A demo website is a website that is created to showcase the features, functionality, and design of a particular product, service, or platform. It is designed to give potential customers or users an idea of what they can expect from the product or service.
Why Would You Need A Demo Website?
Demo websites can be used for a variety of purposes, including;
- Showcase your product
The biggest reason to have a demo website is – It’s a great way to train customers to use a product or service.
With hands-on experience, a customer can understand the benefits of your product or service and provide you with feedback. It increases the likelihood of making a sale. For example, if you want to demonstrate how a WordPress shipping plugin works, you could create a demo website that shows the different capabilities of your product.
- Build a Website for the Client
You have a client who wants a website. Building a demo website will give a client a clue of what the final website would look like.
A demo website for a product can also help a client test out features that he or she might be interested in.
- Try out new plugins and themes.
If you’re a WordPress developer, you know about WordPress themes and plugins.
Themes give the look and feel of the website.
Plugins, on the other side, handle the functionality of the website. If you have heard about any newly released WordPress theme or plugin, you might want to test them using a WordPress sample website.
How To Easily Create a Demo/Staging Site?
A staging site is a private testing environment that allows you to make changes and updates to a website without affecting the live version. It is essentially a copy of your live website that is only accessible to authorized users. This allows you to identify and fix any issues or errors before they go live, ensuring a smooth and error-free user experience for visitors.
Staging sites are typically created on a separate server or subdomain and can be password-protected or restricted to certain IP addresses. Once changes have been tested and approved on the staging site, they can be safely deployed to the live website. You can create demo sites for testing on staging platforms like InstaWP.
Creating WordPress Staging Sites Using InstaWP
If you want to build a demo website for a client, it’s vital that you share the website link with your client instead of building on localhost. InstaWP is a platform that helps you create a WordPress demo website in seconds. Here are the steps:
#1 – Signup for InstaWP
To get started, go to the InstaWP website and create an account by clicking the Try for Free button. You can as well install the Chrome extension.
You will be redirected to the page shown in the following screenshot.
Click on the SignUp button to create a free account.
Once you have created your account, sign in to the InstaWP dashboard.
Once you have created your account, sign in to the InstaWP dashboard. Click on the New Site button to create a new demo website.
#2 – Launch a WordPress Website
InstaWP will automatically choose the default configurations.
To change the configurations, click on the Add New button.
Click on the Create Site button to create a new demo site.
InstaWP will install WordPress for you.
To access the WordPress Admin dashboard, click on the Magic Login button.
To view your WordPress demo site, click on the Url.
This is how your site demo site now looks. You can share the link with anyone you want to.
#3 – Create Your WordPress Website Template
InstaWP lets you create a WordPress template. Once created, you can use it whenever you want to build a demo website.
To create a WordPress template, go to Actions, and click on the Save as Template icon shown in the screenshot below.
A pop-up form will be displayed. Enter your template name and description. Click on the Save button to save your template.
To view your template, click on the Templates Item on the header.
#4 – Install Themes and Plugins
Let’s add more tweaks to our demo website. We shall start by installing a theme and several essential plugins.
A WordPress theme is a template that defines the overall look and feel of your website. WordPress themes allow you to change the design of your website easily without changing the content or structure.
With millions of themes available for download, you can choose a theme that best suits your needs, whether creating a blog, an E-commerce website, or a portfolio site.
To install a WordPress theme, click on the Appearnace=> Themes on the Sidebar of the WordPress Admin dashboard.
Click on the Add New button.
You can type the theme’s name in the search bar; WordPress will search through the WordPress Theme Repository and return the theme. Click on Install to download and install the theme.
Another way to upload a theme from your local machine is by clicking the Upload Theme button.
For this article, I have installed the Gutena block theme.
Once the theme is installed, click the Activate button to activate the theme on your dashboard.
A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that can be added to a WordPress website to extend its functionality or add new features. Plugins are designed to work with the WordPress platform and can be easily installed and activated through the WordPress dashboard.
Plugins can do a wide variety of things, such as creating contact forms, improving website security, optimizing website performance, adding social media sharing buttons, creating E-Commerce stores, and much more.
There are millions of plugins available in the official WordPress plugin repository and on the third-party developers’ sites. Many plugins are free, but some may require a payment or subscription.
To install a WordPress plugin, click on the Plugins on the Sidebar. Type your keywords in the search bar. WordPress will search through the WordPress plugin repository and return results. Click on the Install Now button on the plugin of your choice. WordPress will download and install the plugin.
The other method is by clicking on the Upload Now button. Upload a zipped plugin file from your local machine.
#5 – Adding Content Posts, and Pages on Your Website
Your WordPress demo site is already up and running. However, it doesn’t have content. If your sole purpose in adding content to the site is to check its functionality, you can go ahead with dummy content only.
For this, InstaWP offers a Core Faker. Gone are the days of importing demos. Now, you can simply enter the number of dummy posts, pages, tags, categories, attachments, and authors to generate them.
For WooCommerce sites, you can utilize InstaWP’s WooCommerce Generator functionality, which is a part of Faker. Doing so will enable you to add demo content to your shop.
This WC Generator will let you add any number of products, orders, coupons, minimum/maximum discounts, and customers to your store really quickly.
Want to add real content to your website? Let’s see how to add some content to the website.
WordPress has two main default content types, which are Posts and Pages.
WordPress posts are dynamic content displayed in reverse chronological order on a WordPress website or blog. Posts typically contain information, news, or opinions on a particular topic and are often accompanied by images, videos, or other multimedia elements.
Posts are time-sensitive and are typically used for content that is regularly updated.
WordPress posts can be organized by category and tags, making it easier for users to find related content. Users can also leave comments on posts, creating a sense of community and engagement on a website.
To create a post, Click on Posts on your sidebar in the WordPress Admin dashboard. Click on Add New.
Give your post a title.
To add content to your post, click the Plus icon at the top left to reveal the blocks. You can use the paragraph block to add a new paragraph.
You can categorize your post by creating categories under the categories section on the right.
When you’re done adding your content, you can publish your post by clicking on Publish button.
To view your post, click the URL at the right sidebar below Templates.
Pages, however, are designed for more static content that doesn’t change frequently, such as an About Us Page, Contact Us Page, etc. They are not typically organized by date or part of a regular publishing schedule like posts.
Pages also have a hierarchical structure, meaning you can create sub-pages nested under a main page. For example, you might have a Services Page with several sub-pages, such as Service A, Service B, and Service C.
To create a WordPress page, return to your WordPress Admin dashboard and click on Pages>> Add New.
Click on the blue plus icon at the top left to reveal blocks. You can add content to your page using blocks. For example, if you want to add a paragraph, use a Paragraph block. To add an image, you must choose the image block.
To view your page, click on the URL at the right.
To publish your page, Click the Publish button at the top right, and your page will be live.
To continue customizing your website, here is a more detailed article about building a WordPress website from Scratch.
#6 – Sharing the Link To the Demo Site
Now that you have built your demo WordPress website, it’s time to share the link with your client. In your InstaWP dashboard >>Sites, copy the link under the name and share it with your client.
Congratulations! You have built a live WordPress demo website.
A demo website is a valuable tool for businesses to showcase their products or services and engage with potential clients. You can use InstaWP to create a demo website using WordPress in seconds. You can even create free demo websites for testing and quick experimentation using this tool.
We hope this article helped you learn how to build live demo websites.