So this thread is now over 2 years old, but I haven't seen any new functionality to enable page or site-level edits that don't immediately impact the live production site. It seems like two elements would make this issue so much easier to deal with:
A distinction between "saving" changes and "publishing" changes. Wix does this, it's dirt simple and works extremely well.
The ability to create a copy of an entire site, in the case that you wish to do a major overhaul while preserving a copy of the existing site in case minor changes are required while work progresses on the "new" site.
Any news on what is planned or how the above can be "accomplished"?