I’ve installed and configured a few hundred WordPress servers and currently manage a number of cloud-based servers on both the google and amazon clouds. Testing plugins and templates can be really risky, there is always a chance the wordpress server or instance wont be operational afterwards.
So I started creating a number of portable usb disk with fully mobile WP servers, and multiple virtual machines that now allow me to test any plugin or template and have a testing environment that that can be restored with ease.
I want to share these tools that hopefully will save you tons of wasted hours and days dealing with problems related to plugins and templates.
Any of the installs shared above you will save you 4-6 hours of work to setup a new server, configure php and other config files, update the operating system, etc., its all already done for all the solutions.