With every Magento e-commerce website I create for my clients, I create a carbon copy for use as a test environment that is accessible on the web.
There are a number of benefits associated with doing this before making changes on a live environment:
- The ability to upgrade on the test server as updates become available.
- Test extensions from Magento Connect.
- Developing, testing and implementing new features.
- Get sign off from the client while still in a test environment.
I can then quite easily and efficiently role out these enhancements without fear of complication.