I have a PHP project that I'm currently developing.
I'm nearly finished and I was wondering what is the best practice when it comes to beta testing and deploying updates/changes to the production site?
For example, in order to test out new features, I thought about creating a sub-domain called beta.mysite.com that uses a duplication of the same project files as the production version and a duplication of the mysql db.
Then after I test everything out, I need to export the mysql tables (if I changed the db structure) and copy over the files to the production area.
But how do I do all that with keeping all the data that have been produced during my beta testing?
I'm the only person that works on this project, I currently don't use any versioning tool, just Dreamweaver.