Maintaining the WordPress site is a dynamic process, not only because of the content and visual updates that web admins apply but also due to constant updates of plugins, themes, page builders, PHP, and WordPress. All wheels in the machine need to keep running smoothly, so the site looks spotless and works flawlessly, and the good way to keep it uninterrupted is to use WordPress test sites on TasteWP.
Why does everyone need a test site besides the main site?
Keeping the machine (website) running is a delicate job, regardless of how much WordPress is user-friendly. The last thing any site owner wants is to break down their site, as it gives a very bad impression and it damages the business or reputation. Experimenting on the live site or conducting major changes is often considered cowboy coding, as it brings the live site at the risk of breaking down.
Check new plugins
Checking out new plugins, themes or codes can be done carefree only on test sites. For significant website changes, the care-free option is to do it on the staging site on the third-party server, away from the main site that should be kept safe from harm.
Harm can sometimes come from plugins that are not compatible or simply outdated, but also if they come from suspicious sources (have security issues). Non-experienced developers can break the sites with the new code that they write, and so on. If all of this is done on the test sites or staging sites first, no damage will be done for sure.
In the past, developers used to set up local WordPress instances, but that became obsolete, as the process was more complicated and time-consuming and those types of sites are not meant for the online collaboration of modern development teams and clients in different time zones.
Launching a free WordPress test site in the blink of an eye
From the first visit to TasteWP.com to having a free WordPress test site, it only takes a few seconds. Even without registering, you can have your test site in a flash. Just tick the Terms checkbox, and click on the Set it up! button and the test site creation is done before you know it. The next click on the button will send you directly to the test site’s WP Dashboard, where login credentials are also immediately ready for sharing if needed.
By default, TasteWP will use the latest stable WordPress and PHP versions for the site creation, and the test sites will have a couple of pre-installed plugins, one of which, Backup Migration can help users who want to establish a staging environment.
Standard free test sites on TasteWP have a life of 7 days for registered users and 2 days for non-registered users and have a size limit of 1GB. Premium test sites come with a size increased to 20GB and last as long as you want.
A subtle touch is an automatic language switch – TasteWP and test sites will by default be displayed in the language specified in the user’s browser. Of course, users can change the language on TasteWP manually to one of the 20 currently supported.
Advanced test site setup and additional options
The advanced setup allows users to define options that will be used for the test site creation:
- Set a specific WordPress and PHP versions;
- Configure a number of options from the Advanced WP config: debug, cron, cache, and other options;
- Choose to install some of the recommended plugins and themes;
- Give your site a custom name;
- Make a multisite;
- Make a premium site.
Interesting thing is that the PHP version can be changed for test sites on the go, from the registered user’s Dashboard area. TasteWP Site Manager section provides additional control: you can jump in directly to the test site’s admin area, remotely disable all plugins, download debug log, reset the admin password, make sites premium or delete them. Deleting one (non-expiring) test site enables you to create another one in its place.
In the Site Templates section, users have a step-by-step solution to creating a quick link that will spin up a test site with 5 pre-defined plugins and a theme, that can be pulled directly from the official WordPress repository, or can be uploaded (custom plugins). Site Templates are often used by plugin developers to create free demo sites for their custom and premium plugins and themes.
Theme and plugin demo links
Apart from Site Templates that are mostly being used for custom plugin demos, there is a simple and quick way to launch a demo of any WordPress theme or plugin available on the official WordPress directory.
Let’s say that you were just reading about which SEO plugin is better, Yoast SEO or Rank Math, and you would just like to try out both of them. You can do that by simply swapping “wordpress” with “tastewp” in their URL.
So, just edit https://wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ into https://tastewp.org/plugins/wordpress-seo/ and https://wordpress.org/plugins/seo-by-rank-math/ into https://tastewp.org/plugins/seo-by-rank-math/, and you will have a test site for each plugin, free to do with it whatever you please.
The same trick works for free WordPress themes too, which can be especially useful since most WordPress themes have only front-end demos, all with full-on makeup looking good, while often users are not able to clearly see what is under the hood.
TasteWP feature called the Magic Bookmark will also run a demo of a plugin or a theme with only one click if it is placed on the browser’s bookmark toolbar.
There are a few more tricks when it comes down to TasteWP demo links, precious for plugin developers who want to showcase their plugins to prospects. Namely, they can define a landing page within the test’s site WP Dashboard area, and use a shortcode to hide the intro screen that is normally displayed on each new WP instance.
TasteWP provides test WordPress sites in a quick and simple way that will hardly ever be matched by local setups, which, by the way, also need to be cleaned up after they are used, in contrast to TasteWP sites, that are being taken care of automatically.
But TasteWP is not just a platform for experienced developers that want to do a quick plugin check, a tweak, or an experiment. Test sites are also playing and learning grounds for WordPress beginners and future enthusiasts.