Planned Changes in Kentico CMS Licensing

With final release of version 4.0, we plan to change the licensing structure. Please be sure to read this post - you can save now!

Changes in Licensing

There will be significant changes in licensing since version 4.0 final release (around the end of 2008):

  • The E-commerce edition will be no longer available after December 31, 2008. Those clients who purchased this edition will get a free upgrade to version 4.0 as long as they have a valid subscription. 
  • The Unlimited License (unlimited web sites on unlimited servers) will be no longer available after December 31, 2008. Those clients who purchased this license will get a free upgrade to version 4.0 as long as they have a valid subscription. Of course, you're still entitled to use the Unlimited license, we will only stop offering it to new clients.
  • There will be a new Social Networking edition in version 4.0.
Existing clients who use Standard, Professional or E-commerce edition will get the same feature set even if some edition or feature is no longer available in version 4.0.

The existing clients who purchased Enterprise Edition 3.x or earlier and have a valid subscription will get a free upgrade to the new full-featured Social Networking edition. The price of the Enterprise Edition goes slightly up (by $500) since we're adding many new features in v4.0 (see this post for details on v4.0 beta).

The subscription price remains the same for our existing clients and for those who purchase Kentico CMS before 4.0 final release.

Please note: if you plan to purchase Kentico CMS, it's a good time to do that now since if you purchase Kentico CMS Enterprise Edition before 4.0 final release, you will get it for a lower price plus you will get a FREE UPGRADE to the Social Networking edition when the new version is released, which means you will save twice!

Click here to purchase Kentico CMS now before the price goes up!

If you have a particular plan for purchasing Kentico CMS, E-commerce edition or the Unlimited License and if you need to keep the current prices at the beginning of 2009 (especially partners who quoted the current price to their clients or those who budgeted Kentico CMS for 2009), please be sure to contact our sales team as soon as possible at to get a quote.

Below, you can find the new price list that will be valid after we release version 4.0 at the end of this year:

License \ Edition Free Professional Enterprise Social Networking
1 Web Site License 0 $999 $1,999
$1,499 if you buy now!

Save $500!
$1,499 if you buy Enterprise Edition now!

Save $1,500!
1 Server License N/A $3,999 $5,999
$4,999 if you buy now!

Save $1,000!
$4,999 if you buy Enterprise Edition now!

Save $5,000!
1 Server License with Source Code N/A   $9,999

$9,999 if you buy Enterprise Edition now!

Save $5,000!

Here's the new feature matrix for Kentico CMS 4.0. 

changes in feature set of existing editions
new features

Free Edition
(from $999)
(from $1,999)
Social Networking Edition
(from $2,999)

