Well as per my experience and as an general and standard process You need to develop first in localhost (offline version) and then periodically you need to upload the site to the server from there !
Re : its impression this is not the standard way to work with Magento
- Here i would say Magento itself never mention/define that working on offline or localhost is not standard way - we are as an enterprise e-commerce agency and we always follow the same offline practices for all our projects. Where we do actual development on offline manner and we manage each and everything on Github - and then periodically we upload those to online server.
- it will make your development process smoother and during development you may face couple errors; so if any error came across on this offline version (localhost) that should be easy to resolved - but the same error you face on the server - then to resolved that you need to do lengthy upload/download files operations on the server.
So on a conclusion - go with offline manner (localhost) stuff - and upload periodically on the server when each single module works functioning then upload it on server so it goes smoother process !
Hope it helps
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