about Desktop Sitebuilder being done and customers should expect nothing else from Homestead regarding this "25 year- old obsolete program" .
4.. I advised her that Homestead has an official news release on the community bulletin board that says Homestead is trying to fix the problem so customers can publish their websites again. She said she knows what is being said by Homestead representatives on the community bulletin board but cannot respond.
5. I asked her one last time if she was sure of her statements and I advised her that I was going to put our conversation on the community bulletin board. She said yes, her responses are "official" and yes, she has no problem with me putting our conversation on the community bulletin board.
6. I did ask if there has been a lot of phone calls regarding the "cannot publish
issue" and Desktop Sitebuilder. She said no. Most people have switched to website builder.
6. Barring slight differences in wording, the following is paraphrased from her almost exact words.

HERE IS THE OFFICIAL POSITION FROM MICHELLE, an official representative  of HOMESTEAD:
1. Homestead is done with Desktop SiteBuilder. They have stopped trying to fix the publish problem because whatever they did cannot be undone.
2. She says it is a problem they thought they had fixed with Microsoft but it did not work. She stated their engineers are no longer working on finding a solution.
3. She stated that desktop sitebuilder websites cannot ever be published again NOR can they be removed by the customer.
4. Whatever was published on February 4th 2019 or before is now frozen in time.
5. To remove a website, the customer has to call Homestead.
6. She stated that the official TEMPORARY fix is for customers to download their websites into Sitebuilder Plus. She stated she understands the problems associated with that but has no other suggestion. Even that fix is temporary. Hey guys, don't miss that last sentence, sitebuilder plus is a temporary fix.
7. Website Builder is the program that all customers MUST BEGIN USING. 

I have tried to restate the facts as I understood the conversation. Michelle at Homestead, if you are reading this, please feel free to correct me if you see something substantively wrong or misinterpreted  or misquoted.

Drew and Elizabeth. You might want to enlighten us. Obviously, there is a disconnect between support and management.
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Emery Heuermann

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As a follow-up, Michelle did say that a credit refund will be issued to Desktop Sitebuilder customers, such as myself, from February 4th forward if requested and if not moving to Website Builder. We did not discuss credits available for the downtime in between while websites are rebuilt. 
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Drew N, Community Manager

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While desktop has been discontinued and out of development for several years now, we have not set a date for its end of life. We are committed to doing everything we can to get the desktop program running again for those that wish to continue using it.

That being said, there could be a future time that desktop is permanently ended, but that decision is not made by support and desktop users will be sent an email with details well before that is done. We would also post an announcement here in the community, giving all the pertinent details.

Furthermore, as I have mentioned several times over the years, desktop does require some Microsoft components that were also discontinued long ago. If Microsoft decides to disable them, desktop will cease to function.

Currently, we are working to restore the connection of desktop for those affected(not all users). I will be in another meeting tomorrow morning with the development team to discuss the issue. Because of the product age and new security requirements, coupled with the continued evolution of Windows, we can't promise that it can be fixed, but I can promise we are doing everything we can to resolve this issue.
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Emery Heuermann

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Drew, I hope you are right and she is wrong. Michelle seemed sure of herself and said she was speaking in an official capacity. She was emphatic. Nothing, repeat nothing is being worked on to get the websites updated.  Listen to the recording. She offered zero hope of desktop coming back online. Just the fact that a website can not be taken down by the customer is scary.

Off topic, has the email notices stopped being sent out on topics we follow. This topic is so buried that it is almost impossible to find.

BTW, the same situation exists on my laptop and it is windows 7.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Emery, I am giving the straight scoop. I think there must have been some misunderstanding. She may have been saying that Sitebuilder desktop is not being updated. That is true. It has not been for many years. However, we are searching for ways to get it to work with the new protocols.  As I said in my previous post and several times in the past, there may be a time where it can't be repaired, but we definitely are trying, and to date we have been able to find a way. Hopefully, this will be another such time. I will see in the morning what the dev team wants and get to work on it right away.

If it becomes necessary, I can listen or the support manager can too, but at this time, I prefer to focus on testing and such, to try to resolve the issue.
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R.9229

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In my case, I have to use Desktop Sitebuilder because Sitebuilder Plus hardly ever opens for me. Plus, I have some 5,000 pages on my website, so rebuilding the site is impossible considering my age and health. Therefore I'm hoping there can be some provision for us old-timers who want to continue with Homestead. Not only do I love Desktop Sitebuilder, but I also love Homestead. In my experience, they've always tried their best to help their members and I'm totally happy with Homestead's service. Thanks to the Homestead team.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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We will continue to try. I am glad you are happy and we will do ourbest to get desktop back online ASAP.
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Les6064

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Hi Drew:

I have been using Sitebuilder desktop for many years as long as Homestead has been up and running. I have one site that I stream audio for a client, and I use the new Site Builder for other clients. At this time the new site builder does not have the capabilities to stream audio which I find unusual. Could you please advise me what I should do next. Thank you. 
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Elyzabeth , Official Rep

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Hello Les,

You can upload audio and place an audio player element on your website through Sitebuilder Plus. You would find this under Insert > Youtube Video > Audio Player. This will allow people to play and pause your audio. Is this what you were wanting?
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Les6064

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Hi Elyzabeth:

Thank you, I think that would work.                                   
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Ken0942

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It occurs to me that if the Homestead management team were really serious about resolving this issue then they would immediately set an early final date for this to be resolved by their engineers. If not resolved by that date then they should hire in an outside consultancy service to do the job that they have failed to do. You have caused the problem, not the service users who use and have paid for your system. If a patient visits a doctor and he cannot resolve things - then he calls in Consultants who can !
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Emery Heuermann

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Read my article at the top of this thread.
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William0820

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Drew, I am sorta stuck, obviously I use and love desktop, and have tried a few times to use plus and due to it's lack of features that I use in desktop I stay away from plus.

Now that I can't get desktop to publish and have a few sites I need to work on for people I sign into plus reluctantly, and i get this message.

Here is the thing, I am frozen, I don't even quite understand this, the last time I published was from desktop but that hasn't worked in a week or so, I see no way to "preview" what they mean by start from save point or last change, and the site in question has MANY MANY pages and things I do not want to mess up.
I keep hoping sitebuilder will just work but if not I am even afraid to mess in plus as i don't even know which button to hit or what it's going to do to my existing site, or worse how to get back to desktop IF it can even be fixed.
This whole thing is just really hurting my brain at the moment, I am so beyond frustrated i don't know what to do, I do sites for charities and businesses that count on me at this point I am about to write one pretty bad letter to all of them and just say I am sunk and can no longer do their sites or something if things can't be fixed soon.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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At this point it sounds like Plus has not been updated for a while. As I mentioned earlier this can happen to some accounts. Select either one and see what you get in the editor. If it is not the published version of the site, just exit out(do not publish). Give me the site name and I will get the published site copied into the Plus editor.
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William0820

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I chose start from last change and it appears to have the things I had most recenty updated before desktop stopped working, I will make my edits hit publish and pray... I just hope for many of ours sakes that they are actually working on trying to fix all this.
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Drew N, Community Manager

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Glad to hear it, and I promise we are working on it. I want to be crystal clear on that, but also make sure you understand that it may or may not be fixable. As I said earlier, we have been in this situation several times in the last couple years and have found a way. I am hopeful this is the case again.