InstantWP is a free tool used to quickly and easily create a WordPress testing environment. It ships with everything you need to get a local install of WordPress up and running. Apache, PHP, MySQL, and WordPress 3.6 are prepackaged.
You may be wondering why WordPress 3.6 is installed and not the latest version. Seamus Brady, developer of InstantWP, told me he keeps it a few versions behind since people use it to test upgrades. Upgrading to the latest version is accomplished from the backend of WordPress.
While InstantWP is compatible with Windows based machines, it doesn’t work on Macs and doesn’t support WordPress multisite. However, the software is portable as you can install and run it from a USB thumbdrive. I use WampServer to handle my local WordPress install but InstantWP was faster to use. I didn’t have to create a database, administrator account or password. You can only run one instance of the software at a time. Creating a second test site is as simple as installing InstantWP into a different folder.
It also comes with a set of demo content that comes in handy for testing plugins and themes.
Don’t mind the WordPress fauxgo in the dummy content. I’ve already notified Seamus and referred him to the proper logo to use.
InstantWP Is Almost Instant
ServerPress which we covered a few months ago has more features and is cross-platform compatible but in terms of speed, InstantWP is close to living up to its name. It’s easier than installing WampServer or a different LAMP package. If you primarily use Windows and just need a quick testing environment for WordPress, I recommend adding InstantWP to your tool belt.