What is a Plugin Demo in WordPress, and Why is it Important?

To explain what a plugin demo is, let’s talk about its dynamics and workings first.

Let’s say you developed a WordPress plugin that can be used by the masses.

Plugin demo offers your prospects (e.g., other developers and website owners) the opportunity to explore a plugin’s capabilities, ensuring it aligns seamlessly with their unique needs and expectations.

Creating a plugin demo in WordPress involves setting up a WordPress sandbox environment where users can explore the plugin’s user interface, tinker with various settings, and witness its real-time performance.

Keep reading and learn what a plugin demo is and why it is so important. 

How to Market Your Plugin Effectively?

WordPress plugin developers are constantly looking for a way to market their plugins effectively. What better way to achieve this is a burning question that we are going to provide an answer to. 

Imagine a scenario where you, as a developer, spent months crafting a powerful and feature-rich plugin, and now you’re faced with the challenge of getting it into the hands of users who could benefit from it.

The scenarios above paint a vivid picture of the everyday struggle of WordPress plugin developers with marketing. 

But here are considerations that you might find helpful.

  • Target Your Preferred Audience: Know who you are making the plugin for. It is important to research the needs of specific users and their demography to be able to effectively niche down and reach them.
  • List your Plugins Optimally: Craft an appealing and informative listing in the WordPress plugin directory. Use high-quality images, engaging descriptions, and relevant keywords to increase visibility.
  • Use Social Media: Social media these days is right at everyone’s fingertips. You can reach as many people as you want with your product offerings. engage with your audience, share updates, and build a community around your plugin.
  • Content Marketing: What you are learning right now is written and promoted around a product. Take a cue from this and create valuable content through blog posts, tutorials, and videos that highlight your plugin’s features and solve common problems in your niche.
  • Email Marketing: There is nothing as rewarding as email marketing for a long-term marketing strategy. Build and nurture an email list to keep users informed about updates, promotions, and other relevant information.
  • Testimonials and User Reviews: What users think about your product is very important to get more users and keep the existing ones, so encourage satisfied users to leave positive reviews and testimonials on your plugin’s page, which can significantly boost credibility.
  • Engage with WordPress Forums: Make this your second virtual home and Participate in WordPress forums and communities to answer questions and offer solutions related to your plugin’s functionality. By doing this you will be exposing your plugin and the solutions it provides.
  • Collaborate with Influencers: There are names in the WordPress ecosystem that have built a huge following and influence around them. Partner with them to review and endorse your plugin, leveraging their authority and audience.
  • Create a Website: Develop a professional website dedicated to your plugin, serving as a hub for information, support, and a showcase of your plugin’s capabilities.
  • Free and Premium Versions: Offer a free version with essential features and a premium version with advanced functionalities, allowing users to upgrade when they see value.
  • Affiliate Programs: Set up an affiliate program that encourages users and marketers to promote your plugin in exchange for a commission on sales.

These are unique ways through which you can effectively develop a comprehensive marketing strategy to effectively promote your WordPress plugin, reaching a wider audience and achieving greater success in the competitive plugin market.

Plugin Demo: One of the Best Marketing Tactics

Plugin demo is a unique way and strategy to effectively promote your WordPress plugin, reach a wider audience, and achieve greater success in the competitive plugin market.

Why? Because plugin demo in WordPress allows users to familiarize themselves with the plugin features and functionalities before integrating them into their live websites

Utilizing plugin demo marketing tactics, such as creating a WordPress sandbox, can be a game-changer for your plugin’s visibility and adoption.

Let us see below how a plugin demo is a potent marketing strategy for your plugin as a developer:

Engages Users Effectively

Plugin demos offer an interactive and engaging way for users to experience your plugin’s functionality firsthand, making it easier for them to understand its value.

Clears Uncertainty

Users can test your plugin in a risk-free environment, reducing any hesitations or doubts they may have before committing to the full version.

Provides Transparency and Trust 

Providing a demo demonstrates transparency and builds trust with potential users, showing that you have confidence in your product.

Showcases Key Features 

Plugin demos allow you to showcase your plugin’s standout features and benefits, highlighting what sets it apart from the competition.

Educates and Guides 

You can guide users on how to make the most of your plugin, ensuring they understand its full potential and how it can address their needs.

Creating a Plugin Demo Journey using InstaWP 

InstaWP is the best tool out there to create a plugin demo. By setting up a WordPress sandbox environment in InstaWP, you provide users with an interactive space to explore your plugin’s features firsthand. This hands-on experience can be a powerful marketing tool, as it allows potential users to engage with your plugin in a risk-free staging environment.

Preliminary Step

Before we start creating a plugin demo journey using InstaWP, let us take care of some things.

Create InstaWP Account

To use InstaWP to create WordPress sandboxes, first create an InstaWP account if you don’t already have one and if you do, login to your account instantly.

Create A WordPress Sandbox Using InstaWP 

To set up your plugin product demo, follow these simple steps.

Step 1 – Create a New Site

  1. Sign in to your account to enter your dashboard.
  2. Head to the far right of your dashboard and click on the “Add New” button. 

You will see a modal pop-up.  There are different things you can do to set the new site according to your needs. Feel free to explore.

You can hit “Create Site” when you’re done and watch InstaWP create your new site in less than a minute.

To log in to the site’s Admin Panel, click on the “Magic Login” button.

Step 2- Set Up Your Plugin

To get your new site ready for plugin demo integration, here are a few things you could do.

