Sharetribe Go is available in two flavors: a hosted version and a self-hosted, source-available version, named Sharetribe Go Community Edition. The hosted version (along with all information related to it) can be found on our website and is offered by Sharetribe Ltd. The Community Edition of Sharetribe Go is available on GitHub.
This page explains the differences between the two versions. This post in our blog Balanced explains why there is a source-available version of Sharetribe Go.
With the hosted version, the Sharetribe Go software is installed on Sharetribe Ltd's servers. The Sharetribe team takes full responsibility for the required technical, administrative tasks, such as installation, maintenance, updates, security, backups, etc. The hosted version is automatically updated to the latest versions of Sharetribe Go. This lets your focus on building the community in your marketplace. Get started with a few clicks at sharetribe.com.
With the Community Edition, you will need to install the software on your own server and take care of all technical, administrative tasks (security, updates, backups, etc.) yourself. Downloading, installing, and using the software is free—you don't need to pay Sharetribe Ltd anything. However, your own server and any possible technical help will likely incur costs.
The hosted version includes full support from the Sharetribe team, who can help with any technical issues. You can find answers to many questions from Sharetribe's Help Center. The fastest way to get an answer is using the chat widget in your marketplace's Admin panel when you need personal help.
Support for the Community Edition is community-based, meaning that the level of support depends on other users' voluntary help. Sharetribe has a Community Forum where you can ask for help or tips. The Sharetribe team occasionally answers and tries to help in the forum as well, but we can only guarantee support for the hosted version. Installation instructions for the source available version are available on the Github page, where you can also report discovered issues.
The Community Edition allows you to change all aspects of Sharetribe Go, including the ones above. Of course, this requires deep technical know-how since it requires modifying Sharetribe Go's source code. The Admin panel of that version has most of the same options as the hosted version.
Note that major changes to the code might make it difficult to apply future Sharetribe updates to your customized code. If you develop useful features and would like them to be added to the core product (making updates easier for you), open a Pull Request on GitHub. Before doing this, be sure to read this: CONTRIBUTING.md. We cannot guarantee that all pull requests will be accepted.
The hosted version uses the commercial Pika icon set. The licensing does not allow the icons to be shared with the Community Edition, but they still can be purchased separately from the creator. By default, the Community Edition contains the open-source icon set Font Awesome.
The hosted version includes all the features of the latest Sharetribe software.
The Community Edition includes all of the features that are required to host a single marketplace. However, there are exceptions:
the font and icons are not the same for licensing reasons (see the previous chapter)
the code for PayPal payments is available but does not work for contract and agreement reasons (see next chapter)
the location search isn't included, as the component (Discovery) hasn't been open-sourced
The hosted version uses Stripe and PayPal as payment processors.
The Community Edition has the same source code as the hosted version. Stripe is available there too, but PayPal won't work in the source-available version, as the code that handles the commission transfer with PayPal relies on an older and wider set of account privileges on the main account. According to our current understanding, PayPal no longer enables this, so the online payment system will not work out of the box with normal PayPal accounts. That means that fully using the PayPal integration is not possible with the Community Edition.
The price of the hosted version depends on your needs. You can browse the available plans on the Sharetribe pricing page.
We don't charge you for using the Community Edition. It's available to download for free. However, you will need to arrange the initial setup, hosting, and maintenance yourself. This could easily cost more than the price of our hosted version. Dan Moore, a user and an active contributor, detailed the associated costs in a blog post.
If you wish to customize the source-available version and add new features to it, the cost can go up rather quickly and easily be tens of thousands of dollars. The good folks over at web development company RubyGarage have put together a detailed article that helps you estimate custom development costs. If you need further details and a quotation, we recommend contacting IThouse. They have a lot of experience with different Sharetribe Go projects.
The hosted version has been designed to be a straightforward way to set up and get started and outsources technical, administrative tasks to the Sharetribe team, letting you focus on building your marketplace and not worry about technical details. It requires very little technical knowledge. It is possible to migrate from the hosted version to the source-available version at any point. We recommend getting started with the hosted version to launch your marketplace early and start learning.
Setting up the Community Edition requires strong technical knowledge, making it suitable for people who are comfortable running their own Ruby on Rails server or have someone who can take care of the technical work on their behalf.