We want to make major changes to our web sites look and feel but we want to do it on some sort of development server and then when it's fully debugged switch or copy it over the content on our production server.
Any suggestions on the smartest way to do this.
Our biggest concern is that the site will have a lot of programming code that depends on the sites URL as well as absolute links to the rest of the site.
If the production URL is called www.MyProductionSite.com we could build the new site with www.MyDevelopmentSite.com and then before copying it to the production server we could do a search and replace to update the URLs.
But it seems like there should be a more elegant way?