The basic principle of InstaWP is both simple and useful: this website allows you to create temporary WordPress test sites (Sandbox). Just click a few buttons and you have a working WordPress installation that you can use for simple testing or to build a real website. Have you ever wished you could create a fresh WordPress install with just the click of a button?
InstaWP will save you time
Thanks to InstaWP, you can use these WordPress sites to test plugins, or to create real websites that you can then show to your customers by sharing a link. You can finally automatically clone these websites to copy them to a web host.
You can start your WordPress site as a clean install of WordPress, or you can create your own templates to automatically pre-install certain themes and plugins, and configure settings for those different themes and plugins, saving you a lot of time if you have to deploy several websites for your customers.
You will thus be able to have your favorite themes and plugins (cache plugin, security, back up, marketing, etc.) automatically ready to use for each new WordPress site creation. InstaWP gives you the choice: you can let a website expire automatically after a certain time or let it persist until you delete it manually.
Creating a new WordPress installation
1/ Create an InstaWP account
It is not even mandatory to create an account, but the free account gives certain advantages, so you can create 5 websites instead of 3, your sites expire after 48 hours instead of 8 hours, Slack integration, management of your various websites. We really appreciate this great flexibility offered by InstaWP.
2/ Creation of a WordPress site by InstaWP
Once you’ve signed up for a free InstaWP account, you can create a new site by clicking the Add New button in the Sites tab of your dashboard:
This will open a popup where you can configure the basics of your site:
You can build your WordPress site from scratch by clicking the From Scratch tab. You can also create your site based on a template, by clicking the From Template tab.
Then you can use the default configuration, or create a custom configuration by modifying the following criteria:
- WordPress version: from version 4.7 to 6.0,
- The PHP version: from version 7.2 to 8.1,
- The default configuration, or a custom configuration that you previously created,
- The name of your future site.
You simply need to click on the Create Site button. And There you go! You have a working WordPress installation in just seconds!
Then you can access your website by clicking on the URL, and you can login to the WordPress admin panel using the provided credentials or you can simply click on the Access Now button.
If you haven’t created a free account, the layout is a bit different, and you can click the 1-Click Login button to login instead of having to manually enter username and password. You may find that your site times out after only 8 hours, when it is normally 48 hours.
From your new site’s WordPress dashboard, it works just like any other self-hosted WordPress installation. You can install plugins and themes, adjust settings, add users, etc. You may also find that you automatically benefit from an SSL connection.
InstaWP also gives you a number of other tools to access and manage your site, which you can use from the Sites tab:
The Open Database option opens the WordPress database, not using phpMyAdmin, but using its competitor Adminer:
TheCode Editor button allows you to edit all core files, plugins and themes, create new files, from your internet browser. From the drop-down menu, you can also migrate your website using a built-in Migrate Guru integration. But you can also perform the migration using the plugin of your choice, with WPvivid for example.
You can also save save your site as a template, export your site using a file in ZIP format, or finally delete your site. The paid versions of InstaWP allow you to have additional features: Cloning of the site, FTP or SSH access,Domain Mapping, reservation of your site so that it does not expire automatically.
Integrations with Chrome and Slack
When you activate the Chrome extension , it adds a new launch button to the WordPress.org theme and plugin pages. If you click on this button, it will automatically create a new WordPress site and preinstall the theme or plugin you are interested in. What a time saver for anyone who is used to trying out all sorts of WordPress plugins! InstaWP also offers integration with Slack .
Deployment of your website
You can deploy your website for free using Github. InstaWP makes it easy for us once again: just go to the Deployment tab and click on the Add New button. It will then suffice to enter the information relating to our Github account.
InstaWP offers a free plan and three paid plans.
InstaWP’s Free Plan:
- Create up to 5 active sites.
- Sites expire after two days (there’s no way to create a permanent install on the free plan, which is why it’s best for short-term testing).
- Creation of 3 predefined models.
- 500 Mb maximum storage for your account.
InstaWP paid plans
We can benefit from great flexibility in the features offered as well as in the plans offered, since we have the choice between 3 paid versions, ranging from $9 to $59 per month. You will get 20% off if you pay annually.
If you upgrade to one of the three paid plans, you can access some or all of the following features:
1/ Higher site counts and longer default timeouts.
2/ Larger storage spaces: from 500mb for the free plan to 25 Gb for the most complete plan.
3/ Possibility to reserve sites so that they do not expire (they are permanent until you delete them). Normally, sites expire from 2 days to 15 days after their creation.
4/ Option to restore expired websites.
5/ Website templates: only one for the free version, and up to 25 for the most complete version.
6/ Access via FTP or SSH.
7/ “Map Domain” functionality (redirections to your website).
8/ Personalized domain names and white label.
9/ Site cloning.
10/ Increase in the number of deployment operations with Github.
11/ Team management.
Visit the official InstaWP website by clicking here.
InstaWP is not the only tool that offers this kind of one-click sandbox WordPress installs, you can also use TasteWP. However, it is the tool that will give you the most useful features, especially since the price of the paid plans is not too high. If you want to install WordPress locally, the most popular solutions are the freeware Local and DevKinsta.
You can also create test WordPress sites with a plugin: WPvivid. Among its many features, WPvivid also allows you to clone, migrate or save your websites. More details in this article .