  1. Begin by installing your plugin or theme and any necessary dependencies. This may include adding essential plugins or configuring specific settings to ensure your demo functions optimally.
  1. Select an appealing theme that represents your product effectively. Customize it to create an engaging landing page for your demo users, providing a visually appealing introduction to your offering.
  1. Populate your demo site with content that showcases your product’s capabilities. Create sample pages, posts, or products, depending on what your plugin or theme offers. This allows prospects to explore your solution’s features.
  1. Consider adding a welcoming message or instructions on the dashboard. 
  1. General Settings Update: Ensure that the settings in the “Settings > General” section of your WordPress site are configured correctly. This step is crucial for providing users with a seamless and accurate demo experience.

Having done the above, you can now start creating the demo for your plugin in the next step. 

Step 3 – Save Your Site As a Sharable Template Site

Shared Templates in InstaWP is a copy of any of your sites that you have running. The template makes it possible to reuse saved or existing sites by creating the same site as many times as you want. See the full guide to creating a shared template in InstaWP

  1. In your dashboard, navigate to the site you have created. On the far right side, you will see action icons. Click on the “Save As Template” icon.
  1. Enter your plugin name and description accordingly. Go ahead and toggle the Template Type button to “Shared”. 

This action will ensure your template is sharable.

Now that your template is saved, go to the Templates page > Shared tab and click on “Shared”. You can find this written next to your template’s name.

Notice the “Shared” tab will change to “Copied” as soon as you click on it.

Step 4 – Edit and Brand Your Template

This step is where you provide more information about your template for the sake of SEO. To edit your template go to the Templates page, find your template, and click on the “Edit” button. 

The edit button will open a new section of your plugin demo site that allows you to further customize it. 

This is your Template Setup page that you can go through one after the other.  From the Branding menu to the Sale menu, you can set and customize your template to your taste.

Some of the few customizations you can do here are:

  • Add a logo or plugin thumbnail
  • Customize email subject and body
  • Write a privacy policy
  • Customize the color
  • Add plugin images to the gallery.

There are more customization options in the “Advanced Options” menu. To access those, click on the menu button.

Some of the options include;

  • Site Lifetime
  • File modification
  • Advanced email setup options like email collection and email provider

Ensure you save your customization when you are done. With this, you are all set. Click on the “preview” button to view your plugin demo.

Your plugin demo should look something like this or better. 

This is what the user will see. When they click on “Launch Demo” they will be prompted with this screen below

If they proceed by clicking the button, users will get the prompt to use the “Magic Login” button to log in to WordPress Dashboard.

Users can now start tinkering around your plugin and how it works.

Tips for Crafting a Powerful Plugin Demo

Streamlined WordPress Sandbox

Begin by creating a WordPress sandbox environment in InstaWP that seamlessly integrates your plugin. This ensures that users can experience your product within a controlled setting, allowing for straightforward and hassle-free testing.

Enhanced Plugin Demo

Elevate your plugin demo in WordPress by adding compelling content that effectively highlights its capabilities. Utilize this opportunity to demonstrate how your plugin can enhance and optimize users’ websites, showcasing its practical value.

User-Friendly Guidance

Within your demo, offer user-friendly instructions on how to navigate and utilize your plugin. This guidance not only simplifies the user experience but also fosters a deeper understanding of your product’s functionality.

Tailored Customization

Make the most of customization options in your InstaWP WordPress sandbox. Personalize your demo site by incorporating features like logo integration, privacy policy creation, and a well-organized gallery of plugin images. These elements help tailor your plugin demo to your audience’s preferences and needs.

What Else Can Help You Promote Your Plugin In The WordPress Ecosystem

In addition to the strategies mentioned earlier, here are some additional steps that can help boost your plugin’s visibility and success:

Guest Blogging

Write guest posts on reputable WordPress blogs and forums to establish yourself as an authority in your niche and promote your plugin indirectly.

Video Tutorials

Create video tutorials showcasing your plugin’s features and how to use it. Share these on platforms like YouTube and social media.

Run Paid Advertising Campaigns

Posting about your plugin on your social media can only reach a few followers due to the platform’s algorithms. But you can boost visibility by Investing in targeted advertising on platforms like Google Ads or social media to increase visibility and drive traffic to your plugin.

Offer Exceptional Customer Support

Word of mouth can go a long way in doing your marketing for you if you provide prompt and helpful customer support to ensure users have a positive experience with your plugin, leading to word-of-mouth recommendations.

Regular Updates

Consistently improve and update your plugin to address bugs, add new features, and stay relevant in a competitive market.

User Feedback

Actively seek user feedback and make improvements to your plugin based on their suggestions and needs.

Documentation and Support

Offer comprehensive documentation and excellent customer support to ensure a positive user experience. Checkout InstaWP’s documentation for reference.

Localized Versions

Translate your plugin into multiple languages to expand your user base and reach international markets.

Remember that promoting your plugin is not a one-time job. It is an ongoing effort. Continuously monitor and adapt your strategies based on user feedback and changing trends within the WordPress ecosystem to ensure long-term success.


Implementing an affecting plugin marketing involves a strategic approach. With InstaWP WordPress Sandbox, you can seamlessly create an enticing plugin demo, showcasing its value, offering user-friendly guidance, and personalizing the experience. The above were key steps to make your plugin stand out. 

By following these tips, you can create an effective plugin demo that engages users, boosts confidence in your product, and ultimately leads to wider adoption and success.

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Meet the Author
Mahdi Surname
Marketing Head
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