2018 Version 1.0

Background Information

Demo Site

The demo site has traditionally provided a time limited fully functional installation of Joomla that, if not converted to a paid solution with the current vendor, has been automatically deleted after a set number of days i.e 30.

Over the past 6 months there have been an average of 3,700 new demo accounts created per month.


This solution currently offers a very limited version of Joomla offering only core features, limited templating and minimal third party extensions.

Over the past 6 months there have been an average of 21,000 new joomla.com accounts created per month.  There are approximately 390,000 registered users on the platform and 140,000 active installs.

The Need for a Hybrid Solution

  • This request for proposals is for the provision of a single system that can provide both sets of functionality from a single sign up interface and user control panel.  
  • Experience from the current partnership has shown that running two systems for these solutions in parallel creates larger overheads.
  • Limiting Joomla’s extensibility in the free hosted solution has also been a barrier to conversions and limited potential new user’s frame of reference when using joomla.com to evaluate the CMS, therefore we seek a new solution without this barrier.

The goals of this joint venture

  • Provide a positive user experience for users who want to give Joomla a try and/or have a free fully functioning, but basic hosted Joomla website.
  • Provide a mutually beneficial, stable revenue stream to both the vendor and OSM for the duration of the partnership.
  • Collaboration between the vendor and OSM to ensure that the offering is continually improved during the partnership.

Benefits to Vendor

  • Referrals from the joomla.org suite of websites through a prominent button similar to as currently with over 1 million visitors across our properties a month.
  • Regular promotion by the Joomla project when marketing to new users and encouraging them to try Joomla in a hosted solution free of charge.
  • Right to include a “Powered By Company Name” link/logo in the footer or sidebar of the demo/free hosting signup landing page.
  • Right to include a message on the vendor's site and approved advertising messages indicating that it manages the system.
  • Credit and logo on the Joomla! Partners listing page for the length of the contract.
  • Financial benefit of converted paid customers.

Guideline Specifications for System

  • Intuitive and straightforward sign up to system with account and installation up and running within minutes.
  • System hardware should meet or exceed the recommended system requirements for Joomla and should be kept up to date. The new platform should run on PHP 7.x so users experience both the security and performance boosts that comes with it.
  • An acceptable but limited amount of hardware resources available to each user (Disk Space, CPU Time, Inode Usage, Traffic/Bandwidth etc.) alongside basic FTP access.  
  • A database with an acceptable but limited amount of resources and limited access to phpMyAdmin or similar.
  • A fully functioning version of Joomla with no limitations, (except those listed above) installed at signup with the possibility of mutually developed sample data and stock templates to get new users up to speed quickly.
  • Support from Vendor on a par with their basic paid hosting package for the first 30 days account life to help support new users effectively. Support beyond 30 days on a free account would be very limited under mutually agreed parameters, please be clear on what levels you would offer in both instances i.e forum, email, live chat, phone, etc.
  • A renewal mechanism must be triggered every 30 days with some form of user interaction to keep the free account active. Any account that is not triggered will be deleted from the system after a 7 day grace period automatically.
  • Vendor will always provide the latest version of Joomla on installation and should also monitor the versions of installs and failure to manually update a free account within a reasonable timeframe from release should trigger a reminder and notice of suspension should the site fail to be updated within an agreed period to ensure that users keep their free sites up to date for the health of the whole system.
  • When a major version of Joomla is released (i.e version 4.0) all new sign ups will have this version installed. A migration period for existing sites will be mutually agreed by OSM and the Vendor in line with the support life of the 3.x series and tutorials will be signposted to help with the process.
  • A joint marketing strategy will be formulated between the vendor and OSM, please make suggestions as to how you would market this from your perspective.

Submission Guidelines


Publishing Date of this RFP: 28th February 2018

Deadline for Questions:   7th March 2018 @ 23:59 UTC

Questions answered by: 12th March 2018

Deadline for Proposals: 16th March 2018 @ 23:59 UTC

OSM Decision by : 2nd April 2018

Take over date TBC but no later than 60 days after decision made.

