Site synchronization in Drupal can be improved using https://drupal.org/project/features module that allows transferring site settings between two sites. You can transfer types of content, fields, menus, user roles and permissions, and glossaries.
On the module settings page, select site settings being transferred. The resulting module needs to be activated on the live site for settings to be transferred. Views and rules not exported with the module can be transferred using standard export view / import views and export import / import export.
Transferring settings via module does have a shortcoming: content types cannot be deleted after transfer. This can be addressed by removing it via direct link [example.com]/[my_content_type]/delete