A long-desired feature for Learn WordPress is the ability for learners to use a live WordPress site as a learning environment as they go through courses on the site. In the absence of this feature, a workshop was published that instructs learners on how to set up a local WordPress installation, but this was merely a stopgap and was never meant to be a complete or final solution.
Well, there is now a much better solution for all learners on Learn WordPress: live WordPress demo sites, generously sponsored by WP Sandbox.
These sites are exactly what they sound like – a live WordPress website that the learner has complete control over and can use to enhance their learning experience by being able to immediately dive into the practical implementation of the course content. The sites (including all content, media, etc.) will expire and be permanently deleted after seven days, after which you can create a new one if you need to do so. They are full-featured WordPress installations with no limitations on functionality or features.
Demo sites include full access to the WordPress dashboard. In practice, this means:
- Any content can be created
- Media can be uploaded
- Any theme or plugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party can be installed
- Content can be exported or imported
The following features are available from a service administrative standpoint:
- Expiry time can be set to incremental amounts of time up to a maximum of 7 days
- Multiple site templates can be created – a template can include any combination of plugins, themes, settings and content
- Different website configuration templates can be used for different courses or content in order to provide more tailored learning experiences
I’m incredibly excited about this new feature as I have no doubt that it will be a boon for all learners on Learn WordPress. That being said, since hosting these demo environments uses very real resources, there is a limit of no more than 250 demo sites being active at any given time. This is why the expiry times are very important and also why the links to create a new demo site will only be available within course content (i.e. only to logged-in users).
Only allowing active course learners to use these links will reduce the likelihood of spam sites being created and using up the allocated quota. The Learn WordPress and WP Sandbox teams will be actively monitoring and shutting down spam sites if they are created, so please be mindful of how you use this excellent benefit.
Thanks to WP Sandbox for this wonderful sponsorship – I’m very excited to see how effective it is for learners!