Sharetribe Go is available in two flavors: a hosted version, or a self-hosted, source available version, named Sharetribe Go Community Edition. The hosted version (along with all information related to it) can be found at sharetribe.com, 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. And we explained the reason why Sharetribe Go is source available in this article.
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 version of Sharetribe Go. This lets your focus on building the community around 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. When you need personal help, the fastest way to get an answer is using the support chat widget in your marketplace's admin panel.
Support for the Community Edition is community-based, meaning the level of support depends on the voluntary help of other users. Sharetribe has a Community forum where you can ask for help or tips. The Sharetribe team do occasionally answer and try to help there, but we can only guarantee support with 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, included the one above. Of course, this requires deep technical know-how since it consists of modifying Sharetribe Go's source code. The admin control 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 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 if desired, they 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 most of the features that are required to host a single marketplace. However there might be exceptions for various reasons, like licensing (see previous chapter for example) and payment provider contracts, (see next chapter for example).
Also there are few features that are relying on some non-open-source components in the backend, and thus are not included in that version, for example the advanced location search.
The hosted version uses Stripe and PayPal as payment processor.
The Community Edition has the same source code as the hosted version. Stripe is available there too however PayPal won't work in that version, as the code that handles the commission transfer with PayPal relies on bit older and wider set of account privileges on the main account. According to our current understanding PayPal is no longer enabling 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 as a free download. 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 that version and add new features to it, the cost can go up rather quickly, and easily be in tens of thousands of dollars. The good folks over at web development company RubyGarage have put together a detailed article that helps you estimate the costs of custom development. 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 very simple 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 with running their own Ruby on Rails server, or have someone who can take care of the technical work on their behalf.