InstaWP is a popular tool for creating WordPress sites in just a few clicks. It can help your developers to test or develop new functionality such as custom plugins for your site, or get new designs from designers – without risking any problems on your website.
This is because instead of making any changes to your current site, you can test everything on a new or mirrored site provided by InstaWP.
Here is how to use InstaWP to make testing new ideas safer and more effective.
A Quick Primer on InstaWP
InstaWP is highly useful for testing new plugins, tools, or new changes in WordPress sites, all without needing to create a new website, pay for hosting, or buy a domain.
InstaWP eliminates all of the above and lets you create a WordPress site with just a few clicks – and in seconds.
Who Is InstaWP For?
In this section, we will go over the most common scenarios in which your team can use InstaWP to speed up work and deliver better results.
#1: You’re a designer
As a designer, it’s your job to create the most appealing website.
However, it can be challenging to start creating (and mainly testing) new designs. You definitely don’t want to carry out testing on your live site, especially when you have 10+ variations of a design – and aren’t sure which one is the best.
Or you might be changing a site’s theme, which can mess up the whole layout.
Before InstaWP, you would have needed to create a whole new testing site – which might take hours to set up.
Fortunately, with InstaWP you can now create a fully-functioning WordPress website in just a few clicks, and test everything there.
#2: You’re a developer
If you’re a developer, using InstaWP is a no-brainer.
It may be challenging to make changes in code without ever experiencing any errors. Unfortunately, if you’re not careful, these errors can completely destroy your site.
(Or you’ll have to load the backup, which can be tedious!)
A much better way is to use InstaWP to create a WordPress site with which you can play.
If anything goes wrong, even if you can’t/don’t want to fix it, you can just create a new InstaWP site and start from scratch.
No risk at all.
#3: You’re Looking to Migrate to WP
To say that WordPress is a popular platform for developing websites would be rather an understatement. In fact, around 810 million websites are built with WordPress – which represents 43% of all websites online.
However, you might be using a different CMS, and are looking to move to WordPress.
If you’re looking to migrate to WordPress, you can create an InstaWP site and play around with it, try to get a feel of it, and figure out whether WordPress is for you. And if WordPress is for you – great, because you can simply migrate the website you’ve just created on InstaWP to any popular hosting provider!
If it’s not for you, at least you haven’t lost so much time creating a site, paying for hosting and a domain, or just migrating to WordPress, hoping it will suit you.
How to Create an InstaWP Site in Seconds
It took us 16 seconds to create an InstaWP account and set up a site. In this section, you’ll discover the step-by-step process of creating a new InstaWP website.
#1: Create an Account / Log In
Head over to https://instawp.io/ and create a new account.
#2: Set Up A New Site
Navigate to the Sites tab and click the ‘Add New +’ button at the top right corner.
From there, you can set up your site, which includes changing the site’s name, adding plugins, and choosing themes.
Hit ‘Create Site’ and the website will be created.
You now have a fully-functioning WordPress website.
You can access all of your active websites inside InstaWP in the Sites section. With a free account, you can create up to 3 active sites.
Note: The websites are temporary and will expire/get deleted after 7 days. You can create permanent sites with a paid membership, starting at $6 a month.
But, There is Much More to InstaWP…
There are many additional features that are highly valuable, especially for developers and designers, which will help you massively speed up your workflow.
You might have noticed that, as we were creating a WP site in InstaWP → Sites → ‘Add New +’, there was a ‘From Template’ tab at the top.
This can be very handy, and save you considerable time.
Instead of spending 15+ minutes making changes to the default configuration with each of your WordPress sites, you can create a template. That way, you only need to set the whole configuration once (which plugins to install, which theme to use, the site name and tagline) and then just create each of the new sites from that template.
Here’s How To Do It
The first step is to create a new site and configure it (which you’ll later use for a template).
After you’re done, head over to the InstaWP Sites tab, and next to the website you’ve created, click on the “Save Template” button.
You will then see a pop-up in which you can fill in the name and description of the template. After you save the template, InstaWP will save it in the Templates tab.
When you need to launch a new site from this template, head over to the Templates tab and select the ‘+’ icon next to it.
The website will be automatically created from the template.
Just like that, you eliminate the tedious process of setting up all new sites manually, which can save you anywhere from 15 to even 30 minutes per site.
Built-in Developer Tools
InstaWP offers a robust set of developer tools that can help you optimize your workflow, allowing you to work faster, including:
- Adminer SQL management script
- SFTP and SSH credentials
- Code editor
- Site log
With these tools, you’ll have everything you need to customize your development environment. Then, you can push your changes to a live audience when you’re ready.
You can learn more about the built-in developer tools from the InstaWP documentation.
You can link your repository from GitHub, GitLab, or Bitbucket to your development environment.
Click on your account avatar and head over to ‘Deployments’, and hit ‘Add New’.
From there, you will have to define whether your Git repository is private or public, and paste the URL to the repository, specifying the branch to pull from. You can also consider adding some shell commands to run after cloning the repository.
Once you create a deployment, you can connect it to a template. When you add a new site from this template, the repository will be pulled and automatically merged with the site.
Git integrations is very useful, and can help you save a lot of time by offering:
- Efficient rollback. If a test on your WordPress site goes bad, Git allows you to revert to a previous working state.
- Team collaboration. Git makes it easier to coordinate and share feedback on changes to the testing site by reviewing code or using GitHub Issues.
- Staging site creation. You can use Git to create staging environments that mirror your original site for thorough testing before implementing changes on the live WordPress website.
InstaWP Pricing: Which Plan Is For You?
There are four memberships you can choose from, starting from FREE and scaling to $79 a month (although if paying annually you’ll receive two months free).
A Free Plan
A free plan is great for anyone looking to explore WordPress. If you don’t need a permanent site or more than 3 active sites, a FREE plan will be enough.
Paid plans are for more advanced InstaWP users.
We highly recommend paid plans to any developer or designer since you’ll probably need more than 3 active sites – and websites lasting more than 7 days.
Which paid plan you choose depends on how heavily you use InstaWP.
The Final Verdict
InstaWP is a highly useful platform for testing new ideas, custom solutions, and designs.
The ability to have a fully-functional WordPress website at your fingertips lets you eliminate so many issues you would have experienced.
For instance, migrating to a new theme could completely shift your layout, or a plugin might have led to problems with loading of your pages. These errors could be very annoying, and potentially costly or damaging, potentially shutting down your website for a few hours or days.
Having InstaWP removes these risks, and lets you test everything beforehand.
This will completely speed up your workflow, save you so much time, and empower your team to try new things and experiment.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, we highly recommend using InstaWP.