Dreamweaver tends to crap out at around 20,000 site files. Here are some tricks you can try to get around the problem.
I began to notice problems a while back with Dreamweaver having trouble starting for me. It would launch and then hang at the “loading site cache” phase, so I did a number of experiments to try to pin point it exactly (you know to always start by ditching your preferences file, right?), and I’m quite certain that it occurs when I’ve got more than 20,000 files in any one site.
Okay, so I know 20,000 files might be enough of a maximum for most people, but I’ve already split my site in two once and both halves are now creeping past that 20k maximum, so I’ve found a few tricks to help (besides paring down the site of course which would be the logical choice…)
So yes, of course, remove unnecessary files wherever possible, but if not, what I like to do is either find or create one folder with the smallest likelihood of being changed, and the largest amount of files, because what I tend to do it upload them, then move the folder outside of Dreamweaver. (Make sure you make a note of where it is and why it’s outside of the folder in case you forget and need to put it back). What this does is leaves it “live” on the site but gets it out of the Dreamweaver cache. Of course, this means it’s outside the scope of things automatically updated by Dreamweaver, because it’s no longer in the cache, but that’s why I choose a folder with little likelihood of being changed. You can always move this folder back into the site folder after Dreamweaver is running and recreate the site cache, and it will function properly, but if it’s not likely to be used, I usually leave it outside the folder as a kind of satellite to the main site. Because it’s already been uploaded, it’s still live, but not in Dreamweaver’s cache or line of sight so it won’t cause you any problems on start-up.
But this is of course a temporary solution. Sooner or later you’ll just have to deal with the fact that you have too many files and either trim some, break the site into multiples or simplify your coding and linking to reduce the number of files. But nobody wants to have to do all of that all at once so this tip will give you some time to think about how to approach it properly.
Update: I’ve since moved onto Dreamweaver CS3, and with the Jeffco site currently housing over 48,000 files, I can confidently say that this is no longer an issue, for me at least. Oh well, it was a useful tip at the time…