Amongst technical devs, it's pretty straightforward to get everyone running their own local dev server, get TortoiseSVN running, and then commit changes periodically to the repository. We can then update the version of the test site on the shared server from this repo and everyone is happy.

Except the designers who are just scratching their heads.

Since the designers do not have their own local development server, in order for them to preview their HTML, PHP and CSS changes to the theme, they have to upload those changes to the in-house development server, which they all share access to. Adobe's DreamWeaver provides simple file lock protection to avoid edit collisions, but that's where it ends.

I would love a solution that allows them to use TortoiseSVN or DreamWeaver 6 (CS4)'s built in Subversion support. But I can't see how this would work. They would basically have to "commit" every single minute edit in order to preview it on the dev server, and this of course defeats the purpose of version control.

Has anyone found a workaround for this? Is the only solution to set them all up with local webservers?

  • 2
    The best solution is to setup a local server for each.
    – Bainternet
    Dec 12, 2011 at 20:43
  • Yeah, I know. I'm just going to get a lot of pushback from the designers. They have enough trouble with FTP as it is...
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:12

2 Answers 2


If you don't want the designers to setup a revision control on each computer (this is the normal route), set up the designers on one cloud/remote server with SVN ( or even better a DVCS) that the dev teams can pull/push to. This technique can be combined for further control, this is done so team leads or senoir dev/designers actually control what is committed or not.

Designer ---\                                |                                /--- Dev         
Designer --- -- Designer Staging <-> Master Staging <-> Developer Staging --- --Dev 
Designer ---/                                                                 \--- Dev 
  • I like this option, or perhaps even a simpler version thereof. The designers seem to communicate well within their group and it only starts getting messy when the DEVs, who refuse to use DreamWeaver (and who could blame them?) don't respect the DW check-in/check-out process...
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:13
  • Ya you can simplify the above by eliminating the local SVN's but I don't see how an IDE can mess up the check-in checkout process, I would also recommend you have a serious look at git/mercurial, once I started using those I deleted svn from my computer and never looked back.
    – Wyck
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:17
  • Well, DW handles check-in/check-out by adding a .LCK file for each locked file. If you are running DW those files are invisible and trigger the lockout functionality. In some other IDE those files are just...files, so you have to notice them to know "oh, I shouldn't touch that file right now..."
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:19
  • That one reason why I like git/hg, just add files into a .ignore and it takes wildcards, and everyone gets it, there is an SVN equivalent command, not sure if it's as easy to manage as a flat ignore file.
    – Wyck
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:59
  • In SVN you just have to svn propset svn:ignore file-pattern where file-pattern is either the full filename, or some kind of wildcard pattern that matches more than one file.
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 13, 2011 at 14:19

I am not a developer, I am definitely more of a designer but recently I asked one of our developers to setup SVN for us to use. We use Dreamweaver CS5.5 and have had no issues with leaving it until the end of the day to do our commits.

This is probably not much help but as a designer what I did was setup WAMP, installed WordPress locally, pointed that to a shared database (also on the SVN machine) and run my projects through the localhost. Hasn't been a single issue for us other than having to remember to get the latest version of the project before starting work (forgot to do that once - momentary panic attack until I worked out the fix).

Is there a reason why the designers aren't running a local dev server?

  • It's a good solution, Gareth. I think it comes down to a case of configuration - we have designers on Mac, designers on Win7, WinXP and so forth. It could become a real nightmare. Plus we're having issues connecting from XAMPP to the remote database
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:14
  • See this post (stackoverflow.com/questions/8481620/…) if you want to refer your IT guy to it, he's probably solved the issue sounds like
    – Tom Auger
    Dec 12, 2011 at 22:15
  • I guess that's the advantage to working as a designer as HTML, CSS and JS are platform agnostic. I develop on Windows and deploy to Windows for testing but my live sites are all on Linux boxes running Zeus. Shame about the issues connecting to the MySQL server as that was the last piece in our puzzle before we got up and running. I have to say we've a pretty stable development workflow now which I am very proud of... not bad for a designer! Dec 13, 2011 at 9:15

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