I have a site with a lot of templates. Some are edited right from the control panel, but some are edited from ftp by "save as file". I like to keep a bit of revision history, so that if I accidentally delete something in a template, I can easily restore it.

Often I'll work on a template remotely, and then when I'm done what I'm working on, go find it in the CP, and update it, so that it syncs with the database, and also so that it saves a revision.

Just recently I came across Design > Templates > Synchronize templates. That page shows that some of my templates are up-to-date, but some are not. Is there any reason that it would be harmful to just select "sync all"? I can't think of why there would be, but then why doesn't it just sync automatically when you save the template remotely.

Also, I'm assuming that syncing a template from that page doesn't add it to the revision history, correct?

1 Answer 1


It shouldn't be harmful to perform the sync. The worst thing that could happen is that ExpressionEngine doesn't recognize which of the two versions are more recent and syncs them the wrong direction. This might have happened to me many years a go very early on in version 2. I would however argue that it can be harmful NOT to perform an occasional sync. Reason being is that if the actual files are inaccessible, ExpressionEngine falls back to the version stored in the database. As far as revision history goes, syncing doesn't update it (as far as I can remember). The proper way is to do file based development and use git to version control your changes. But I realize budgets sometimes lead to cowboy development :)

  • What would cause it to sync in the wrong direction?
    – eshellborn
    Mar 20, 2015 at 23:20
  • Also, I know that VC would be much better. But how would that work with expressionengine? Would I have to download the whole site to my local machine? And the whole database?
    – eshellborn
    Mar 20, 2015 at 23:21
  • Simplistically, yes. That'd be your local environment. There's a heap of articles on the pros + cons of EE dB/file management. Mar 21, 2015 at 0:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.