Among the many reasons for Whipping up a WordPress Website three stand out:
1 -Temporary testing site for new trial WordPress theme, plugins, styling and/or app;
2 -Staging site for trying and testing major website changes – trick is to quickly migrate in and out;
3 -Help in migration of a website to new server/domain and act as short-term backup.
Now Whipping-up a WordPress Website implies some preferred characteristics for such an app:
> Whipping-up implies fast and easy setup of the temporary WP website;
> The resulting website should also be fast allowing admin operations and actual testing to run quickly;
> Low cost per staging/temporary website;
> There should be no limits on the WordPress website using BuddyPress, multi-user and any legitimate WordPress theme, plugin and app;
> Simple URL domain naming;
> Security, backup, and support/help services associated with a good WordPress tool.
Now this developer relied first on extra websites on a shared hosting service like SiteGround and then moved to Boldgrid in 2018 when BoldGrid provided 10 WordPress website instances for $35US/year. Yes, the URL to an instance WordPress website is a strange amalgam which is not customizable – like so https://demo2.cloudwp.dev/trial-45ut457u/. Also, there is no email service except through WordPress SMTP plugins. But BoldGrid provided backup[Total Upkeep], SEO Services[Boldgrid Easy SEO], PageBuilder [Post and Page Builder]and a Performance Tuning coach. So intially BoldGrid met our need for quick, temporary WordPress workspace minus user set domain name, only second tier email service and no WPMU support. In sum, a working combo of temporary WordPress site services.
Boldgrid in 2018 delivered fast and easy setup, reasonable admin and runtime speed. In addition with Snaps theme and plugin templates, one could accelerate the temp site creeation. But by Spring 2022 BoldGrid – Cloud WordPress Goes Awry had serious response problems because it put no limit on what users could run on their Boldgrid instances. So there has been an invasion of cryptominers, gamers and hackers whose compute-intensive operations effectively reduced BoldGrid response time to a slow crawl. Instances Not Available became a plague including during BoldGrid Website Builder operations. In short, time to look for a better Temporary WordPress website services.
Finding a good Whipping-up a Temporary WordPress Site Tool
This was the problem posed at a Toronto WordPress Solutions meetup group.After an impromptu discussion, our group brainstormed 5 possible solutions. One popular method that was rejected right away was a LocalHost installation like Laragon,XAMPP, or Bitnami for 3 critical reasons
– 1)making localhost sites available on the Internet with a simple, unattended Web Url link is very hard hard to do. Yes, making the localhost link through Zoom, Hangup, Facetime or special livelink connection/session works, but it takes two to tango not like the more useful, unattended web link;
– 2)but even if you are able to view a localhost site thru Zoom or other livelink, it is still not possible to do a speed test of the site using GTMetrix or Pingdom. This is a big drawback;
– 3)each of the localhost test environs had some limits on what integrations or external network interconnections to other sites could be made.
But even more important BoldGrid has apparently cleared out the exploiter websites using BoldGrid for intense computaional tasks. But how BoldGrid did this and would they be able to maintain good response and uptime for clients is still a valid question .
So after careful discussion, here is our list of temporary WordPress website creation tools:
1 –Instawp delivers 15 sites with 5GB storage, 7day site expiry limit for $90US/year
2 –BoldGrid delivers 10 sites for $$35US/year or 20 sites for $60US/year .
3 –Siteground shared hosting offers backup, staging, email, multiple domains for $60US/year for 1st year on shared hosting. But the price after the first year jumps substantially;
4 –Cloudways offers your choice of Cloud hosting from five vendors for $144US/year for Linode 1GB Ram 25GB disk. But there are plugin restrictions and substantial setup time;
5 – Flywheel managed WordPress hosting for $1150US/year for 10 sites with 20GB storage & 200GB bandwidth
However, this list was quickly pared down to InstaWP and BoldGrid given their easy and fast test website setup with full security, migration, and backup services. Also the cost savings of both InstaWP and BoldGrid are substantially better than all the other tools. The only gap in the two systems is lack of support for WordPress Multi-user plus domain naming and email ease in which case look to the other three WordPress service providers. Qsandbox.com was a potential competitor – check out its features here
Substantially Similar Quick Hosting Services
If you look at the setup and control dashboards for BoldGrid and InstaWP the underlying services are the same.
The interfaces dashboards are different but the features they offer are broadly similar as seen in the table below.
Category/Tool InstaWP BoldGrid
Dashboard Settings and Control Settings and control
Complete Table Setup very good & fast very good & fast
Configuration WP & PHP version, any theme or plugin WP , PHP Version, any theme or plugin
Site Creation Time 2 to 25 seconds 3 to 40 seconds
Speed of admin/edits mid to fast variable to fast
Runtime speed LCP=1.3sec, TBT=0.24, CLS=04
Full load time=2.5sec
LCP=1.0s, TBT=0.54, ,CLS=03
Full load time=2.4sec
Runtime size Size=1.21MB, Requests=78 Size=1.773MB,,Requests=86
Support/Help Chat but poor docs Chat, email, good docs
Yearly low costs free, 5 sites, 0.5GB size limit, 7 day expiry free 1 site with full services
Yearly midcosts $90, 15sites, 5GB size limit, 7 day expiry $30 for 10 sites plus tutorials and plugins
Yearly high costs $240, 20 sites, 15GB size limit, 7day expiry $60 for 20 site plus theme, tutorial, and plugins
Killer Feature Very fast site creation with simple settings First to market with full features and free version
Killer Crashes 2 day in Sep 2022 all sites inaccessible, slow support 10 days no access to some sites, some site creation also fails - Spring 2022
So currently Boldgrid and InstaWP for a year will undergo further use and testing. Likely – a more detailed InstaWP review as soon as the documentation improves. It is barebones in substantial parts; so where did the Automattic money go?
If this review has been helpful, buy me a cup of coffee or attend one of our info-packed WP Solutions meetups.