I am really happy to announce today the introduction of 1-Click Demo Links.
What are 1-Click Demo Links?
As the name suggests they are links that allow you to generate a sandbox with a specific plugin/theme pre-installed so that it can be tested, risk-free. For free.
So how does it work?
All you have to do is provide a standard HTML link like these examples:
For plugins: https://addendio.com/try-plugin/?slug=my-plugin-slug
For themes: https://addendio.com/try-theme/?slug=my-theme-slug
Simply replace the bold text with the slug of the plugin/theme you want to preview.
Which plugins/themes work with 1-Click Demo Links?
Currently all free plugins and themes from the WordPress repository can make use of 1-Click Demo Links.
I am the author of a free plugin/theme in the WordPress repository. Can I add it to my Readme.txt file?
Not only you can, but you should! We suggest you to place your 1-Click Demo Link in the initial lines so that the users can immediately try out your product. This is the format needed for the Readme.txt file (just replace the text in bold with the one for your plugin).
[Try My-Plugin-Name Demo Now!] (https://addendio.com/try-plugin/?slug=my-plugin-slug “Try My-Plugin-Name Demo Now!”)
[Try My-Theme-Name Demo Now!] (https://addendio.com/try-theme/?slug=my-theme-slug “Try My-Theme-Name Demo Now!”)
You can see an example here for the Rating Widget plugin : https://wordpress.org/plugins/rating-widget/
I am the author of a free plugin/theme that IS NOT in the WordPress repository. Can I use a 1-Click Demo Link for my plugin/theme?
You can contact us through the below form and we will work out with you the implementation process.
Can I use 1-Click Demo Links for Beta versions of my plugin?
You can contact us through the below form and we will work out with you the implementation process. In the meantime you can see what we have done with the Kanban for WordPress plugin where you can test the beta version without having to download the plugin to your installation.
I am the author of a PREMIUM plugin/theme. Can I use a 1-Click Demo Link for my plugin/theme?
Premium Plugins/Themes requires special handling, you can submit your request through this form and and we will work out with you the implementation process.
I am not a developer, can I use and share 1-Click Demo Links?
Not only you can, but you should! These are a couple of examples of what they will look like on Facebook or Google+. Gone are the days where you had to download a plugin, find a test environment where you could play with a new plugin. Do you want to show to your customers your plugin? Just send them the link…
Why, as a plugin/theme author, would I want to implement that?
There are 40,000+ plugins and 2,000+ themes in the repository at the end of 2015. It’s a pretty crowded place and there are more and more people joining.
The WordPress repository has moved away from downloads in favor of installs. This means that your brand new plugin, no matter how good it is, it still starts from the bottom. The same goes for themes. So while the user is going through the description that you have carefully crafted they are still wondering: should I really trust this brand new plugin?
Let’s take a look at the most likely situation users are sitting in while searching for a plugin:
- In the first scenario users are on the WordPress.org site and they are on your plugin’s page. Assuming that they want to make the jump and test it, they still need to capture your plugin’s name, go back to one of their installations, log in, find your plugin again and then install it. That’s a long way for just testing a plugin if you ask me. A notification from their smartphone and they forget about your plugin… (seriously, we are all that bad).
- The second most likely scenario is that they are looking at your plugin through their admin panel. The more advanced guys will be doing that from a WordPress test installation that they use to try things out, but the majority will be looking at it through their production site. And this is where things can go extremely bad for everyone. If, for whatever reason, when they try your plugin something goes wrong you can be sure that they are done with your plugin. It doesn’t matter if the conflict came from another plugin, the user will blame your plugin as it was the last one to be added. And you can bet that they won’t try it twice.
By providing a simple link for your user to test, you increase the chances of your plugin/theme being tested in a safe environment and consequently the chances of being chosen by the user.
What are the benefits?
The benefits are for both the users and the authors.
- For the user the testing is happening on a safe environment, no risk of messing with his/her installation
- Addendio’s sandboxes are clean WP installations, hence chances of conflicts are close to zero
- The testing flow is smooth and the user is not interrupted during the flow (no going back to his/her WP installation or jumping through windows)
Some might argue that by testing on a clean installation you don’t replicate the full conditions of the final site. While this is true, this is not the main objective of this phase. The user is not yet at that stage in the decision making process, he/she is just checking if the plugin functionality is what he/she is looking. Only when the functional side of the selection process is finished we can think about how to move it into a production environment.
Do users need to register to Addendio to try the plugins?
No, registration is not mandatory, but we do require an email address in order to prevent abuse. Users registering to the site will benefit from 1-hour sandboxes, instead of 15-minute ones.
Feel free to get in touch, we’ll be happy to talk…