You can’t run the build process over FTP because FTP is a file transfer protocol, not a shell; You can’t use it to run arbitrary commands on the server, which you would need to do in order to run a build. Even if you did SSH into your server to run commands, it’s unlikely that the server has the software that would be needed to run the build process (i.e. Node, yarn, etc).
There is, technically, nothing preventing you from editing the CSS file that is generated from the SCSS. Because that CSS file is the one actually loaded by the site, those changes will be reflected to visitors. However this is very very strongly not recommended for two big reasons:
As soon as you change the rendered CSS file, it is out of sync with the SCSS files that build it; there’s no way to go “backwards” and have the build process incorporate changes to your rendered CSS into your SCSS. That means that if, at some later date, you were to actually run the build process, all your CSS changes would be wiped away when the CSS is rebuilt from the SCSS. This is especially bad if the project will ever be used by someone else: They would likely have no way to know you made these changes, and would run the build process and wipe them out and then have no idea why things were broken. (Also if you’re using git to track your changes, and you should be using git to track your changes, the
.gitignore in Sage doesn’t track the
/dist directory where rendered assets like CSS, JS, and images end up after a build.) In general, editing on the server is cowboy coding and cowboy coding is a bad practice that will inevitably come back to bite you, your team, and anyone who works on that site in the future, in the ass.
Rendered CSS is generally minified, which can make it very difficult for a human to parse and edit.
If you absolutely must edit the CSS files and have no time or inclination to set up the build process locally and deploy from there, then I’d recommend just deleting all of the SCSS files; then at least there will be no confusion about what the source of truth is for your CSS. As with any change, please make sure you make a backup first. Using Sage this way is not what I’d call “supported,” though, and you would likely have difficulty getting troubleshooting help here.
I really, really recommend just using the build process. It’s fairly well documented, and we’re happy to answer questions here in the forums about how to get it running. There is some initial investment in time and learning to get it up and running, but it will save you time and make your life much more pleasant in the long run.
dist, and editing the non-
dist JS files will have no effect unless you run a build to regenerate them.