I'm not sure if you're doing this in JIRA Cloud or on a server. If Cloud... can't help you there. If it's on your own server I do this all the time myself and it is, with JIRA, surprisingly easy. The steps I take are:
When it's time to transfer to production... perhaps it's an awful hack but when I am happy with the migration and it's flawless after testing... I do the following:
You CAN do this with a DNS Alias change but I found that the IP address swap had the new JIRA server come up without having to re-establish application links to anything and Crowd just happily authenticated users to it without having to reconnect the Crowd server as its user authority. With the DNS alias change you have to reconnect applications and tell Crowd about the new server.
This approach is also great if you want to slide a new OS and/or Database server under your JIRA application. For.... reasons... I've used this approach to go from CentOS and MySQL to Windows and PostgreSQL and to where it is now, Debian with PostgreSQL
Let me know if this helps
For Cloud, there's no concept of "test" - a Cloud system is a Cloud system. You can use it for whatever you want!
So, if you set up two Cloud accounts, one production and one test, you can work in them separately, but your options to transfer between them are very limited - you'll be doing config and setup mostly by hand (or merging in local dev systems before re-uploading)
Short and very good description to setup a test environment. Two additional steps from my point of view:
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