At CharlesWorks we like to use what could be called “sandbox sites” similar like this one. This allows us to research, develop and test various specialized functions for your website out of the public eye.
This WordPress site is kept up to date running the latest software. Your development site is also kept updated to the latest software so when your site “goes live” it has the latest and greatest online. “Goes live” just means the site will be shown to the rest of the world using your domain name instead of the development address.