Question: Is there any way I can try full self-hosted WordPress out for free before paying for web hosting?
I’m currently running a blog based on the Blogspot Blogger platform, but I hear that the self-hosted WordPress platform is the more feature-rich platform. Is there any way I can try it out before committing to a paid hosting contract.
The short answer is Yes, you can.
There are two ways you can do this and the best way for you will depend on your level of technical expertise.
Method 1 – Taking Out A Free Trial with a Web Host.
The simplest and easiest way for most people to try out self-hosted WordPress is by taking out a trial with a web host that offers a web hosting trial.
Surprisingly, the number of hosts offering a free trial are few and far between. Most companies want you to pay in advance.
One hosting provider that will give you a three-day trial without any payment is Cloudways. They don’t even ask for a credit card.
It’s straightforward to set up WordPress on Cloudways, and you can do it in a few clicks.
Just remember that if you want to keep your account after the three days, then you have to upgrade to a paid account. Another tick in the box is that they don’t ask you to pay upfront. You pay monthly (at the end of each month) rather than a larger upfront payment like other hosts.
Just Click START FREE TRIAL on the Cloudways home page and away you go. You’ll have a WordPress site set up in minutes to test the features.
Video Tutorial Setup
I’ve created a video below that walks you through the necessary sign-up steps and how to install your first theme and plugin.
If you do upgrade to a paid account later. The promo code SCALEINSUMMER will give you 30% off your first two months’ payments, meaning you’ll pay $7 at the end of Month 1 and $7 at the end of Month 2.
Cloudways hosting is also VPS (Virtual Private Server) hosting rather than shared, so it’s a superior platform to shared hosts like SiteGround, Bluehost and Dreamhost.
Method 2 – Running WordPress on a Local Web Server
WordPress is open-source software, which means you can go and grab a copy of the code and install it on your own choice of platform. You can do this manually or through software installers such as Bitnami.
You’ll set up a web stack with your local desktop machine (Windows, Mac, or Linux) and then install WordPress. Such stacks are often named after their constituent parts – the Operating System, Language, and Database platform. i.e. MAMP, XAMPP, WAMP.
There are multiple ways of doing local installations, and the best way will depend on your platform and level of expertise, so I suggest checking out the options on WordPress.org and finding the best one to match your situation.
Method 3: Local by FlyWheel
Local by Flywheel, commonly known as Local is another popular option. It’s a local development environment, geared for WordPress.
The platform is quite slick and popular with developers.
Click here to check out Local by Flywheel.