I have built a showcase Magento installation that I am about to deploy public. I'd like to give people backend access but indeed I don't want their changes to stick - not sure how to go about this. What's the best way?
I have seen a Magento showcase somewhere that gave the backend access stating the website will be renewed every 12 hours. So I suppose there is a cron job starting a script that will copy contents of one directory into the other (the public one) every 12 hours?
Best How To :
There are two good solutions:
1. Virtual Machine
Run the entire site in a virtual machine or VPS. Make a snapshot of the machine when it is in the state you want to reset it to. Have a cronjob that triggers the "return to snapshot" routine. The exact details vary between hosts but look for a host with an API.
2. File Copy and DB Reset
Keep a copy of all the files in another folder, together with a dump of the database. You can use mysqldump to create a database dump. You can then go back to that state by having a cronjob that removes the current folder, copies back the old folder and imports the database dump.
There are a few ways to import the database dump file, including the SOURCE command: