TasteWP Spins Up Free WordPress Testing Sites in Seconds

TasteWP is a newcomer among online WordPress sandboxing solutions. The site allows users to spin up a new WordPress instance in a matter of seconds. Web-based sandboxes like these have been popular for a long time, since they are convenient to fire up and destroy when performing a quick test on a plugin or theme. It’s easier than maintaining a local development environment, which many casual WordPress users have not taken the time to set up.

TasteWP’s temporary testing sites are hosted for 48 hours for non-logged-in users and 7 days for those who are logged in. The one-click setup gives you a random site URL and login credentials.

The free sites are limited to 220MB per instance. A successful set-up notice is displayed in the dashboard with information on when the site will be automatically deleted. TasteWP limits non-logged-in users to creating 2 sites and the limit is 6 for logged-in users. They can be removed or added within the site manager.

When creating a new site, the Advanced Options allows users to set up multisite, select a PHP version, WordPress version, and choose from a number of advanced configuration options and pre-installed extensions. The PHP version can also be changed later within the site manager.

TasteWP is reminiscent of the now defunct poopy.life service. In addition to the unsavory and unforgettable name, poopy.life was laden with obtrusive upgrade ads that floated across the screen periodically. TasteWP takes a different route for promotion and includes three of its plugins pre-installed on the default testing sites.

TasteWP is run by Inisev, a 15-person company that has been developing WordPress plugins for four years.

“Our key motivator for starting TasteWP was a) scratching our own itch (we needed a platform ourselves to try out new plugin versions on different WP/PHP version combinations) and b) promoting our products,” Inisev co-founder Nicolas Ahmann said.

“Having said that, if there is enough demand (and there seems to be), we’ll also offer very affordable premium plans for non-expiring instances with bumped space soon.”

Ahmann said the team is currently funding their projects from their own pockets as well as a few private investors.

“We had some VCs knock at our door recently, and while we don’t rule out taking them on board at some point in the future, we feel quite comfortable with our current approach where we grow organically (i.e. without too much ad spending),” Ahmann said. “I’m sure, if we had taken on a lot of capital a few years ago, we would have spent a lot of marketing budget on products which weren’t ready at the time. Instead, we were forced to make the products better. Limited budgets sharpen your mind immensely.”

Ahmann said the company has several enhancements planned for TasteWP, but they don’t want to make the product more complicated to use.

“We developed a Linux application which copies exactly the same moves as user would do to create a website, except that we’re omitting the front-end and graphics rendering parts which makes it much easier to process by the computer,” he said. “Also we inject anything that is needed into the database directly. That allows us to create those sites so fast without preparing them before (but still fully customized for each user).”

The company is planning to enable users to call specific URLs, such as https://tastewp.com?themeslug=slug-of-theme, which would spin up an instance with that theme or plugin already installed. This would allow theme and plugin creators to share the link with their potential users/customers so that they can play around themselves.

Localization is also a high priority for future TasteWP enhancements, since the company is based in Europe where many languages are spoken.

“We always felt that it doesn’t get the attention as it needs, considering that approximately 40% of websites are not in English,” Ahmann said. “It’s often just DIY people (not devs) who are trying to create their websites. We always encourage them to learn English (as it’s the world’s language). But imagine you grew up in Turkey, for example. Nobody around you speaks English – the teachers in schools only speak it in a broken way. In those cases it’s key that people can take their first WordPress steps in their language, and what’s easier to do so than spinning up an instance with one click on TasteWP which is in your language? Long story short: we’ll keep translating it into (many) more languages.”

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14 responses to “TasteWP Spins Up Free WordPress Testing Sites in Seconds”

  1. Neo says:

    It is easier then setting up a local development? Only max 7 days and 2 days when not logged in? I rather use a local development setup. Not usefull for development en debugging.

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    • Nick says:

      Thanks Neo, that’s a good point. Here’s a list of the top 10 reasons why TasteWP may still be required even if you know how to set up a local environment:

      1) Set up is quicker: on TasteWP it takes 5 seconds max, while on local you need to unzip the WordPress installation files, set up the site etc.

      2) Real-life environment: TasteWP is closer to what your users will experience, i.e. it comes with all limits (e.g. timeout limits; also we block common functions which almost all public hosters do), so you can detect issues which would have gone unnoticed in local environments.

      3) Different WP versions: You can simply set up different versions of WordPress (also saves time)

      4) *Change PHP version quickly”: Saves time (most users don’t know how to install multiple PHP versions on local)

      5) SSL: TasteWP sites come with SSL out of the box, no need to generate it, again saving time.

