I run a small online volunteer community (~700 users) that organizes and manages community cleanup dates in my area. We are looking for a messaging platform we can roll into our existing website (as a subdomain) to keep our correspondence separate from general email.

We're not looking for a solution like "Slack" or "GroupMe" because we've found the conversation threads get a bit noisy after a while and designating who should be in what group gets unruly. Thus, email has continued to work for us but we'd like to iterate on how we manage our correspondence.

We are unable to roll our own mail server and being that we're a volunteer group, we'd like to keep costs as low as possible which means paying a per-user fee is out of the question. We only have our web-hosting service which we'd like to utilize before paying for anything else.

And while making separate Gmail accounts has come up as a solution in the past, we simply do not have the manpower or time to manage them individually.

Basically, what we need is:

  1. System based on PHP/MySQL
  2. Secured accounts for each user
  3. Encryption is a plus
  4. Messages should have the ability to attach files.

Thank you any suggestions or input you may have.

  • Does it need to support encryption or is it okay without? – Tom May 26 '16 at 1:10
  • You could try HipChat. But I dont believe it is based on PHP/MySQL. You can host it in your own server. Encrypted. Ability to attach files. hipchat.com – Aswin P J May 26 '16 at 3:15
  • @AswinPJ thanks! I'll be giving it a look. – kyle.k May 26 '16 at 5:28
  • @Tom I would say for the sake of argument, it would need to support encryption. However, all suggestions are welcome! – kyle.k May 26 '16 at 5:28

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