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How to Synchronize Local and Remote Sites in Dreamweaver

One of the most valuable features in Dreamweaver's FTP options is the capability to automatically synchronize the files on your hard drive with the files on your server. This cool feature helps you keep track of which pages you've edited and ensures that they’ve been updated on the server.

This capability may not matter much to you the first time you upload your site, or if you have only a few pages in your site. But if you have a large site and make frequent updates, this feature is a wonderful way to make sure you upload all the changes you make to your server. Dreamweaver also confirms which files are updated after you complete the synchronization.

Follow these steps to synchronize your website:

  1. Make sure the site you want to work on is selected and displayed in the Files panel.

  2. Click the Connect to Remote Server icon, in the top left of the Files panel, to log on to your remote site.

  3. Click the Expand/Collapse icon to expand the dialog box and view the remote and local sites simultaneously.

    The Files panel displays both the remote and local views of the site. (To collapse this dialog box, click the Expand/Collapse icon again.)

  4. Choose Site→Synchronize.

    The Synchronize Files dialog box appears.

  5. In the Synchronize drop-down list, choose whether to synchronize the Entire Site or Selected Files Only.

  6. In the Direction drop-down list, choose which option you want to use to copy the files:

    • Put Newer Files to Remote: This option copies the most recently modified files from your local site to the remote site. Select the Delete Remote Files Not on Local Drive option only if you’re sure you want those files removed from your web server.

    • Get Newer Files from Remote: This option copies the most recently modified files from your remote site to the local site. If you want to remove those files from your local copy, select the Delete Local Files Not on Remote Server box.

    • Get and Put Newer Files: This option updates both the local and remote sites with the most recent versions of all the files.

    Be careful of the Delete Remote Files Not on Local Drive feature when using Get or Put. As a general rule, you should leave this option deselected because you may have folders and files on the server, such as log files, that don’t exist on your hard drive, and you don't want to delete them inadvertently.

  7. Click the Preview button.

    The Site FTP dialog box displays the files that are about to be changed.

    Now you have the option to verify the files you want to delete, put, and get. If you don’t want Dreamweaver to alter a file, deselect it from the Site FTP dialog box now or forever live with the consequences.

  8. Click OK.

    All approved changes are automatically made, and Dreamweaver updates the Site FTP dialog box with the status.

  9. When the synchronization finishes, you can choose to save or not save the verification information to a local file.

    Save the verification information because it can be handy if you want to review your changes after synchronization is complete.

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