      6) *Keep your PC clean”: Most of local environments are used for short-term testing only, so after you’re done you have to clean it up again (which you don’t have to worry about on TasteWP)

      7) Debug friendly:
      – TasteWP allows to quickly prepare different wp-configs with custom settings
      – By default you can access your debug file under /debug.log or /wp-content/debug.log
      – You have all temporary files in one place, so you can find issues of your plugin / theme if it uses temp files (/tmp)
      – You can quickly disable all plugins from dashboard in case your plugin crashed something (and upload fixed version, without removing the site)

      8) No need to remember passwords: You can login with one click from the dashboard, making management easier (especially relevant if you use multiple sites)

      9) Multisite: You can also test your plugin on multisite which sometimes can be problematic on local environments, saving you time.

      10) Share it with others: You can share it with other people from your team to show progress (helps with relations, makes you look professional)

      I hope at least some of those are also valid for you 🙂

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      • neo says:

        Hi Nick,

        1) is sure a big benefit but it is surpassed by the downside of only 2 – 7 days lifetime of a install.

        I rather prefer setting it up locally with like f.e.

        https://kinsta.com/devkinsta/
        xampp, dockers, vmware etc etc.

        For me setting up a multisite, single site, multiple php versions etc is no issue and easy as is and since i am using it for a long time development but also for debugging and moving websites to another hoster this is no solution for me. 200MB is too small for moving a old existing website and start redesigning it.

        Users testing wordpress for the first time have no idea about multisites, domain mapping, subdomains, and subdirectory installs and/or the mu-plugins folder, redirecting the 404 in mu install etc.

        ssl, switching php etc is not difficult at all.

        8) can be accomplished with a plugin !

        I like the 10) reason but even that i can do with a click and move my local install into a live url.

        What i do not like is my designs, plugins, themes and test running on a server i have no control about what is done with that after it is deleted.

        Further more if i would setup a website on that testing ground and be away for week or maybe 2 it would be gone.

        and then last but not least many hosters offering webspace they have, when running cpanel or any other admin hosting area, the one click wordpress install. which setsup a wp install in a minute. Most of them have multi php versions on can set and select with a click also.

        I understand that this is ideal for new beginners, but not for website designers, theme or plugin developers. They need more then 2-7 days, but I can see the use and benefit for people who have never used wordpress.

        If this had a ability to keep it alive for 3 months or so i would definitly try and use it. But for now this is no option and will skip it.

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  2. ABCD says:

    This is excellent for a beginner.
    As I have never set up a local development environment, and do not know how to, this option is great for just trying things out.

    I might be able to test some ideas without messing up my site.

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  3. Jessica Sutherland says:

    Why should I use this over Local by Flywheel or DevKinsta both of which seem just as fast, simple and more flexible.

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  4. Dred says:

    If you want something better you have wordify – same thing (new WordPress install in 5 minutes) and the site stay alive until 25000 sessions (or more I don’t remember – sorry) before to stop working. It’s free.

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  5. Ibon says:

    This kind of services are always more than welcome, more options to choose from it’s good for us, the users. These services are a good fit for courses, students, workers who can’t install things in their computers.

    You can also take a look to TrincheraDEV.com, part of Trinchera WP (a non official WordPress community). In this case, you have to create an account but… your WordPress it’s the official one, without additions from the Trinchera DEV team.

    Thanks for sharing this resource Sarah

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  6. Name of the Game says:

    The benefit is that you don’t install server technology on your own machine. That makes it more secure. I do like the cloud approach more. Also Local and DevKinsta seems to be more aimed at creating a project that you later launch online, while this looks more like a cloud temp machine where you test some stuff temporarily. I think the purpose is far different. It’s like having a temp mail.

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  7. I used to use poopy.life until that disappeared, this has been a more than adequate replacement

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  8. BabaTuri says:

    I will be honest this is the most useful tips I have read till date. Thanks for putting all this together.

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  9. Bud says:

    But here is it’s real future. You spin up a WP site and THEN you open a hosting account. I.e the reverse of how it is done now. I’m pulling for these guys. I remember the Poopy Life and you know what that turned into. Hopefully, TasteWP gets it right!

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  10. Egide says:

    Thanks a lot for the post. I used to use demoswp.dev before it disappeared and was recently replaced by trincheradev.com. This looks like a good alternative and l’m looking forward to seeing what their premium plan will include. Having more options to choose from is always good.

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  11. J says:

    As a plugin developer, it is a part of my workflow to develop in local by flywheel and do the final testing with TasteWP or set up a dummy site for a colleague to the plugin.

    I find the site very useful, thank you. It is so easy to spin up a site with just 1 click.

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  12. Mystic Media says:

    Great service for people like me, who wants to keep their PC’s clean. Also changing PHP versions in a local machine is a headache. If priced competitively a paid service (with never expire option and larger disk space) would be awesome.

    Report

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