I suppose that every larger web handyman probably has his own sandbox which he uses for trying out various projects. Some people swear by Docker, others still work with XAMP, somebody operates with subdomains on hosting, some of us have their own server. There are plenty of options and each person will prefer a different solution.
During my lectures my clients sometimes ask me whether I know about some hosting where they could quickly launch WordPress and test something out. Quickly doesn’t mean to have to set a domain or subdomain by endless clicking and certainly not to copy a WordPress installation via FTP. For these purposes the WP one-domain installation with one click also isn’t suitable. Because most people just don’t want to have to buy a domain or a new hosting because of trying out a plug-in.
And exactly for these and other similar purposes was created a sandbox – TasteWP.com services. A new website on their subdomain can be run including all installation and (in fact) one-click log-in, all of this in a matter of seconds. And you don’t even have to go through any registration!
I have tried it out and it works like a clock. A new instance of WordPress is prepared in a blink of an eye and it will welcome you with a notification including the information about the duration of availability. Webs are being erased automatically after 48 hours.
WordPress is on TasteWP.com installed in English. It differs a little from the standard default installation. You won’t find here any nonsense like Hello Dolly plug-in or that antispam thing. Instead, probably because of some kind of sponsorship, there are three plug-ins available – backing up (Backup Migration), quick post duplication (Copy& Delete Posts) and for creating universally loved pop-ups (MyPopUps).
For some more advanced stuff you will probably miss FTP, SFTP or WP-CLI. But I got a feeling that for the most of people working with WordPress the web interface will simply be sufficient for all of their needs.
What will you get for a registration to a sandbox for WordPress?
I was curious what TasteWP.com can offer if I complete the free registration process. They promised a notice board with an overview of all my projects. And that was no rubbish. I like that after the registration and following log-in I can immediately see also a testing WordPress that I had created before the registration itself.
The access to the notice board also isn’t blocked by a confirmation link waiting in your e-mail inbox. It will be sent to you and you should click on it but for some time the TasteWP administration will work even without this step. Very convenient.
And now to the web itself. Thanks to the log-in to the TasteWP administration you will be able to see how large is the assigned capacity and the current usage of this space. 227 MB was enough for me for creating posts including images and for plug-in installations and further experiments with them.
Via action menu you can quickly log-in to WordPress, or if need be reset your password or immediately turn off all the plugins. A function that is often very useful while experimenting.
More advanced developers can download debug.log and take a look at which problems occurred in the installation process of WordPress. A matter that is up-to-date – a change of a PHP version. TasteWP has currently set PHP 7.4 but it offers also PHP 8 so you can test out easily how well some plug-ins or visual themes run with this new version.
What caught my attention – in the administration I can set up templates of new installations of WordPress. With a chosen version of CMS, a chosen version of PHP, debugger settings or some attributes of WordPress.
If you will be creating a new installation of WordPress when you will already be logged-in, then you make use of the aforementioned templates, or you just attributes of a new installation set by clicking and edit it. In this case it is also possible to determine whether there should be the three mentioned plugins present and whether as a visual theme will be used Twenty Twenty, GeneratePress or OceanWP.
Fully-fledged hosting for WordPress in the future
According to all the mentions on the web TasteWP will offer a standard hosting for WordPress too in the future. Meaning installations that won’t expire after two days and that will run on your own domains too. When we can expect that, I haven’t found out.
But I have to say that operating and speed with which you can run WordPress on TasteWP, destine it for e.g. agencies that create microsites one after another. For those would be such a hosting ideal. No complexity, a little more informed marketing guy should be able to manage.
So, what are you waiting for? I am going to get on it. I have a few things waiting and I would like to try them out in WordPress but I have been putting them off because I didn’t feel like putting up with a complete installation and a few extra minutes of my time. Here it can be done in seconds, so all of my excuses are gone.