What do I need to know to get started?
You're in luck! We've put all the getting started tips into one small guide. You can read
through it quickly and get your plan in order, complete with team, equipment, hosting, and expectations. And we've gotta hand it to you; you
planners are always miles ahead of the crowd. Way to go!
What are my hosting options?
Choosing your hosting is probably the most important step to getting started with Rock. Knowing your needs are unique, we've built a lot of
flexibility into this process. Your hosting requirements will be dependent on the size of your organization. For more details on sizes and specs,
check out the hosting section of our Planning for Rock guide.
Rock is a powerful platform that requires a Windows server environment. You have three options when deciding where to host:
- On-Site Hosting: Many large ministries or organizations with strong technical resources may decide to install Rock on internal servers.
This offers the best control, but at the cost of having to support and care for servers (think security patching, backups, upgrades, etc.).
- External Hosting: We have a couple of options for you here, too.
- Traditional Webhosting Companies: For those not interested in managing their own servers, traditional web hosting companies offer
an affordable alternative. These services are usually focused on providing hosting for smaller websites with pricing as low as $5 per
month. Be careful to select a firm that provides a service compatible with Rock.
- Rock's Hosting Partners: Our hosting partners have developed customized hosting
and data migration services for Rock. They have a variety of packages for organizations of all sizes. Whether you want a playground
or are ready to get started, you can be up and running within the day.
- Cloud Hosting: These services allow you to start small and add capacity as you need it. Setting up these services can
be a bit trickier than traditional vendors, but once configured, you don't need to worry about server patches and backups.
That can be a lot to take in at once, so set aside the time to really dive in to this planning phase and pick the right hosting solution for
your organization. You can get more detailed information on hosting in these guides:
Internal Hosting and External Hosting.
Can I see a demo?
Sure! You'll definitely want to kick the tires first. No need to register, just hop over to the demo site
and get started.
I need support. What does customer service look like?
Because your organization is unique, we've tailored our support options to meet a variety of needs.
- Documentation: This isn't your standard hard-to-read documentation, either.
With screenshots, an easy-to-understand writing style, and a thorough explanation of the why, not just the how, you'll find
these guides to be a great place to start and a familiar friend over time. You can view them online or print them and create your organization's
own user guides. And the best part? They're all free!
- Q&A Forum: Connect with Rock power users and developers on our popular community forum site.
You'll find a searchable storehouse of knowledge, and you can ask your questions here too. The Q&A site is also completely free!
- Slack: Need a little more nitty-gritty? Join the hundreds of technical admins and
developers from other churches who are helping each other understand and customize Rock. Just one more free resource for you, because
we think you're pretty great!
- Partners: If you still need a little something more to get you up and running on Rock
or for regular support assistance as you go, we've teamed up with some pretty incredible hosting and support partners who are familiar
with Rock and its requirements, and are ready to offer you the help you need.
You're never locked in to one choice, and with all these options, you're sure to find a perfect fit! If you get started and find you need to
switch it up, no problem! The power to choose is in your hands.
What does all this cost?
Quite simply - nothing. We want to free you up to focus on your ministry, so we offer Rock at no cost. Your only fees associated with Rock
may be for hosting.
How can I learn more about Rock?
Don't skip the documentation! It's easy to read, with lots of screenshots, and designed to make you a Rock superhero
in no time. You should also subscribe to the Newsletter (bottom of any page on this site), and check out the blog
and Rockcast podcasts for all the latest news on Rock.
How Is Rock funded?
That's a great question! Because your church can use Rock for free, we rely on your generosity to keep this project moving forward.
If you find value in Rock, please ask your organization to set up a recurring donation to keep us coding. Or as we like to say
around here, be a "Go Giver." The future of Rock is in your hands, and here's how you can help.
- Set up a recurring monthly donation (and even print a customizable invoice if you need one) on our
- Dive into the dynamic Rock Community. See the links above for the forums, Slack channels, and more.
- Get the word out. Talk to your church leaders and your friends/associates from other churches about Rock.
I keep seeing the name Spark Development Network. What's that?
The Spark Development Network was created to build and hold Rock RMS. Spark is a
501(c)3. That means it's a non-profit with a board made up of members from lots of different churches who are dedicated to keeping Rock free and
focused on the global church.
With over 30 years of experience in developing and customizing ChMS, Spark developers have a deep understanding of what churches are looking for
and best practices in ChMS technology. Not only that, but as an open ecosystem, more than
35 developers from around the world have also contributed to Rock.
What license is Rock released on?
Rock is released under a custom Rock Community License. This license provides faith-based organizations
an open platform to innovate on while protecting the intellectal property. You can view the details on
our license page.
If I'm a church what does the license mean to me?
Churches, and all faith-based 501c3's can use Rock for free and make modifications to the to source. They
may share these changes as they see fit as long as they don't commerialize them.
We're a church but not a 501c3. Can we use Rock?
Our public license limits usage to 501c3's. But if you're a church without
a 501c3 just email us and we'll provide you a specific license.
Does the license cover items published to the Rock Shop?
No, each item in the Rock Shop is covered by it's own license and is not covered by the
Rock Community License.
I see an opportunity that is not covered in the license. What should I do?
The Rock Community License is meant to cover most use cases. We realize other
opportunities will arise that are not supported by this license. Reach out to
us and let us know what you're thinking. In many cases we can partner to provide
a custom license that meets your needs.