Hosting for Community Enterprise (CE) is included as part of the Subscription License. Hosting CE with CitySoft is optional for Purchase License clients (which includes donation program recipients) but is something that we recommend.
One of the great open source values of CE is that clients with the CE Purchase License (including donation recipients) can host CE anywhere, not just in CitySoft’s hosting infrastructure. However, CitySoft is a good hosting option because in addition to providing competitive hosting prices, CitySoft is the most experienced provider of hosting for Community Enterprise.
Hosting fees for Purchase License clients and donation recipients are:
- Purchase License hosting - $125/mth
- Donation Program hosting - $100 setup and $75/mth (40% discount)
Why Host With CitySoft?
In general, we recommend that CE clients host with CitySoft for a number of reasons. Community Enterprise is CitySoft’s sole focus and we know how to host the CE application better than any other provider. At CitySoft we configure our servers to optimize CE performance. This means that you know that CE will always run without a problem. And, for smaller organizations who have received the CE software donation, it tends to be easier to host with CitySoft rather than have to take responsibility for finding an appropriate 3rd party host and managing the installation and ongoing hosting support.
Below we have listed a few of the specific reasons to consider hosting with CitySoft.
Better Security - CE is a highly secure application. However, application security is only part of the picture and must be supplemented by additional, hosting security measures to provide clients with the most secure environment possible. When you host with CitySoft, we provide additional security measures at the server level which are tailored to CE in order to protect clients and improve performance. This server layer of protection ensures that most attempted hacks and spam related bots won't even reach your CE deployment. Many hosts (especially low-cost, high-volume hosts) will be unlikely to have these CE specific tools in place. And, even hosts that have monitoring won't be able to target them to CE because they will have to accommodate a wider range of URL requests. In contrast, CitySoft can filter all non-CE style page requests before they even reach your site. For instance, we can filter out all URL requests that have the words "Delete" or "Update" in them (which are common in SQL Injection attack) because we have designed CE to not use those terms in requests. A low cost, high volume shared host can't be that focused in managing server requests.
Easier Upgrades - Although automatic upgrades are not included for most Purchase License or donation clients, these services can be purchased separately. And, for donation recipients, upgrades can be provided by qualified CE implementation partners. Upgrades are important for security and other reasons, and it is typically faster, easier, and more cost effective to upgrade within the CitySoft infrastructure where we have full server access rather than limited FTP access with a 3rd party host.
Support Forum - When hosting with CitySoft, you get access to our support forum where CitySoft staff will answer your questions about hosting and using CE. CE users who are not hosting with CitySoft do not get support forum access. Because CitySoft is a robust application with many modules and features, access to support is a critical issue. And while non-CitySoft clients will still have access to support documentation and our library of support videos, for many organizations additional support will be necessary.
Long Processes - To run CE optimally, there are a number of longer running processes (such as those related to content search indexing and report updates) that need to be allowed. Many hosting providers will automatically time out long running processes which can prevent these features from working correctly and require work arounds, extra steps, or even extra fees.
Third Party Components - CE includes some free 3rd party components that require server installation and configuration. CitySoft handles these for you.
Scheduled Tasks - Some features in CE rely on scheduled tasks which need to be configured by a server administrator. These services frequently require extra fees at many hosting companies.
High Quality Email Server - CitySoft uses a state of the art email server with multiple sending IPs for delivering email from the CE Email module. Clients hosting with 3rd party hosts, especially low cost hosting companies, may not be able to access a high quality, high availability email server as part of the package or may have to pay extra for it.
Email Bounce Management - Managing email bounces from the CE email module is an important feature that is managed on the server level (not within CE itself). This feature provides you with important feedback about email deliverability and protects you from email black lists. Since this feature is managed at the server level rather than within CE, clients hosting with 3rd party hosts will either not have this feature or will have to re-create it with a home grown solution.
Email Deliverability - At CitySoft, our clients are a low risk for spam problems and we are careful to make sure that our servers stay off of email block lists that can degrade deliverability. For example, we segment clients into multiple email sending IPs to limit the problems that one client sending spam or using bad email addresses can cause others clients. We also provide email authentication options like Domain Keys that can dramatically increase deliverability. These are services rarely available with low cost hosts. For example, many 3rd party hosts are likely to have more commercial hosting clients who are a higher risk for spam problems. Even if you don't send spam, another client on the same server who is spamming can cause your deliverability to suffer. Moreover, high volume, low cost hosts are unlikely to take offer the deliverability features (multiple sending IPs, Domain Keys) that we provide.
Email Resend Management - Some emails (e.g. registration confirmations) in CE will occasionally have soft bounces and queue for resending in the Cold Fusion server. CitySoft manages and automates the resending process to make sure that your emails have the highest chance of deliverability success.
For these and other reasons, CitySoft provides a great option for Purchase License or donation program hosting. Please contact us for more information.