I started my first professional project recently and have hired a web designer to do the layout.

My question is how can I sync the work with the designer?

Currently our process goes like this:

  1. the designer creates a template
  2. sends it to me by mail
  3. I view, edit & agree
  4. the designer codes the html and sends it to me back by mail and so on for each page

The problem is, sometimes I get very disappointing html and am forced to have the designer redo alot of work.

Is there a way to create a network so that I can monitor his work and provide comments while the work is on-going?

I know this is a silly question but I am sure a mechanism for this must exist. :D

  • If it's a professional project, then you should be able to afford a server somewhere that you can both work on. I hope by 'mail' you mean email, and aren't snail-mailing scanned copies of html source printed out and placed on a wooden table.
    – Marc B
    Jun 14, 2011 at 17:50
  • 4
    Have him use GitHub. Alternatively, hire a better designer who puts out good HTML without you having to look over his shoulder.
    – ceejayoz
    Jun 14, 2011 at 17:50
  • :D well email is still snail-mailing isnt it :D ?. yeap i already have a server, but yet ftp sharing is not much different choice, i wana monitor him will typing html, not after he finish, thanx smart B :p
    – Momen M El Zalabany
    Jun 14, 2011 at 17:52

5 Answers 5


Use a source control repository such as Subversion. It's free, and you can find free subversion servers and clients. Many IDE and even dreamweaver have built in features to work with Subversion repositories. Subversion also saves every change ever made to the code base incase you need to roll back to a previous version for a particular file.

Each developer/designer gets a subversion client to "check out" pages, make edits, then commit them back to the repository.

Also, if you are not already, it may be good to use an MVC design pattern for your project. This will keep HTML and PHP source for the most part separate, which makes it easier for designers and developers to work in tandem.


You need a code management system like Mercurial. You set up a repository of code that you both check out and work on independently. Each person merges changes from the other and checks in code as they are done. This way, mistakes can be rolled back. Branches can be made to experiment with and so on. There is no mailing code back and forth.

There are several solutions available. I can vouch for kiln as a very good hosted service that works well and include code review mechanisms.

  • 1
    I would go for Mercurial... Jun 14, 2011 at 18:18

Sounds like you want to work together in real time instead of iterating. In that case, I would leverage screen sharing tools. These range from ones that are built into some operating systems (i.e. OSX desktop sharing), ones that are freely downloadable (i.e. VNC), and professional solutions (i.e. Webex)

Note that some support voice, but for others you may need to pair with a phone call or skype.


It is very hard to have any real time results when you are working long distance with a web designer. Does he also do the HTML / CSS, or just the design? There is software you can use online that will help you manage small to big projects like these. One I would suggest would be http://basecamphq.com/

It's relatively easy to use and I have used it ever since I found it.

  • yeap he do css/html, thanks for tip i will chek basecamphq now
    – Zalaboza
    Jun 14, 2011 at 17:59

There are a few who have suggested that Mercurial or Subversion might be a good way to go, but in this case, I'm not sure it is. While SVN and Mercurial are great for versioning files, they aren't really the best at managing collaborative works with binaries, especially binaries in progress.

Personally, I think that this would be a better place for a shared project folder in DropBox or an equivalent. That would mean that every time he saved, you would see the updates in close to real time.

Yes, you could get screen sharing software, but I really don't see much major advantage to that.

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