I'm a designer with some development chops, mostly on the UI side. But I'm not really a strong developer or server admin type. I need some advice.
I now have a good dozen or so custom Wordpress installs that I set up and manage. Most of them are small business web sites, so I'm using WP as a CMS more than a blog.
My customers often request new features, or I may want to experiment with a new plugin or theme. So I need a test environment that mirrors the dev WP site, but is completely separate from it. I have not yet found an elegant way to do this.
Roughly, here's how I currently migrate from test environment to production:
- Set up test subdomain (test.mydomain.com) on its own DH user account
- Install WP
- Build site at test subdomain
- Copy files from test subdomain to production user account
- Export sql from test
- Open sql file in text editor and massage it (removing test. subdomain and making whatever other tweaks necessary) > this is the hard and annoying part
- Import sql file to empty production database
- Check out the production site and realize a dozen things are broken, and pull my hair out
This is not a fun process, nor is it quick or highly successsful. And migrating back from production to the test subdomain so I can play around with some modifications... I can't even figure out how to do that, because step 6 is too hard.
Ideas? Is there an elegant way to copy or migrate a Wordpress site to and from a test environment? Or am I looking at this the wrong way?