WordPress Playground, an experimental project that uses WebAssembly (WASM) to run WordPress in the browser, was number 1 on Hacker News recently and was also featured on TechCrunch. Word is getting around about how easy it is to fire up a sandbox environment in just a few seconds for testing plugins and themes and even different versions of WordPress and PHP.
playground.wordpress.net instantly creates a real WordPress instance with admin access and everything without having to install PHP, MySQL, or Apache. Instead, it runs inside the browser using a SQLite database.
The Playground isn’t just for developers. It also makes it easy for users who would not ordinarily maintain a local development environment to quickly test plugins or themes they find on WordPress.org, or to just explore new WordPress features in a safe place where you can’t break anything.
If you have found it difficult to wrap your head around WordPress Playground, Learn WordPress has published a timely new tutorial called How to start using WordPress Playground. In this 10-minute video, WordPress Playground creator Adam Zieliński offers a quick demonstration of how to install plugins and themes and customize a site, and how to export design work from a customized theme. He also covers how to download the entire site and import it into a new WordPress instance, and guides users through basic compatibility testing of a theme, by switching the WordPress version on the playground site.
Developers who want try some more complicated things with this tool can check out the Playground API and learn how to integrate it with an app in five minutes. It’s also useful for previewing pull requests from a repository or setting up a local WordPress development environment using the VisualStudio Code plugin or a CLI tool called