It appears that Wordpress is designed to have websites constructed and maintained online - in the live website. I see some posts here that indicate some people are doing such development offline - in Localhost. But the effort to move a website online - especially for updates - appears to be complex, somewhat manual, and not at all automated. In fact, it's not clear of just the changes can be moved, or if the entire website would have to be reloaded. This seems complicated by visitor changes to the live website while updates are being created. And backups or version control of content - well I haven't gone far on that yet.
So what works? Is it just best to make changes to the live website? What would be the best approach for doing development offline?