Is it possible to test WordPress before you sign up for a hosting account? Perhaps a “try before you buy” arrangement or something that you can download to your laptop and test out? I am just concerned about signing up only to find out WordPress is not for me.
This is a very important question. Unlike website builders like:
Or even eCommerce platforms like:
self-hosted WordPress doesn’t offer a “WordPress free trial” option.
No matter how many WordPress setup instructions you’ve read or WordPress tutorial videos that you have viewed, nothing is better than playing around with software and seeing if it makes sense to you.
There are four ways you can try WordPress free of charge:
- Setup on Your Local Computer
- Web Hosting with a Refund Period
Get the Free WordPress.com plan
WordPress.com is the commercial arm for the WordPress software.
They offer free accounts with a subdomain (i.e., yourwebsite.wordpress.com) that you can sign up and use for free (no free trial period – just free forever). It only comes with a limited edition of WordPress software. It doesn’t allow you to test all WordPress plugins. However, the general feel is the same as the format .
WordPress.com now allows third-party plugins, including popular ones like Yoast SEO. This will allow you to get a good idea of how you feel about WordPress.com.
You can also add content to your WordPress website without worrying.
WordPress.com: 5 Things to Try
- Sign up on WordPress.com
- Explore the WordPress Dashboard.
- Add a “post”, and a page.
- Select a new WordPress Theme under Appearances.
- Add a menu under Appearances.
I created a guide about the differences between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, and reviewed WordPress.com to find a long-term solution.
Take the 14-day trial on Flywheel
If you are looking to get started with WordPress, this is the best option.
Flywheel offers a 14-day free trial. You can purchase if you wish after the 14-day trial.
Google cannot index the site during the trial. This is done to prevent spam from Google. Flywheel, unlike other providers, creates a cloud instance that is used to run your site. It’s fast and dedicated to your website.
This option is not available on the pricing page. These steps are required to create an account.
- Register on Flywheel for a free account
- Select SITES from the top menu
- Click the green button CREATE AN NEW SITE
- Who will be the owner of this site? Select “Me”, then click the CREATE AN button
- Choose the “I only require WordPress Hosting” option
- Scroll down to the bottom and select CREATE. (see the image below).
- The last page is where you can enter the information that will allow you to access your WordPress site.
- You’ll soon have a functional WordPress blog.
The demo site option is at the bottom of this page.
It’s a great way to get started with WordPress. Just click to create a test website that expires in two weeks. It’s easy to create posts and add plugins.
Standard WordPress Install
Three Things to Try on Your Demo Website
- Create a “post”, or “page”, and then view your site.
- Try searching for WordPress plugins.
- Select a new “Theme”, under Appearances and watch how your design changes.
After you’re done with the temporary install, you can go to Tools-> Export to export your data. You can then create your own WordPress website by clicking Tools -> Import. Your test work will be ready.
Install on Your Local Computer
Get Desktop Server
Although it is a little more difficult, it is possible to download WordPress and install it on your server computer.
These setups create a server using PHP/ MySQL (WordPress’s database language). You can then install WordPress on your server and access it from your browser.
It would be better to install WAMP on Windows. This will allow you to have a local apache and MySQL as well as a PHP server )…, then install WordPress. Here is a guide.
Desktop server is another great freemium program that makes it super easy to use on both Mac and Windows.
You can use plugins, themes and all other software on your computer setup.
Desktop Server is a great option if you are planning to do the process often.
Web Hosting with a Refund Period
Although self-hosted WordPress doesn’t offer many “try before commit” options they do have.
Last but not least, you have the option to take advantage of hosting companies’ generous refund policies.
- InMotion Hosting: 90 Day Refund Period
- HostGator – 45 day refund period
- Bluehost – 30 Day Refund Period
Choose your web host and install WordPress software. Build your WordPress website.
WordPress makes it easy to export and move, unlike other platforms.
Make sure to Check out my WordPress Setup Guide , my WordPress Beginner’s Tutorials, and, of course the ShivarWeb Swingbox for WordPress.