Use Tasks: A Hosted Service for Tasks and Tasks Pro™

I’m very pleased to announce the launch of Use Tasks, a hosted service for Tasks and Tasks Pro™! If you’ve been interested in Tasks or Tasks Pro™ but didn’t feel comfortable installing and configuring PHP and MySQL, Use Tasks is for you.

Besides not having to worry about the server requirements, there are many other benefits of the Use Tasks service. Your Tasks software will always be up to date because we take care of the upgrades for you. Not only are the upgrades done for you, but all future upgrades are free as well. Major new releases for Tasks and Tasks Pro™ will have a reasonable upgrade cost attached to them, but Use Tasks accounts get these new features as part of the service.

To celebrate the launch of the service, we are offering 25 special lifetime, unlimited user accounts for only $250. This is a pretty awesome deal, you’re basically getting an Unlimited User Tasks Pro™ license at half price, but with no installation or configuration, maintenance or future upgrade costs. I think the everyday pricing is pretty darn reasonable as well:

  • Single User: $3.95/month
  • 25 Users: $17.95/month
  • Unlimited Users: $26.95/month

When I became an independent developer this year, step one was to get the software ready to sell. Step two has been making it so that anyone who wants to use the software, can do so. Now that the Use Tasks service is up and running, I feel like I have completed step two and can move on to step three: adding more great features to the software.

To offer this service, I’ve partnered with Austin Web Development. I’m very pleased to be expanding my relationship with them in this way. I first connected with the folks at Austin when they became Tasks Pro sponsors. I’ve had my server hosted with them since November last year and I’ve been quite pleased with their service.

The partnership is a very important part of this venture for me. I have wanted to offer the hosted service for some time now, but I was concerned that the billing and server responsibilities would take up enough of my time that I wouldn’t be able to spend the time I wanted to developing new features. This works out beautifully because Austin does what they do best, and I get to keep my focus on development.

Offering a hosted service can be a little bit of a double edged sword. While it does expand the potential user base for my software, it also means that I’ll be sharing some potential license income with the good folks at Austin Web Development. I’m pretty confident that the gains will outweigh the losses; I think I’ve traded e-mails with a few potential customers already.

The web site borrows heavily from the site; I used the same templating system, much of the same PHP back end and much of the same CSS. This site has a good deal more going under the hood than other sites I’ve built. I created a lot of account and site management utilities to make it easier to maintain the site. I’ve also done more extensive automation on this site than on previous sites I’ve built. I’m sure I’ll be very glad I made that investment.

I’m using the excellent PunBB again for the forums. I’ve made most of the same modifications I did for my install on The changes I made for the Use Tasks forums are done in a way that will be compatible with more installs. I plan to make the changes available.

One more thing; we’re offering free accounts to open source projects. I’m a big fan of open source software and I’m very pleased to be able to offer a little something to those making their contributions.

This post is part of the project: Tasks Pro™. View the project timeline for more context on this post.