When all proposals have been submitted OSM may request further information from vendors regarding their proposal in order to help them with the decision making process.

Questions and Answers

All questions regarding this RFP should be sent via email to

Questions will be answered by the deadline shown in the timeline above.

Request for Proposal Submissions

All questions/proposals should be submitted in PDF format to

Format for Submissions

Title Page

  • To include the company name, address, contact person, email, and phone numbers for the
    primary decision maker in regards to the proposal.
  • Contact information should include one lead contact and a separate technical contact if needed.

Company Qualifications

  • Company description and history
  • Staffing resources proposed for this project
  • Number of Joomla system installations currently hosted
  • Current and past involvement in the Joomla Project

Proposal Details

Please include the following details in your proposal:

  • Describe your proposed sign up process for users.
  • Describe how the system would be managed, including staffing, security, routine procedures and response to emergencies.
  • Describe the hardware and software to be used for operating and maintaining the system.
  • Describe your own ideas for the terms of free trials (length, size and bandwidth limitations, support).
  • Describe the pricing structure for users who would opt convert to paying customers.
  • Describe how your company would assist users in transferring to a paid service.
  • Describe the financial model and projected income.
  • Describe the plan for tracking referral traffic, initial sign ups, and paid conversions.
  • Describe the plan for collecting ongoing feedback from users.
  • Describe auditing and reporting procedures you would put in place for OSM to gain monthly access to reports and what you would provide in the reports.
  • Describe how interaction with your company and the Joomla Project and OSM would be handled.
  • Describe your proposed affiliate, royalties, or financial structure that you would provide to OSM including the guaranteed minimum monthly revenue offered. Please also include conversion commissions percentages, recurring commissions, length of recurring commissions, one time payouts, etc.
  • Describe the level of support that will be offered for free users and how that differs from your paid support.
  • Outline your plan for transitioning users to another vendor in the event the agreement is
    terminated for any reason.
  • Outline your timeline to have infrastructure in place and be ready import existing joomla.com sites and to go live if you are selected as a vendor.

Signature Page

Each proposal must contain the signature of a duly authorized agent or officer of the company submitting the proposal.

Assessment of Proposals

Among others, the following criteria will be used to assess proposals:

  • Financial Stability and track record of provider
  • Experience with SAAS Solutions
  • Multilingual Experience/Support
  • Quality of hosting environment (in term of technical details, expected performances)
  • Originality in design of a solution.
  • Revenue sharing scheme.
  • Ease of use for users.
  • Transparency in proposed audit model.
  • Portability options.
  • Support Levels.
  • Financial model.

Contract Terms

Contract terms will be negotiated in detail as part of this process, and the terms of any final contract awarded will be in the sole discretion of OSM. However, the following elements should be incorporated into each proposal:

  1. Although proposals may discuss alternatives to this, to provide stability for users and continuity, the expectation is that this would be a long term multi-year agreement.
  2. Although proposals may discuss alternatives to this, the expectation is that the vendor would be required to pay OSM a guaranteed minimum monthly payment for the duration of the agreement.
  3. All installed site content and related IP rights to be owned and approved by OSM.
  4. Approval of content related to this contract on the vendor's site or in vendor's advertising by OSM.
  5. Contract must include provisions for migration to another provider should the contract be terminated for any reason, this should include any hooks, extensions or other custom software utilised to achieve this

OSM reserves the right not to award a contract. In any contract awarded, OSM will require the vendor to agree to certain minimum legal terms acceptable to OSM, such as audit rights, representations and warranties, indemnification, compliance with OSM trademark policies, and compliance with applicable Joomla host certification standards, including applicable fees.

All confidential information included in bid proposals will be treated as confidential, but a listing of bidders and the general terms of the winning bid will be made publicly available.

Changes to this document during the RFP Process

This RFP document version may be occasionally updated to include additional information based on the questions we get from potential vendors and the version number at the top of this document will be changed as necessary.