Update: I came by a reasonable alternative to the approach explained below, instead using a GIT repo and a WordPress Multisite plugin: Deploymint: a staging and deployment system for WordPress.
We have created a separate folder on our server, like
/root/sitetest/wwworg/, for the test.jmonkeyengine.org sub-domain (not multisite, just a custom created sub-domain).
We've also set up Webmin on the dedicated server hosting our sites. One of our developers has constructed a really handy script in Webmin's "Custom Commands"; at the click of a button an exact copy is made of our live site and moved over to test.jmonkeyengine.org where we can play around in a live environment at no risk.
We'd like to enable WordPress Network, but it seems very likely that doing so would make it difficult, if not impossible, to maintain this method of site testing.
I'm not a very technical guy, but I'm seeing two possible options:
- We do a sub-directory install. This should hopefully enable the cloning script to go about its business as usual, as there's no tricky domain changes involved. If we still wanted to apply sub-domains, I suppose maybe we could still do that by using the MU Domain Mapping plugin, or by setting up our own masks(?). I don't know how well that would go over with various SEO plugins though, e.g. analytics & sitemaps. Furthermore, our site is not "new", which apparently is required in order to make a sub-directory install possible.
- We do a sub-domain install (preferred). However instead of reassembling the cloned sites on test.jmonkeyengine.org (I assume we couldn't easily copy
jobs.test.jmonkeyengine.org) we'd point it to some new top level domain like jmonkeytest.org, that could handle sub-domains. Maybe some changes would have to be made in .htaccess and so forth either in the script or by hand. Whether or not it'd be worth the otherwise convenient test setup remains to be seen.
Does anyone have any experience with this type of setup?