I feel like there must be an easier way to handle testing/dev servers separately from live WordPress sites. Here's the basic, current process I follow now.
If I have a live site at www.domain.com, I create mirror of that site at sandbox.domain.com with a separate database and separate site files, of course, but at that point they're both the same.
Then on the sandbox I can change to a new theme, make new pages, re-arrange things, and get it all setup the way I want the live site to eventually look. Let's say that takes a week.
During that week, though, new pages/posts were created on the live site, comments, orders in WooCommerce, etc. and this data does not exist on my sandbox site.
What's the best way to get all of the changes I made on my sandbox back to my live site without losing any data or simply re-doing everything I did on the sandbox to the live site (which isn't a great option anyway because during that time the site is in a "re-arrange" mode.)
I'm thinking maybe I could use a MySQL tool like Navicat or MySQL Workbench to sync the live database and sandbox database, and then copy the sandbox site files to the live site, and in theory that should do it..?? Is there a better way?
Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!