RW Hosted Websites

Getting your RootsWeb hosted site back

This a collection of directions from Anne Mitchell of RootsWeb, and tips from RootsWeb-Help and Freepages-Help mail list members.

Has your site already been restored?

This is the first thing you need to check. Go to
https://[www] (remove the brackets from around [www] )

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

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 will take 2 to 4 weeks. You will be notified when it is restored; although Anne tells us she can fall behind in getting these notices out, so you may want to check your URL periodically.

When you have verified your site has been restored (it appears at one of the above URLs and/or you have received the email saying it 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 one of the following special characters:  _ ! @ # ( )
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 a Filezilla instruction page 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/
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, You will be asked to approve a server key. I approve it for one time use only until Anne confirms to us that public key: RSA is permanent.


My old URL was different

RootsWeb will be bringing back the old types of URLs, but their first goal is to reunite you with your content as soon as they can. They are still sorting out the Freepages, Homepages, etc. URLs and the new ones may not be what they were before.


Broken links

If you have used relative links within your site, they will still work. If you have used absolute links, those will not work until the old types of URLs have been reinstated. For example, the server won't currently recognize <a href=""> as a valid URL.


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

Pat Asher
Updated 8/6/2018