Greg Beaver, PEAR guru extraordinaire, has added a new post to his blog encouraging the use of the PEAR installer to help manage and deploy your website to a production server.
One of the most common tasks that we experience as web developers is synchronizing a development web server with a live site. There are many solutions that have been tried before. [...] However, every single method (described above) has the potential for immediate and catastrophic failure, even with a backup.
He suggests the use of the PEAR installer functionality along with version control to easily deploy a site, allowing for things file dependencies and versioning. So, if files are handled through that package, how is the database managed? Through another PEAR-related feature - the post-install database initialization the Installer makes possible. Check out Greg's post for the full details on how to get you and your site started.