Content Management

Number of editors 1 per web site Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of global administrators 1 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of site members (registered users) 100 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Number of documents 1000 Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Flexible content hierarchy Yes Yes Yes Yes
Portal engine Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable page templates Yes Yes  Yes Yes
Articles, news, products, jobs,
FAQ's, knowledge base articles
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom document types with
custom fields
Yes Yes Yes Yes
WYSIWYG, browser-based editing
in IE 6.0, IE 7.0 and FireFox 1.0.5+
Yes  Yes Yes Yes
Content/design separation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Management and publishing of
uploaded files
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Re-use content on several pages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spell-checker Yes Yes Yes Yes
Linked documents
(single document in multiple categories)
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Taxonomy - Categories, Tagging Yes Yes Yes Yes
URL aliases Yes Yes Yes Yes
Workflow   Yes Yes Yes
Preview before publish   Yes Yes Yes
Content locking (check-in/check-out)   Yes Yes Yes
Multiple languages     Yes Yes
Complete documentation of the CMS,
database and API
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom web parts in C# and VB.NET Yes Yes Yes Yes
Easy deployment Yes Yes Yes Yes
Export/import web sites or selected
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Incremental deployment of site changes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Deployment on shared hosting Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fully customizable site structure,
navigation, design and layout
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom event handlers Yes Yes Yes Yes
Source code of the web project
and administration interface
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Branding Powered by Kentico
CMS logo required
Custom branding Custom branding Custom branding
Full source code of all libraries
and controls
    Only with Source Code
Only with Source Code
Forms authentication Yes Yes Yes Yes
Windows authentication without automatic
without automatic
Yes Yes
Windows Live ID authentication       Yes
User management Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable roles and
global permissions
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Integration with custom user and
role database, external authentication
Yes Yes Yes Yes
User registration and secured pages Yes Yes Yes Yes
Document-level permissions   Yes Yes Yes
Personalized content   Yes Yes Yes
Banned IP addresses       Yes
Web Site
Flexible navigation Yes Yes Yes Yes
Drop-down menu, CSS list menu,
tree menu, tab menu, breadcrumbs
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dynamic site map Yes Yes Yes Yes
Full-text search in database content
and in uploaded files
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Friendly (smart) URLs Yes Yes Yes Yes
Search engine optimization
(SEO) support
Yes Yes Yes Yes
XHTML, CSS layouts, W3C WAI Yes Yes Yes Yes
IE 6.0, IE 7.0 FireFox 1.0.5+, Mozilla 7.1+,
Netscape 7.1+, Opera 7.52+ support
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multiple sites using single code
installation and database
Yes Yes Yes Yes
90+ built-in web parts Yes Yes Yes Yes
Newsletter 1 Newsletter
100 Subscribers
Unlimited Unlimited Yes
On-line forms (BizForms) 1 BizForm Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Forums 3 Forums 10 Forums Unlimited Unlimited
Blogs 1 Blog 10 Blogs Unlimited Unlimited
Polls 1 Poll Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
E-commerce (on-line store) 10 Items 10 Items Unlimited Unlimited
Articles, news, products, jobs,
FAQ's, knowledge base articles
and custom document types
Yes Yes Yes Yes
Image gallery Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reporting Yes Yes Yes Yes
User contributions No No Yes Yes
Messaging Yes Yes Yes Yes
GeoMapping Yes Yes Yes Yes
Event Calendar Yes Yes Yes Yes
Customizable RSS feed for news Yes Yes Yes Yes
Avatars Yes Yes Yes Yes
Custom tables 1 table Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Bad words Yes Yes Yes Yes
Media library Yes Yes Yes Yes
Content Rating Yes Yes Yes Yes
Report Abuse Yes Yes Yes Yes
Web analytics     Yes Yes
Booking System     Yes Yes
Content and object staging     Yes Yes
Web farm support     Yes Yes
Notifications     Yes Yes
On-line users       Yes
Message boards       Yes
Groups       Yes
Friends       Yes
Technical Support
Technical support
(learn more)
Only community forums moderated and contributed by Kentico staff, no guarantee of response or resolution. Unlimited e-mail and phone support included in price for the first year. Unlimited e-mail and phone support included in price for the first year Unlimited e-mail and phone support included in price for the first year

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Petr Palas

I'm the founder and CEO of Kentico. I write about Kentico, WCM, CXM, digital marketing and related technologies.


Petr Palas commented on

To Lupa: Kentico CMS does support RTL languages including Hebrew. The design is fully customizable with your own (X)HTML and CSS. If you need more details, please feel free to contact our support.

Lupa commented on

I'm still trying to figure out the new pricing, but also very interested in RTL support and template design. We are looking specifically for Hebrew supprt and highly customizable designs.

Elijah Taylor commented on

Petr, having had some more time to think about this, I think that if the licensing model itself stays the same, the one change that would really help out (me personally... hah!) is the online store limitation in the Professional edition. Going from 10 items from the Free edition to 10 items also in the Professional edition doesn't make sense to me. Everything else in Professional is ready to run an online store... except the product restriction. I think for $1000 USD you could kindly kick it up to a few thousand product limit, no? I know it would help me out, anyway ;-)

