Can't update php files

None of the php files on any local web site will update. This is a 2 day problem for me. I have attempted to update a number of php files (functions, comments, theme footer, theme header, single page) but none will update. Other types of files update just fine. One older post suggests editing the php file in say, notebook, but that is a work around and a work around is just that, not a solution. In addition, as a relative newbie I am concerned about missing the error checking implied in the first part of this error message:

“Unable to communicate back with site to check for fatal errors, so the PHP change was reverted. You will need to upload your PHP file change by some other means, such as by using SFTP.”

Is there a solution to this problem.

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