2

I'm part of a non-profit organization - the Center for Jewish Nonviolence - that is looking to use CiviCRM. We are very impressed with what we've seen on your website thus far and want to move forward but have two outstanding questions.

First, can Civi be downloaded onto an individual computer and played around with? How so? The hope is to test out the system itself (outside the demos) and get started with our work.

Secondly, if we wished to start an account now then delete it, would that be possible?

I've read through the first part of the guide and can't locate an answer to my questions. Could you let me know how to proceed or point me in the right direction?

Thanks so much!

Sincerely, Michael D. Evers

4

I would add a few more specifics to petednz's answer, because we were in exactly the same boat a year ago. I got a free non-profit (we are the San Diego County Bike Coalition) account on Dreamhost, where I installed both Wordpress (clone of our mature website) and the latest (at that time) version of CiviCRM. This is a shared hosting account and NOT recommended for your final deployment, but it sure was a good test platform for us. If you want something more local, I also set up XAMPP environments on both a linux and windows laptop. XAMPP gives you a local Apache web server, PHP, MySQL (MariaDB), all on your laptop or desktop. That way I really couldn't break anything. Both these environments, temporary hosted website or local XAMPP website, are definitely DIY. If those are foreign to you, a CiviCRM partner would be recommended.

Having an actual hosting site like Dreamhost for the initial setup and test period was crucial if you have multiple people working on it, as you each need to have access to the evolving configuration through a browser. Now that we are fully hosted on a VPS, I still rely heavily on my local XAMPP instance(s) to test out new things and also to run updates locally first, as updating either Wordpress or CiviCRM always has the potential to zap your website. Realize that a local desktop/laptop setup, though, is only useful for ONE person.

I might add that it is quite easy to migrate/move your test configuration into a different location or different server. We follow religiously the steps at https://wiki.civicrm.org/confluence/display/CRMDOC/Moving+an+Existing+Installation+to+a+New+Server+or+Location.

I think you will love CiviCRM. We are amazed, nearly daily, at all the functionality it provides. By taking care of the administration on our own, we have saved the SD County Bike Coalition at least $5,000 annually by dropping commercial packages for contact database, transactions, mail management, event management, which all had monthly or annual fees and didn't integrate well together. The real savings, though not easily measurable but way more than the $5K material savings, was in eliminating staff time and frustration having to learn 4 different applications and constantly dealing with manual intervention because they were so poorly integrated. If your organization fully embraces it, don't forget to contribute to CiviCRM, because it does need to be supported to be sustainable.

  • 1
    nice write up - Karl has this already been done as a CiviCRM Blog as a Case Study? – petednz - fuzion Oct 5 '17 at 22:37
  • This has not been done as a Case Study. – Karl Rudnick Oct 10 '17 at 2:18
  • let me know if you want an account to write one up. i think others would be interested – petednz - fuzion Oct 10 '17 at 3:48
2

CiviCRM is open source and can be downloaded and installed on to any machine that meets the requirements.

You can find instructions here or one of the other related pages depending on the CMS you are using.

In terms of 'start an account', you will need to work out what sort of hosting arrangement you want which may depend on whether you choose to work with one of the CiviCRM Partners to get yours system running well, or use one of the civicrm hosting providers. Alternatively you can host on other services provided they meet the requirements and you are happy doing the installation yourself.

  • I would add a few more specifics, because we were in exactly the same boat a year ago. I got a free non-profit account on Dreamhost, where I installed both Wordpress and the latest (at that time) version of CiviCRM. This is a shared hosting account and NOT recommended for your final deployment, but it sure was a good test platform for us. If you want something more local, I also set up XAMPP environments on both a linux and windows laptop. That way I really couldn't break anything. Both these environments are definitely DIY. If those are foreign to you, a CiviCRM partner would be recommended. – Karl Rudnick Oct 4 '17 at 5:16
  • 1
    Hi Karl - good comment, but i think you should paste this as an Answer by itself, i think it has useful info for others – petednz - fuzion Oct 4 '17 at 9:22

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.