[Techtalk] Collaborating on websites without ssh

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Mon Sep 1 04:08:29 UTC 2014

I'm helping a local nonprofit with its website. There are three of
us working on it right now, and things are going great, except for
one thing: the cheap web host we have for this site doesn't offer
ssh, just ftp.

I'm totally spoiled, having always had ssh and rsync (or better yet,
a version control system). I don't need ssh to log in to a live
shell; I just want to be able to rsync files between the live server
and my local machine, to make sure I've downloaded everybody else's
changes before I start changing things myself. My attempts so far at
elaborate lftp scripts to mirror the website don't seem to work very
well -- they take forever, lose chmod information, re-download
unchanged files yet sometimes miss changed ones. And ftp-ing files
back up to the server is a pain because of needing to keep track of
which directory I'm in on each end (lcd ../data; cd ../data;
mput ...; lcd ../resources; cd ../resources; mput ...  and so on).

This must be a common problem. Does anyone have any advice for
keeping in sync with other people's changes and uploading lots of
files when neither ssh/rsync nor version control is an option?
Are there rsync-like tools that cheap webhosts offer even if they
don't offer ssh? Or rsync-like wrappers on top of ftp?


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