2016 osTicket review: Everything you need to know

Overview: osTicket caters to businesses and organizations that need help tracking customer support tickets.

Pricing:

Basic: $9.00/mo for shared hosting.

Standard: $12.00/mo for shared hosting.

Premium: $16.00/mo for shared hosting.

Ideal Customer: All business types that need a way to keep track of customer issues or requests will benefit from osTicket’s well designed ticket system.

Trends:

Unique Features:

Free Trial: osTicket’s cloud hosted solution is known as SupportSystem. You get a free trial for 30 days while enjoying all the benefits of email and phone support, walk-through session, SSL encryption, scaling and security, managed upgrades and maintenance, and automated backups. You also get configurable attachments, unlimited tickets and unlimited users just like the paid versions. The free trial doesn’t require your credit card to sign up, which is another plus. After your trial ends, you’ll be asked for your billing information if you wish to continue. The paid version comes with 3 plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium. The 30-day free trial is a good way to gauge which plan you might want to use once you convert to paid. SupportSystem pricing is based per agent (someone who interacts with your customers), and all plans include unlimited number of customers and tickets.

Self-Hosted: If you don’t want to go with the paid version of osTicket (SupportSystem), even with the 30-day free trial, you always have to option to self-host osTicket. You need your own web and database server (through another web hosting company, for example) and you’ll have to do all the installation, setup, and troubleshooting yourself. You’ll get no personal support other than what’s in the community forum and wiki, you’ll have to set up your own SSL encryption and email, and you’ll have to deal with backups, maintenance, and security. So why bother self-hosting osTicket on your own platform? The biggest reason is that it’s free. It’s a reasonable option if you’re technically savvy.

Openly Developed: osTicket is openly developed on GitHub page. As a user, you can report bugs or visit GitHub to see the latest development. You can also contribute to the internationalization efforts at Crowdin page. osTicket is actively being translated to languages other than English. Another aspect of osTicket’s open development is their community wiki, as users contribute tips, tricks, troubleshoots, and other information about installing and configuring osTicket. This level of transparency and community involvement ensures that user feedback is taken into account and osTicket is constantly being updated and fine-tuned.

Reviews:

We looked at several online sources to find reviews for osTicket. We found customers love its easy installation and customization.

One happy customer states: “I absolutely love how easy it is to install osTicket and even more importantly, how easy it is for my customers to get in touch with me.”

Another reviewer writes: “osTicket is a free system that is definitely worth trying. The user interface may not be the most beautiful eye-candy piece of software ever made, but that can all be customized as needed.”

We also found a few negative reviews. These osTicket customers are disappointed with feature implementation.

One customer explains that: “It is loaded with features, but sometimes those features are a little cloudy and complication, and there can certainly be times where this becomes frustrating, especially during implementation.”

Another reviewer complains that: “Any features that are not currently implemented into osTicket, I have to code myself, as plugins seem to be slightly lacking.”

We also checked Twitter to see what customers had to say. This user is happy with the ticketing system:

Another user is upset at the lack of merging abilities:

Pros:

  • Good Documentation: osTicket boasts superior documentation, through community wiki, blog articles, release notes, and support forum. It’s mostly user-contributed so you know the information is current and from the field.
  • Use Your Own Domain: You can use your own domain to brand your support platform. So if you want to download osTicket on MyAwesomeSupport.com, you can do so.
  • Cancel Anytime: If you’re paying for any of the three SupportSystem plans (Basic, Standard, Premium), you can cancel anytime without paying cancellation fees.
  • Affordable Pricing: SupportSystem plans are affordable and can scale based on the number of agents you have. The Basic plan starts at $9 per agent, while the Premium plan is $16 per agent with more robust features.
  • Migration and Integration: You are provided assistance with migration to osTicket from another platform or integrating it with existing business applications.

Cons:

  • No Live Chat: There is no live chat help offered with osTicket’s cloud hosted solution, SupportSystem. You only get email and phone support. But because the community wiki is so well-documented, this is probably not a big problem.
  • Not a Lot of Information: Other than their plans and the list of features, there’s not a lot of information on the system itself, but that could be due to the fact that you can download it for free and see it for yourself.
  • Agent-Based Pricing: Agent-based pricing means you’ll pay $9 per agent (in the Basic plan), so as your support team grows, you’ll pay more. That makes sense, but it’d be nice to have a flat-fee option for unlimited number of agents.

Summary:

osTicket itself is not a web hosting plan. It’s a free, open-source support ticket program. You have the option of installing it on your own web server and hosting it yourself, or use the cloud hosting solution called SupportSystem. You can try SupportSystem for 30 days for free to see if you’d rather self-host it. The program is thoroughly documented and there are three paid options. The paid plans use agent-based pricing, so the bigger your support team, the more you pay.

Takeaway: If you have your own web and database server, you can download osTicket and install it for free. If you’re not technically savvy, you can try SupportSystem (osTicket on cloud hosting) so someone else can do maintenance and updating. osTicket claims to be the worlds most popular customer support ticket system so either way you can be sure that your business will be efficiently taking care of any customer issues.

JP Smooth
 

"JP Smooth" is a tech entrepreneur and owner of too many websites lol. After using over 50 hosts in his day, he recommends this host because their hosting is faster than 99% of other hosts (and they answer support calls in under a minute).

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