main-it commented on

Hi Petr. I will join your survey @ ASAP, but as I already written it's not only an SMB licensing problem. As the previous post by Petar Kozjak demonstrates, Kentico is cheaper for hosting providers and it may be expensive for the "tailors" in the software development, the one-man-companies that make up the customer base of Kentico. This also demonstrate that exists a licensing leak for the small-medium market. An example: as you probably know, recently I purchased a 1 Server License Enterprise Edition with 1-Year Subscription. I did not need that type of license for my customer but it was the only license model that allow me to make the designed solution. What I really need was a full-featured license for three web sites. The result: neither Kentico and my client are quite happy. My client because has paid for something that does not uses immediately. Kentico because if my client grow, Kentico will not have new opportunities to sell new licenses. A more targetted approach to the market may results in the trojan horse: you (and the partners) have a winning price to enter in the final user business. Once in, the customer is life-linked to both Kentico and the partner: in Italy we call this situation the gold donkey ;). Today I'm in the same situation mentioned above with a new customer: it's amazing with Kentico and he would like to get the product but he needs up to four web sites and he does not know when he will need them (today, the next month, the next year).
On the other hand, as a software developer, I think you should better distinguish customers who resells Kentico from those who develope custom solutions based on kentico. In my case, the second, I could be favorable to pay an annual fee based on the model of MSDN for specific technical support, detailed and updated technical documentation, more sample code, a solution center, etc.
Finally, another interesting point of business may be courses and e-learning and Kentico certification. Ok, I stop here. Once again many thanks for listening to us and allowing partners to explain their points of view. Marcello.

Petar Kozjak commented on

Hi Petr, I still think that all Kentico prices are realy low for your product. Here is why, we have server that we pay 150€ a month. On that server we plan to host 200-300 sites. Kentico Enterprise Server license was around 2500€. So we charge for site form 1000€ to 4000€ + hosting from 50€ to 150€. So for 3-4 sites we pay off Kentico and one year of server rent. All the rest is pure profit.

So I support prices raise. Kentico gave free edition, what more can we ask?

Also my client like using Kentico, it is easy to build sites, great support, lot of features, no need for big programing.... there things are priceless for me.

Kent Muller commented on

Hi Petr, I'd have to agree with all the comments above. To go from $750 to $2000 for unlimited products on the eCommerce side is a massive leap and one that will surely scare away a lot of my target customers.

As a start up I am not in a position to purchase a server licence for $5000/$6000, however some day, down the track this may be a good option.

Under the proposed pricing, if I have 1 client that wants more than 10 products, they will be up for a $1999 fee on top of my service charges. It's just too much for them to swallow unfortunately.

There must be a way of offering the "a la carte" style approach to allow you to still go after the bigger end of town, but also provide a "no support / SME targeted" package for those in my situation, which, by the look of the above comments, are quite numerous.

Kentico is by far the best CMS package I have ever used and it worries me that I may end up forcing my customers to use a poor quality product when with the jiggling of a few features and some sharp pricing I could be provide Kentico to all my new customers, which is good for both of us :)

Thankyou for your time, Kent.

Michael Gralke Augusto commented on

We run a small web design company in Portugal, about 150 web sites and growing, and work mainly for the Real Estate market,
for which we have developed software for property management, rental management, page content, image gallery, e-mail marketing and others.

All sites are in ASP.Net, some have a dozen of pages whilst other might have hundreds.

We are not using any CMS right now but I have been testing several systems for the last months and included Kentico in my short list.

Thing is that, in our case, with the stagnating market right now, there is no way that I can ask our customers to spend an extra $1000 on top of our fee to buy an CMS for their web-site. I also believe that, even if we go for Kentico, we would be paying far too much for something which we would hardly use since a lot of their modules are duplications of what we already are offering.

What we are actually looking for is a framework for our web-sites, lets say an "empty" Kentico, without any modules, which would allow us to create the web-sites inside Kentico and just plug-in our controls.

That way our customers would benefit from Kentico and still use our back-office which they are used to.

A Free version of this edition would be out of the question, since we cannot be displaying the Kentico Logo on our customers web-site, and also support has to be guaranteed and paid for.

I would not mind paying $200 per site from my own pocket, does not sound a lot, but multiply that with all the sites we (and other developers) have and it sums up, plus a paid support contract for one Developer.

Maybe Kentico could have a look at this and, in addition to their existing offer, create a completely new product consisting of a Basic Edition plus the option to buy additional modules plus the support options.

Thank you


Elijah Taylor commented on

Thank you for considering our comments :) Regardless of the outcome, I still hope to continue to use Kentico CMS in some capacity as my first choice of CMS.

