By now everyone is familiar with all those web site hosting packages. Many of them have lots of goodies to help improve web traffic. But some of these hosting sites can also be used to run applications you install on them.
It's not that hard.
I've had real good luck with aplus.net. You can get the Unix hosting plan (I like the solo XR) for $10 a month. Here's the good stuff. You get 3 mysql databases and the latest versions of PHP (unlike other vendors like iPowerweb). iPowerweb has been having some uptime issues lately also.
Here's where the fun starts. Many of you don't have good project management tools or CRM systems. Or your IS department has installed some very complicated system and it just isn't working for you.
We all need a nice project management tool. But commercial versions just can be too restrictive or complicated to learn and use. So hop on over to SourceForge and download a copy of WebCollab. Unzip it onto your computer and ftp it onto your hosting site whose URL can be anything you want; it doesn't have to have anything to do with your company. Then follow the installation instructions. Yes, you may have to get your hands dirty modifying some of the PHP script, but someone you know can help you. WebCollab allows you to set up and share projects, upload files and even have a discussion forum. And since it is open source it costs you zip.
Another favorite is SugarCRM. This is a full bodied CRM system and although it is pretty sales oriented, you can use it to plan and track marketing campaigns and projects. And the cost? Open source. Plus if you like it, there are people out there who will customize it for you for a fee. And there is a commercial version available with a lot more bells and whistles if you choose.
Make sure you install your applications in different places in your web directory. Using subdomains can be helpful here. Then if the application isn't working for you, delete the mysql database and the directories and try something else. Hey, there's no registry to worry about.
All the really interesting stuff runs on Linux / Unix. But the web hosting service shields all those nasty commands from you with some slick web based interfaces.
Think about it, for $10 / month you can have three full blown applications running for your entire group. Now that's a deal. And you're not shelling out money to the likes of Saleforce.com.