I seldom use a local testing server. I usually just use my remote server as my testing server and maybe create testing pages or a testing folder.
I like to use a utf8 collation to support special characters.
Your friends over here at WebAssist! These Dreamweaver extensions will assist you in building unlimited, custom websites.
These out-of-the-box solutions provide you proven, tested applications that can be up and running now. Build a store, a gallery, or a web-based email solution.