Now if I could only get GoDaddy to give me full-trust on their shared hosting... ;)

Petr Palas commented on

Thank you very much for your comments. We are always listening to our clients, but we need to know who and how would use a lower-priced edition of Kentico CMS. Could you please fill in a form in my blog post ? If we get enough requests, we will certainly reconsider such edition. Thank you.

Car Hire Cyprus commented on

I think Kentico is good value for money. I looked at all other alternatives last year and could not find anything that came close for the money / features comparison. One suggestion I asked a few months back was for a 5 or 10 licence pack / special price. I know you can but the server licence, but for geo location reasons we have to run servers in different countries.

Also, I think there should be component option, so If I want an extra blog later on, I can just pay for that. Merak mail server use this model and it works great.

And Finally, how about a pay monthly model / rented solution. With the current financial climate this would be a very good option. Check out my humorous blog on the GFC ;-))

Also, can we have a fancy editor like this ;-)

Sedonatek commented on

We're not sure we totally understand how the new licensing will work... what does it mean that the unlimited license will no longer be available? What about people who purchased the unlimited license during the last year? What about companies who are currently using the unlimited license on multiple server - how can they get the new versions of the software?

ScottMc101 commented on

I agree with the above comments. Our primary customer is the SMB market and these increase will only make it harder to sell Kentico. I am disappointed to see the pricing going up rather than the features going down. There are A LOT of things that we don't need (as several others mentioned) but we have to pay the higher price for 1 feature. As I am a partner and an intelligent IT person, I don't mind not having the free support (as long as I can pay for it if I need it). I think you seriously need to re-evaluate your market and perhaps you will find that there are many users on the Free K-CMS that would upgrade if the entry price wasn't so steep. I too understand your position as we are all business owners and the ultimate goal is to make money, but we have to provide a product that our customer is willing to pay for.

main-it commented on

Hi Petr, thank you for sharing your idea. I'm just a little bit disappointed too with your commercial guidelines. This is the second time I read about a grow in the pricing model and I became a partner just two or three months ago. I understand your point of view and I know the quality of K-CMS, but if you think that Kentico needs more resources to grow both as product and as company, you should to evaluate to extend the market position, not only increase the licenses prices for partner that already choosed Kentico. In contrast, in the long run this policy may be negative. A good idea should be, as I read in a post above, to make an entry license that any partner can extend simply purchasing options packs. I have many other suggestions but I will write to you in next sessions.

Elijah Taylor commented on

Thank you for your response. I hope the pricing model changes do make Kentico more profitable, because I am happy to see the company growing and always improving the CMS. As you grow, I thank you for generously providing the Free edition, as I am currently implementing two projects (soon to be three) using it. Perhaps in the future there will be a "small to medium" priced license available again.

Sidath commented on

I totally agree with Elijah, We've just started using the e-comm edition for our clients. Due to this price change, we've to rethink whether to use it anymore. Because these are tough days for everyone.

Good luck with your new release.

Jorge commented on

with the two comments the point must be a lite version including the Ecommerce edition features well be nice, because I still selling it to SME and SOHO companies, the big ones develop their own sites in house so, try to take a look to it, my recommendation as long time partner is to provide the ecommerce version with:
1. Pricing starting and 500 USD without support from kentico (devnet could do that job)
2. The Branding fee could cost 100 Usd additional
3. The option to run multisites must start in 1899 USD because I will try to buy that kind of license to compete against the OSource solutions
4. Finally think that in the actual economy conditions a lot of our customers are seeking for PRICE no matter if they cannot get all the social features, they want just the basics, maybe a good .NET developer in india could create the features with 2 months of developing outside kentico core.
Just think in this options my dear Petr and you could get a whole new market working for you.

Best Regards and wishes for 2009
Jorge Alvarado

Kurt Farrar commented on

Hi there, I tend to agree with Elijah.

I've just purchased the eCommerce edition for a client, and my target customer is solely small businesses/start-ups with an aim to keep their costs to a minimum whilst they're getting up on their feet. Previously I would be able to implement the eCommerce edition for less than £1000 (GBP), now I can't.

As Elijah says, there's features included in the new versions that just aren't needed by those businesses looking for a good eCommerce solution, which Kentico is.

I understand that support may have been costing you dearly. Is it not a possibility to consider releasing eCommerce without support included, and therefore support could be available at a premium later? (as I'd imagine it is for those outside of the 12 months).

I've been a partner for a couple of months now after carefully choosing which CMS I should use for my customers, so it's both surprising and disappointing, particularly with the recession that is hitting our customers hard at the moment, that the prices are increasing so dramatically. During this time, I've not once made use of any support, as your documentation is excellent and far superior to that of other solutions which kind of leave you on your own. Just by providing good examples of how to use the product (such as the demo eCommerce Site) you show how to use Kentico and then the documentation backs that up.

Perhaps to compensate for the costs of eCommerce edition, you could create a 'Lite' edition, and scrap 'Free'. I think your product is excellent, and for the features available in the free edition, I'm sure my customers would be willing to pay £50 (roughly $75 at the moment). You could offer this with no support, or e-mail support only, or supported via a premium rate telephone number (Skype could help you to manage this globally at they can offer premium rate numbers for this purpose I think).

As Elijah says, it's a big jump for our customers, and the features that I'm finding that they're looking for most is eCommerce, and I accept that this may be purely because of my customerbase.

Further consideration would be greatly appreciated.

- Kurt

Petr Palas commented on

Hi Elijah,

Thank you for your feedback. I understand your point and we considered this change carefully.

The reason why we dropped the Standard Edition and now we are going to drop the E-commerce Edition is that they were making a very small part of our sales. So we decided to reduce the number of editions.

Another important reason was that we offer 1 year of unlimited support with every license. If we sell the E-commerce Edition to a partner, our net income (after transaction fees) is $525. Unfortunately, in many cases (and I know it's not your case), we hardly cover the technical support costs for the given client at this price, not talking about customer acquisition costs. So the E-commerce edition hasn't been very profitable for us so far.

Kentico CMS can be certainly used for any size of web site, including small ones. However, we feel that its typical use is for middle- to large-size web sites. And that's where we're aiming our product and pricing. The slightly larger price allows us to deliver a high quality product with responsive support (and we get lots of positive feedback from our clients on that).

We're still ten-times cheaper than many other solutions that provide similar functionality. I know there are free, open source alternatives, but they do not provide the same features and robustness and if you want to get a guaranteed support, you will pay several times more than what you pay for Kentico CMS.

Many of our partners purchanse 1 Server License and get a dedicated server for that. It allows them to offer a better price to their clients since they can split the cost among e.g. 50 sites and get as low as $100 per site with Enterprise Edition. This solution works for us well, too, since as the partner builds more sites, they require less support.

To sum up: our goal is to deliver a robust, full-featured, high-quality solution with excellent support, at a reasonable price. But this price needs to cover our costs, which was not the case of Standard and E-commerce Editions. I hope this makes sense although I realize that the licensing may not work for everyone...

Elijah Taylor commented on

I'm a little disappointed to see the entry-level price point going up yet again. I first began suggesting Standard edition for my new clients' projects, then e-commerce, but at $1000, I'm having a harder time budgeting that into my pricing.

I understand the free edition is supposed to provide a solution for small to medium sites (which many of the sites I build are), but it can sometimes be a hard sell to include the "powered by Kentico" logo and other specific restrictions. Also, as a software developer myself, I don't mind paying a fair price for something that I find useful. However, to get some of the specific features I need, I find I have to buy much more than I will use.

For example, I am in the planning stage of a small online store for some business partners. They will likely have over 10 products in their catalog, so in the 4.0 pricing model, I just went from spending $750 to spending $2000 for basically the same level of required functionality.

I guess my suggestion would be to look into the possibility of providing an "a la carte" option for feature pricing. I know you'd miss out on *some* money depending on the client, but you'd have a lot less people settling for the Free edition if they could, for example, pay a fee to not have to display the logo, and another fee to increase the number of blogs or products they can create.

Perhaps you could share your thoughts that led to the recent pricing/license models overhauls?