I just recently had my first look at using simplytest.me to spin up an Open Outreach site that could be used for evaluation purposes. And it’s fabulous. Thanks to patrickd for this great tool.
We often get questions about what Open Outreach does and how closely it meets a particular use case that a group has in mind. With simplytest.me, you no longer have to wonder what it does. You can go in and explore all you want.
For beginners, the set up is absolutely painless. Go to the main simpleytest.me page and type in Open Outreach, or go directly to the Open Outreach project link, then click the "Launch sandbox" button. Really, if all you do is keep the defaults for each screen of the installation process you’ll be fine. Then, you can explore the sample content to get a feel for what the site will look like. It’s easy to add content, and that will give users a feel for how it will be to actually work with a site. And if you want to see what the different installed themes look like, you can easily switch and then play with colours, fonts, etc. You’ll also get a feel for the different features that comprise Open Outreach, and if you do decide to use it for your site, you’ll be better informed about which features you should enable.
For more seasoned site builders, simplytest.me lets you easily see what the distribution would give you in terms of a leg up. You can explore the content types and views available and see what customizations you’d need to make it work for your particular project. Interested in seeing how RedHen works within Open Outreach? Just select the Debut RedHen feature during install and see how you’d work with the contact and organization types to develop your site’s CRM. Clearly, working with a distribution has pluses and minuses in terms of client projects. Getting to run it through its paces will help you make an informed choice.
If you create an Open Outreach sandbox through simplytest.me as an anonymous user you get 30 minutes (some of which will be used up with the install process). If you register on the site, you’ll get three hours. Even 30 minutes will be enough time to have a look around and do an initial assessment.
And now that I’ve used it to spin up an Open Outreach site, I know I’ll be back to test other distributions so that we can make the best recommendations to clients.