In the old days, Kentico offered multiple licensing options that ranged from a Kentico free license (mainly for developers to test and play with), Kentico Share Server, Kentico Business and Kentico Enterprise Licenses. We know how it all works as we have been a leading Kentico Gold partner for years. Long ago, Kentico identified the need to shift and evolve their license options, as well as the way they positioned their digital product. First we saw pricing packages change (what features you had access to and how many sites a license would include). Eventually, Kentico made the bold step to diversify and reposition their product from a technical sense, transitioning Kentico CMS into 2 different products, Kentico Xperience (a digital experience platform similar to the CMS but better) and Kentico Kontent (a headless software).
Kentico advertised these changes and gave the market plenty of notice (and development partners were made aware of this well in advance of the changes being implemented)..
Part of this transition saw the previously available shared server license hit an end of life, with the shift to cloud-based licenses, keeping a Kentico solution “on premise” (in a local server) is very much an outdated concept, and simply not supported moving forward with the new Kentico license (which we emphasis aren’t so new anymore).
Unfortunately, the opportunity to upgrade your Kentico Shared Server license has expired. What this means, is that if you are on a Kentico Version 7 license, you typically update step by step to Kentico Version 8, then Version 9 on so on. However now if you are even on a Kentico Version 12 instance, looking to make the jump to Kentico Version 13, you would hit a roadblock. Kentico Version 12 to Version 13 is essentially changing to a new product with the latest technology being supported, it isn’t a simple ‘upgrade’ like it was before.
Also if you are looking to upgrade or migrate a Kentico Shared Server license, you weren’t technically paying for one. This means your developer owned the license, and ‘shared’ this license with possibly hundreds of other clients/websites, including yours. Whether or not the ‘charged’ you for the license, you don’t currently have one - meaning to move, you will first need to purchase a license, but as mentioned above, you can’t use it straight away - as you would want to leverage the latest version of Kentico, and moving to Kentico Version 13 is essentially a rebuild.
So, your current Kentico shared servicer license is limited to a single server/cloud instance. This means:
Your website is unable to scale as traffic demands increase
As a result, this also poses security implications your website will be hosted on shared infrastructure with your development agencies other client websites.
Your license is restricted to versions no newer than Kentico v12, for which hotfixes have since ended.
As you don’t have your own license for your own Kentico instance, you also do not have a support agreement in place with Kentico.
Firstly, we recommend booking a chat or discovery session with us. Every situation is unique, but we want to address the elephant in the room - you are likely stuck, but also that you can’t do anything about it.
At this point our team will meet with you, we will discuss what you have (as in what code you own and can get access to from your current developer) and what options you have available moving forward. There are quite a few different options, and we would like to present those to you, and position Kentico as a market leading experience platform that can really transform organisations from the inside out – when implemented correctly. Given the digital world moves quick, there are so many other tools out there that may also have value, the use different technologies, and have different pricing models to fit within your business goals and objectives, for both the short, medium, and long term.
Can you get discount Kentico Licenses if using a Shared Server License or older version of Kentico?
Kentico has never offered discounted licenses to the market. All Kentico partners get access to the same pricing as what is displayed on the Kentico website here What has made things a little confusing as the pricing page has changed a few times since you would have acquired or built your website. There was an announcement in 2020 which gave what we think is one of the more clearer breakdown of the changes - here. The most important thing to recognise is that there are now 2 Kentico products -Kentico Xperience and Kentico Kontent. If you had a Kentico CMS website, you will be looking at the Kentico Xperience product.
Should I simply keep my website with a Kentico Shared Server License?
Our approach with all clients is to first review what features, and functionality have been built on your Kentico website. From here we get an accurate idea of what you are using the website for, and what things you would like it to do in future. Then we assess the suitability of the technology (Kentico and others), removing any bias to a single platform.
Keeping your website as it is really should not be an option, the benefit of using Kentico is its enterprise level approach to website compliance and stability, particularly around security. Once a vulnerability has been found with the technology, Kentico regularly updates their product to close any gaps that hackers may look to explore. You can see a list of all hotfixes released and subsequent Kentico Versions here https://devnet.kentico.com/download/hotfixes . So if you are on a Kentico shared server license, hopefully at least your developer has been applying hotfixes. Kentico themselves however are no longer supporting older versions. Which means you might be stuck now, but soon you are really going to be stuck relying on your developer who has all control (we couldn’t jump in and help for example).
If you find yourself stuck with a shared server license and unsure of the most efficient means of navigating this migration, talk to us and we will talk you through the options, the pros and cons, and most importantly if Kentico is still aligned to your needs or other technology options that might be worth noting.
No, you cannot upgrade your Kentico Shared Server license to a subscription license. Many of your features and functionality are likely built for many clients all sharing the same license (and hosted on the same server). To disconnect and upgrade your website, you will need to purchase a standalone license, and also rebuild features in the latest version of Kentico.
In simple terms the best option is to rebuild the solution in the latest version of Kentico Xperience, or another technology. This depends on what features and functions you use from the Kentico technology stack, and the value it offers as the chosen technology moving forward.
No, Kentico have never offered discounts for licenses, and if you are using a Shared Server license it means you never purchased a license from Kentico to begin with (you developer did). If you paid for access to the Shared Server License then they purchase was to your developer.
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