WPTavern: Poopy.life Lets You Create Free, Unlimited WordPress Test Installs
Just when you think all the best domain names have been gobbled up by bots and squatters, Poopy.life emerges as the fastest new way to spin up a WordPress test install. Joe Guilmette, team lead at WP All Import, opened up Poopy.life to the public today, offering free unlimited WordPress installs for anyone who needs a temporary site.
After verifying that you’re not a robot, Poopy.life creates a test install and sends you to the admin where you can see credentials for logging in and sharing the site. The install expires after a week, unless manually extended with the button in the admin. It also allows you to create a sandbox template that can be shared via a URL so that others can quickly create a duplicate install.
The platform also has a secret menu, like In-N-Out Burger, that allows you to add URL parameters to spin up sites even faster with certain actions already taken:
No URL Parameters
Copy an existing install
?src=[Sandbox ID]&key=[auth key]
Send a welcome email
Poopy.life Platform Will Add a Commercial Tier at WPSandbox.io in the Near Future
Although Poopy.life is both memorable and amusing, the team chose the domain to prevent people from using it in their own product demos and support channels.
“We chose poopy.life specifically because it is ridiculous and no one will be able to use it in a professional context,” Guilmette said. “Also it was shorter than the previous domain we were going to use – oxygen-is-really-amazing-and-everyone-loves-it.com.”
Poopy.life runs on CloudLinux and Guilmette said it is hosted on “a handful of very powerful dedicated servers and ~10 smaller helper instances/load balancers, and duct tape.”
WP All Import plans to introduce a commercial tier on wpsandbox.io to allow users to have installs on a custom domain, as well as control of the welcome notice and email. The poopy.life domain and landing page will live on, but Guilmette expects that it will soon be blacklisted by Google.
“The WordPress installs are real WordPress installs and you can install any plugin on them,” Guilmette said. “You can install a PHP shell and dig around the server and run whatever weird spammy malware you want. There really isn’t any way to prevent it.”
Guilmette estimates that Poopy.life is powering approximately 2,000 test installs right now. He doesn’t know how many their infrastructure can handle, but said they can easily scale it up.
“We don’t really monitor or throttle usage so much as try to make sure that one user isn’t able to negatively impact another,” Guilmette said. “If the service grows in popularity, there will probably be some pain points that we’ll need to address. But we’ve been doing this for a long time and have worked out many of the kinks.”
The team has been using a version of the Poopy.life platform on wpallimport.com/try/ and oxygenapp.com/try/ for several years. In addition to being a fun, free tool they could offer to the public, the platform has also been critical to the success of the company. It allows users to test WP All Import and Oxygen products before purchasing.
“Poopy.life is basically magical golden dogfood we’ve been eating for years,” Guilmette said. “This platform is huge for us. Back before we got serious about this we were hosting it on a VPS at MediaTemple, just kind of hacking it together. It would go down all the time, and whenever it did it would throw our support channel into disarray and sales would drop by 50%.”
Guilmette said the most important thing WP All Import customers want to know is if the product will be able to import their files. The testing platform drives sales for the company and reduces refunds and buyer’s remorse, because customers know exactly what they are getting. It also has proven to reduce support requests.
“We get way fewer simple questions about the UI, because people can just try it,” Guilmette said. “So that clears support up for people who have real problems. It also makes those support requests easier, because the user can reproduce the problem on a debug install, and we can poke at it without worrying about breaking their site.”
Guilmette said the team is working on launching the commercial tier and may have something ready within a couple of weeks or sooner with the help of testers.