InstaWP is the leading provider of what can most simply be described as disposable WordPress websites – used for everything from testing to staging and demos (for WordPress plugins and themes). Behind the scenes, they chose to power their platform with RunCloud using our API.
For Those Yet To Hear About InstaWP – What Is It? And What Led You To Build It?
In short, InstaWP is a WordPress sandbox service. What this means, and the use cases & scenarios that it applies to are extremely varied.
For example, we recently learned that the FooEvents team had been relying on InstaWP as a part of their support process.
By using InstaWP, they were able to quickly create instances that enabled their team to explain installation issues to their customers with far greater ease and effectiveness.
More recently, extendify.com and newsletterglue.com have started using InstaWP to provide more effective ways to demonstrate their solutions. Of particular interest is that InstaWP has received seed funding from Automattic (giving them a percentage of future equity under a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity).
What led us to build the platform was very much out of our own needs. We wanted an easy way to deploy single-use WordPress sandbox environments – whether that was for testing, validating an idea before pushing something to production, debugging issues, or building a site for a client, among several important needs.
We (at ExpressTech) wanted to make a platform that would simplify a whole range of processes that were taking place in our organization, and which we knew were also highly relevant to a wide range of other users in the WordPress space (as well as organizations similar to ours).
Building InstaWP – The Challenges Faced
As we began development on the platform when it was still an internal project, the biggest challenge we faced was not wanting to reinvent the wheel when it came to server deployment and management. Realistically, that would have extended the development time, increased costs, as well as raised maintenance costs of the platform as a whole to the point where we would likely not have pursued the development.
It was at this stage that we began to explore the potential ways we could use RunCloud’s API to negate the need to bake the deployment scripts into our own systems. As it turned out, this ended up being relatively straightforward to accomplish.
Shortly after finding RunCloud, we were confident that the implementation would be suitable, and would work exactly as we wanted it to. This gave us the confidence to take InstaWP to market much, much faster than we would have (and could have) prior to using RunCloud with our free offering.
What Made RunCloud The Right Solution For InstaWP
Although there are many platforms that try to accomplish something similar to what RunCloud does, we were very quickly certain about our choice to use RunCloud to build InstaWP. The fact that they’ve been a leader in the industry for years as a reliable service provider (i.e., not offering lifetime deals, compromising quality, etc.) aligned with our values, and this made us feel confident when making the choice that we would be in good hands.
Similarly, upon connecting with the team, we received great help, support, and feedback that again made the entire process of building InstaWP more enjoyable.
Upcoming Plans & Where You Can Learn More About InstaWP
RunCloud gave us the perfect start with its simple API and robust infrastructure to provision instances. We had to write some WP-specific APIs ourselves, like Magic Login, DB Editor, Code Editor, etc., but from a provisioning standpoint, RunCloud had us covered.
To scale, we are looking to create our own backend of provisioning, with the sole reason being that our systems will be designed towards having short-lived sandbox environments, whereas RunCloud is meant for production-level sites.
And eventually, the goal is to integrate with RunCloud (as well as hosting providers) to provide a way to easily push from InstaWP environments over to production sites. In a way, going full circle with an integration with the solution our platform was first powered by. The first phase of this has started: