Dev Site Workflow

Hi all

We are looking for the best way to set our development site and workflow up. We know some HTML, CSS, javascript and are currently learning PHP so hence the need for guidance. The official documentation explains how to set up a dev site under a directory of our production site, but I have read that it is better to use store import so I'm now thinking there are probably very good workflows out there that I might not be aware.

Can anyone recommend any ideas or companies that offer consultation on this matter?

Thanks in advance.