Aside from being able to edit files without the Template Manager – is there any advantage to saving templates as files in ExpressionEngine?

Does it improve performance, security, etc.?

Would be grateful for a reply from a knowledgeable person.

1 Answer 1


To rewrap your question in a "pros/cons" list:


  • Editing through your favorite editor -> faster
  • Enables you to version your files with a VCS
  • You can DIFF files
  • Easier to maintain code markup/layout


  • Slightly slower because EE needs to check the files for a new version (i guess it only uses the file versions in the latest EE releases).
  • Could be a lot slower on a provider with a slow file system.
  • Synchronization hassle

For sites who need max performance I tend to work with files on my local development environment and disable "save as file" on the live site (sync templates first!).

  • 1
    This is a good list of the Pros and Cons as I recognize them. Though I didn't know about the VCS. That said, you can get most, if not all of the Pros by using Mountee [hellomountee.com]. It's MacOS only option, I believe. But enables: editing via favorite editor; version tracking via the database; can DIFF open files; very easy to maintain mark-up; even allows multi-file FIND & REPLACE, at least in BBEdit. Also nice is you can create new templates, template_groups, move items from one group to another, standard file system stuff. Oh, it can be used with Git, as well. Feb 7, 2013 at 9:04

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