In case you are interested in Mautic, the open source marketing automation tool, you have 2 options. You can either download the package and install it on your hardware or you can use Mautic.com service to host it for you. If you're not sure which option is better for your project, read on.
Update Nov 2016: Mautic.com doesn't provide $12 plan anymore.
Mautic hosted on Mautic.com
Mautic.com is free service which will host, configure and maintain Mautic for you.
Here are the steps you have to do:
Go to Mautic.com and fill in the signup form on the first page.
There is no step 2. You have your Mautic instance installed, configured and ready.
Benefits of hosted version
Mautic.com service is provided by Allyde, Inc.
- They have their own improved version of Mautic. Main added features are Twitter automation and modal boxes.
- You can also create more than one Mautic instance under your account.
- Premium support.
Limits of hosted version
Their service is free forever, but it has limits. Amount of contacts is limited to 2,500, only one user can be created and integrations are limited to 3. I'm pretty sure those limits won't make any problem to 80% of Mautic users.
Fortunately, there are paid plans as well. Pro plan has unlimited leads, 5 integrations and 2 users. It also has the option to use a custom domain.
Self hosted Mautic
I assume in this moment you already have a server running.
Mautic installation process is straight forward. If you've ever installed for example CMS Joomla! or WordPress, You will find the process familiar.
In the first step Mautic tells you if the server is configured good enough to run Mautic. It will tell you what PHP extensions your server has to have installed, configured and enabled.
If your server is ready, Mautic let you go to the next step and ask you to your database access details. If those details are correct, it will install the database scheme and predefined data.
Database is ready, now it's time to create the admin user so you could log in when Mautic is ready. Name, email and password will do the trick.
Mautic is all about email sending. Configure the email. There is plenty option to choose from. PHP mailer, GMail, some services like SendGrid, MailChimp and so on and good old SMTP.
There are some tasks in marketing automation which require a CRON job. Read more how to configure it for Mautic..
Benefits of self-hosted version
- Self hosted version of Mautic has no limits.
- You have full control over your data.
Downside of self-hosted version
Apart from extra steps and knowledge needed to run it for the first time (outlined above), you'll have to take care about security of data about your leads and customers. You'll have to make sure your server and all its software is up to date. You'll have to monitor the server and and in case there are too many requests to the server, you'll have to upgrade hardware or make some software optimization. Also you have "just" community support.