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Competition in the sandboxing products space is heating with the entrance of InstaWP, a new service for setting up disposable WordPress testing sites. Founder Vikas Singhal created the tool to provide a quick way to set up live testing sites online or to show something to a client or team.

InstaWP joins the ranks of services like TasteWP and WPSandbox but with a few unique options. At setup, users can select from WordPress versions back to 4.7 and may even choose to spin up a site using the latest beta or release candidate. Like other services, InstaWP allows you to choose your PHP version. The ability to disable WP cache and browser cache is coming soon. Users can create a custom name for their sites or leave it blank for a randomly generated name.

Free WordPress instances stay live for 8 hours, and users can link their accounts via email to extend it to 48 hours.

InstaWP, not to be confused with InstantWP, a local WordPress installation tool, was built on an nginx + Apache server without any containers. Singhal said he found containers to be too heavy for this particular use case. He runs a WordPress plugin/theme shop along with an agency on the side, both of which could benefit from InstaWP’s quick testing sites.

“I wanted to build a solution for ourselves where we can quickly launch WP instances for a variety of reasons – testing a feature of WP, testing a plugin/theme, testing in different versions of WP/PHP and last but not the least – creating an ‘instant’ test environment for the clients for them to test our plugins/themes,” he said.

Singhal started InstaWP a month ago and received so much positive feedback on Reddit and from the Post Status community that he hired two dedicated developers to work on the project. Testers have commented on how fast the service spins up sites. Version 1.1.0 introduced Slack integration, which allows users to instantly set up a site by typing /wp in Slack. The release also added WordPress admin auto login for quick access without username and password.

InstaWP has a public road map. Features on deck for future releases include the following:

  1. Slack and cli commands
  2. Download Files and DB Backup from the UI
  3. Direct push to FTP or cPanel
  4. nginx and nginx + Apache configurations
  5. Finer controls on PHP settings
  6. Save configurations for instant launch of pre-configured WP
  7. Integrations with hosting providers
  8. Map custom domains
  9. Multiple servers around the world (USA, Singapore, London, etc.)

Singhal said he was aware of TasteWP as a competitor but plans to differentiate InstaWP based on simplicity and feature set.

“My vision with InstaWP is make it a default tool for WP learners, enthusiasts, freelancers, and agencies – basically everyone,” he said.

Singhal plans to monetize the tool for both end-users and plugin and theme authors. Users will have to upgrade to gain access to increased limits, custom domains, FTP access, and the ability to reserve a site. WordPress product authors can upgrade to provide 1-click demos to their clients and prospective customers.

Singhal said so far more than 500 instances have been created and teams from Yoast and some agencies are already using the tool. Several prominent WordPress businesses have requested agency pricing that would allow their users to test their plugins via a 1-click preconfigured install. The service is still under active development and Singhal plans to iron out pricing in the near future. Testers who have suggestions for InstaWP can log them on the tool’s idea board for future consideration.