RW Hosted Websites

Regaining Access to your RootsWeb Hosted Site

Has your site already been restored?

Most have already been restored, but this is the first thing you need to check. Go to

Change "sitename" to the account name of YOUR site, e.g.
arbenton, gearyfamily, smithcounty, etc.

If you are looking for a Freepages site that is NOT in the genealogy_html directory, the URL to check is
where xxxx represents the name of the sub-directory containing your files, e.g. family, history, misc, etc.

IMPORTANT: For your home page to display as the default, it must be named index.htm, index.html, or index.shtml. If your home page is named something else, your top level URL will deliver a 403 error and you will have to enter a complete URL to view your site, e.g.

If it does not appear at the above URL(s), it has not been restored and you will need to
Request your site be restored at:

The process of scanning and restoring your website can take 2 to 4 weeks. When you have verified your site has been restored, you will then need to
Reset your password and agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Statement. Go to to request a password reset.

Password rules
Passwords must be between 10 and 32 characters long, and must contain at least one uppercase letter, one lower case letter, one number, and at least one of the following special characters:  _  !  @  #  (  )
Only the listed special characters will be accepted. Note asterisk (*) and ampersand (&) are NOT accepted characters.

Prior to 8/1, there was a bug in the password code that would not accept 10 or 11 letter passwords. It would tell you they were accepted, but they were not. If you created a 10 to 11 character password before 8/1, and get an authentication error when you try to login, you need to RESET your password at


How to connect to update your site

File Manager has been discontinued and will not be coming back.

You must connect using SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol)
You can use any FTP Client that supports SFTP transfers.
The host you will be connecting to is: (Note "sites" is plural and "user" is not.)

Filezilla is FREE and can be downloaded from
This RootsWeb video will show you how to use Filezilla to access your site:
Pat Geary has an instruction page for Filezilla at:

Using the newest version of Dreamweaver, Anne Mitchell connected using these settings:
Server Name:
Connect using: SFTP
SFTP address:
Authentication: Username and password
Root Directory: public_html/ (Freepages accounts will use genealogy_html or family_html, etc.)
Web URL:

With WS FTP Pro, I use:
Host Name:
User ID: account name (e.g. pasher without the tilde)
Password: **********
On the Advanced screen, select -- Server type: SFTP/SSH
On the Startup Screen, select -- Remote folder: public_html
(or genealogy_html, military_html, etc. for Freepages accounts)
When connecting for the first time, you will be asked to approve a server key, "public key: RSA"

For Core FTP, see Pat Geary's instructions at

WinSCP is another FREE file transfer client that supports SFTP transfers. It can be downloaded from


My old URL was different

The old URLs such as
now redirect to


Broken links on Freepages sites

If you have used relative links within your site, they will still work. If you have used absolute links, most of the old versions will now redirect to the new URLs; but if you have used http:// instead of https:// you may want to update them to insure your site visitors are not receiving security warnings from their browser.Pat Geary has posted the results of her tests at


More information about RootsWeb updates can be found at the RootsWeb Blog

Pat Asher
Updated 11/15/2018