My $.02 on the topic:
My friends are starting a new project, which involves streaming videos and other interesting stuff. Now what they need is, like Łukasz said:
- an internal issue tracker, just to organize work
- internal document repository, to keep designs etc
- a support site for their users — a place to submit questions, bug reports etc.
- a community site — for users to exchange ideas
Hosting software was a no-go, because it is too much hassle. It is much easier to pay for the service and not to care about server administration, backups etc. It is actually even cheaper.
Now they went through available options, some better some worse. Just to name a few: Lighthouse App for internal tracker, Tender App or Zendesk for customer support, User Voice for feedback collection.
Now the first disadvantage is that those are separate services. Some of them work nicely with others through API, some don't. Figuring out how to choose a set that works took a while. And each of them have different interfaces and often impose non-compatible workflow.
Another thing is the cost, which would start at $50 a month for a minimal setup, but as they scale it can easily reach $300 a month as their project grows.
I have simply advised them to take a look at Wikidot. Internally we are doing issue tracking only on Wikidot… we run everything on Wikidot actually. It is not without drawback, obviously, but you get the flexibility that none of other services can offer. Your wiki can be an issue tracker, a forum, just anything.
The main drawback is that you need to spend some time on learning Wikidot and customization. But if your team is going to spend a few hours a day using the system, this up-front investment is not that large. But this is where Iron Giant project can help. It provides a growing number of customizable site templates.
And the cost… you can grow up to 20 sites with unlimited members for $239 a year, which is roughly 10% of the cost of using separate services. Wow. It might look even too cheap, but this is only because we are setting prices based on our actual costs. Which so far our users like :-)
Michał Frąckowiak @ Wikidot Inc.
Visit my blog at michalf.me