If you sell or develop any WordPress products like themes or plugins, you know how many questions can come up from potentials customers. They want to make sure they aren’t wasting their money and their time. Just installing it on your site, and letting them see the end result isn’t always a very compelling way to show off your product. Giving them a fully immersive experience to see both the backend and frontend of your product can do wonders for engaging your customer. Of course, the problem is, you don’t want to just give access to your site to visitors and hope they don’t break anything. That’s why there are demo solutions for WordPress. These setup test environments that allow users access in any role you allow to your product, and you don’t have to worry about them breaking an installation or damaging your site.
Here are our top picks:
Ninja Demo creates a test environment where your users can log on and assume whatever role you’d like and fully test out your product. And it works with any type of WordPress product. Ninja offers isolated sandboxes, meaning every user demoing on your site is playing in their own world and you don’t have to worry about one user affecting another’s experience. And it automatically cleans up after your demo, without the user having to initiate the process. They are heavily curating this one and keeping it updated with more features promised.
WPDemo is a really feature-rich product that offers lots of flexibility and easily scales for those that are offering multiple products. Like Ninja, WPDemo offers individual sandboxes. However, they also allow for multiple demos with one single installation. That means you can create demos for every single one of your products easily. It also comes with a preview bar that lets users preview your product in different browser sizes and switch between demos, quickly and easily.
QSandbox is a bit different than the others in that it isn’t so much intended for mass consumption as the others. QSandbox is on a smaller scale and meant for testing and development. And while it is certainly something you can use to show off what a theme or plugin can do, that isn’t its real purpose. This is a great solution for testing out new themes or plugins before installing them on an existing site since one bad file can utterly devastate a WordPress site. It can also be used for development, allowing for customization and coding to happen without affecting a live site.
There are many reasons why you may need to have a test or “sandbox” environment- whether it is for showcasing your products for sale, or testing and development. These solutions offer a way to provide for these situations in a risk-free way that won’t jeopardize any existing sites. So, as always- do your research and make sure you pick the one that is right for your situation.