Although Mautic is free, as with any open source software, running it doesn’t usually come without cost.
In this post, I’m going to take a look at the overall costs of hosting your own Mautic installation, the prices of various services you can connect it to, and also look at how it compares to rival SaaS (Software as a Service) systems such as Hubspot and Infusionsoft.
Mautic does also have a free hosted service at mautic.com. The difference between the free hosted service and hosting your own installation is that the online version has certain limits:
- 5000 contacts
- 1000 emails per day
- One administration user
- No custom domain
These limits do not apply to the self-hosted version. You can host it on any domain, have as many contacts and administrators as you like and can send as many emails as you want.
When you go the self-host route, you’re going to need some hosting!
The type of hosting needed depends on the amount of traffic to the websites that you want to track, the number of campaigns you will be running and the number of emails you want to send.
The Mautic tracking script that gets embedded into your website works in a similar way to Google Analytics.
Although the number of requests to the server is lower than the number required to build a web page, as a general rule of thumb, the hosting needs to be nearly as good, or as good as the hosting for your website. It is also a good idea to keep the install separate from the main domain rather than installing it in a subfolder of the existing website.
Mautic will run in shared hosting environments, but a dedicated or virtual server is preferable for an install that’s going to be processing a lot of traffic, campaign data and sending a lot of emails.
Whichever type you go for, there are some hosting services which can make things easier:
- SSH access for running commands in a terminal and smoother updates.
- Choice of PHP version and extensions.
- Auto-renewing, free SSL certificates (Needed if the sites you are tracking are secure)
For shared hosting, you would be looking at a starting cost of around £4 per month for a moderately busy install.
For a virtual cloud server with either Amazon or Digital Ocean, the prices start at around £5 per month for a moderate install (Not including free tier introductory offers), but would also require time to configure the server and install the components needed for Mautic to run.
Setting up a server, SSL and installing Mautic can take 3-6 hours depending on the level of the developer, not including the time to configure other services such email sending services which would be the same for all instances, regardless of where they are hosted.
Email Service Providers
If you are self-hosting Mautic, then you should be using an external transactional email service (Unless your company has its own managed email servers in-house and manage their own pool of IP addresses).
Email recipients always have the option to flag an email as spam or report abuse. If you are sending out large amounts of email from the same IP address as your website and normal email account then you risk the chance of that IP address being flagged by spam filters which can result in no email from your website or normal email addresses reaching an inbox (You can probably also expect some warning emails from your hosting provider).
Most transactional services have a free tier, with a certain number of emails that can be sent for free per day or per month with costs per X number of emails after that limit.
On the other hand, all hosting providers have limits on the number of emails that can be sent out per day or per hour, so even if you don’t plan on sending out a lot of emails, it’s still safer to use an external service and may not cost you anything.
Below you can find a summary and approximate costs for some of the most popular services.
Some services only offer set packages, so the prices shown are calculated from the package pricing to give a general comparison. Some sites only give pricing in USD so all prices are shown in USD rather than trying to convert them to another currency.
Most services prices go down the more mail you send, so the prices above for additional emails are from the lowest pricing level after a free tier (The most expensive).
For more precise pricing check the link in the last table column.
Mandrill – Pricing is in blocks of $20 for 25,000 emails. The price goes down the more you send but unused credits expire at the end of the month.
Elastic Email – For good deliverability, you may need to purchase a dedicated IP address to stop mail getting flagged as spam.
Mailjet – Only has set pricing levels with set numbers of allowed emails.
Sendinblue – For over 120,000 emails per month you need to contact them for pricing.
When you host your own software you also need to maintain it.
Maintenance might include, but not be limited to:
- Testing software updates
- Server security and updates (For unmanaged hosting)
- Regular backups
As with any software, updating to a new version can introduce bugs which either need to be patched or the system reverted to the previous version.
Regular backups are important for any software should the unforeseeable happen (Keeping them in a different location to the install means that you should always have a backup should anything happen to the hosting account).
Depending on your experience level, maintaining your Mautic instance may require the services of a developer or sysadmin on a periodic basis.
A Note on Amazon Web Services
Amazon Web Services (AWS) comes with everything needed for a successful install under their free tier. If you don’t currently have extra hosting available and don’t have an existing AWS account then signing up gives you access to:
- A virtual server (T2.Micro instance, suitable for medium sized sites)
- Simple Email Service (SES, see pricing above)
- Simple Notification Service (SNS, used for bounce notifications from SES to Mautic)
- Simple Storage Service (S3, for storing backups)
Whilst this gives you a year’s free hosting, you still need to budget in the setup and installation time.
At the end of the year, the current pricing for a T2.Micro instance is approximately $77 when paid all upfront for another year. Depending on how busy the server is, you may be able to downgrade to a nano instance for $37 or upgrade appropriately to a larger instance.
Comparing Prices to Online Services
The following table was originally published on the Mautic feature tour page. It compares the free online version of Mautic to other services rather than the self-hosted version, so the pricing for Mautic has been changed from $0 to reflect the information provided above.
|Automated Drip Marketing||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Landing Page & Form Creator||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Smart Contact Capture Forms||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Social Media Integration||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Web Activity Monitoring||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Multiple Email Service Providers||✔️|
|Self-Hosted Landing Pages||✔️|
|Price Range||See Above||$895/month – $3,295+/month||$199/month – $379/month||$200/month – $2,400+/month||$1,000/month – $3,000+/month||$2,000/month – $3,000+/month|
|Setup & Training Fees||See Above||$0||$2,000||$500 – $2,000||$0||$2,500|
|Limiting Factor||None||Number of Contacts||Number of Contacts||Number of Contacts||Number of Contacts||Number of Contacts|
At Caribou we specialise in self-hosted Mautic installations and configuration to help you make the most of this incredibly intelligent, feature rich marketing and CRM tool. If you want to find out more about the capabilities of Mautic and how it can boost your existing marketing communications get in touch with Charlie by sending her an email or requesting a call back.