What does Sparkle publishing do?

Is it straightforward to explain what Sparkle does in publishing a site to a host? I ask because I see a whole bunch of non-site files on my host and question whether it is contributing to the issues Google’s Search Console is telling me.


I use BlueHost and I experimented with WordPress before finding Sparkle.

I am having difficulty addressing Google’s Search Console’s complaints associated with indexing my site. While there are SEO issues defined by Sparkle, they are mostly associated with page descriptions and I assume those are not the blockers compared to what the Search Console is telling me:
• Alternate page with proper canonical tag
• Page with redirect
• Discovered - currently not indexed
• Crawled - currently not indexed

So, I went to BlueHost’s file manager to see what Google’s crawlers are seeing. I was quite surprised to see so many folders and files that I believe have nothing to do with my site. For example, there are folders/files with “wp” prefixes that I assume are associated with WordPress. However, there are old Sparkle blog pages that I have since moved from one Sparkle folder to another via Sparkle. There are files in folders I created via Sparkle that I have since removed via Sparkle.

So, what does Sparkle publishing do? Does it simply add files generated by Sparkle’s engine to the host?

How do I clean up the old stuff I think it is contributing to my Google Search Console issues?

Hello :wave:t2:

It is unlikely that your “wp” files are coming from Sparkle.

Before publishing a website, it’s important to clean up your server from any unnecessary files to avoid such issues.

I recommend contacting your web host and asking them to reset your hosting to remove anything unnecessary and keep only the essential files for the proper functioning of your hosting. Then, you can re-publish your site using Sparkle’s publishing feature.

If your web host allows it, you might have old backups of your hosting that contain only the necessary files from your web host. You can consider restoring one of these backups, if available, to have a clean server.

Alternatively, you can host your site in a different folder on your server or computer (e.g., yourwebsite.com/sparkle/) to see the folders that Sparkle hosts there. However, I still recommend the first solution.


Exactly what @Allan said!
I came across this three odd years ago when I accidentally had cPanel initiate WP… and what a mess followed. The best method is go via your host to remove all remnants of WP because it will continually mess things up even if you think you have removed everything!

Sparkle does not generate any folder or file in reference to WP… not one!



Everything that has been said here is correct. However, I would like to add two points:

(a) only at the very first publication (upload) of a new website, you should free the previously used webspace from data garbage before.

(b) never delete the “publish settings cache”. Otherwise all files, especially images, will be recalculated and uploaded with every upload.

Mr. F.


Thanks @Allan, @FlaminFig, and @Mr_Fozzie.

I cleared out the junk files and re-published. Only time will tell as my experience with Google’s turnaround on index requests is weeks.

And with that, please confirm…
It appears to me that Sparkle’s publishing places new files in the folders as defined by Sparkle’s page design attributes. That means existing files are overwritten. And…those existing files that are not overwritten are not removed.

This also goes for folders. If I have a page defined to be in FolderA and then I later change the page’s attributes such that it is now to be stored in FolderB, FolderA remains when I publish.

Is this an accurate assessment?

If it is, then I assume this is not good relative to Google SEO as I believe duplicate pages is not something Google’s crawlers like to see. (I am NO Google SEO expert!). I also assume it is therefore, prudent to remove those orphaned pages by using either FTP or the host’s file manager tool.

Is this also an accurate assessment?

The “publish location” in Sparkle, i.e. the line that shows up in the publish popup, is more than just the publish settings, it also retains information what previously published files.

So when you publish again, it will know which files it previously published, and remove those. It won’t remove files it doesn’t know about, that would be bad (and prevent useful scenarios where you have your own files stored in a folder or something).

As a consequence if the publish location is lost, you’ll get a bunch of files that if not overwritten will remain around, because Sparkle has lost the concept of having previously uploaded them.

Google has no way of seeing unlinked pages.

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