Cloud-Based or Self-Hosted LMS, Which One is The Best?

Cloud-Based Vs Self-Hosted LMS

Finding the right Learning Management System (LMS) from hundreds of them in the market is no small task. Plus, deciding on the LMS deployment type – Self-hosting or Cloud, adds only to that herculean task.

Though there are a plethora of LMSs, you have only three ways of hosting your system.

Let look at the types LMS deployment:

  1. Self-hosting
  2. Cloud-based deployment
  3. Hosted LMS

Each type offers its own pros and cons. In this post, let’s examine how each type will benefit you and decide the best hosting option holistically.

Self-hosting LMS 

Also call it as self-deployed, in-house or installed LMS. That is to say, your LMS vendor offers you the eLearning software as a product, and its installation is offered as “on-premises” service. To speak more clearly, you host your own LMS on your own servers.

You know there are hundreds of self-hosting learning platforms. One among such is the Moodle platform. And some of the systems like BizLMS, which are built on top of Moodle platform, are also offered as self-hosting LMS.

So, what advantages do this kind of hosting offer and to whom? Let’s find out in the following section.

Self-hosted LMS Software Advantages 

Before you figure out going for self-hosting option, ask yourself these questions. Is your content and users’ data more important to you than the expenses it costs you to self-host? Do you want a total custom product with your own branding of online training?

Let’s explore one by one.

#1 Data and Content Security

Data and privacy are priceless. It’s not good to compromise on this matter, is it?

There is no interference of a third-party when you self-host your LMS software. That means, your learners’ data and training content will be as secure as Fort Knox.

Since you self-deploy this LMS, you will have complete control over the affairs. If needed, you can implement the security measures you want to – which are specific to your organization.

It’s not that other hosting options lack security measures. But you can add advanced layers of security protocols to limit the information access.

#2 Tailor-make Your Learning Solution

When you are hosting your eLearning software, you get greater freedom to customize the platform. Because everything is under your control, you can either include a learning module or take it out from the system.

Plus, you can deliver the training content with your branding without shelling extra bucks on the same. So the advantage here is the customization plus own branding without spending on extra money.

#3 Low Maintenance Cost in the Long Run 

So, you think of how much you spend on the ‘on-premises’ installation? Well, you may have to meet upfront costs at the beginning, but in the long run, those costs will be taken care of the monthly/yearly subscription prices.

Considering the long-run benefit, your spending at the beginning is justified, and it saves the costs that proportionally rise down the line.

#4 Server Storage Capacity

If you host your LMS software, you have the flexibility to decide whether to increase the server storage capacity depending on your user base. You can also choose the server location. Other hosting options don’t provide this flexibility of server capacity. And it depends upon the subscription plan you choose.

Plus, you can implement III-tier backup architecture and Disaster Recovery Policy.

#5 Fully Responsive Team 

If you self-host your eLearning software, you will have a dedicated in-house team. The team will play an instrumental role in some aspects as below:

  • To optimize your Moodle LMS/any other platform for high concurrency
  • To optimize your LMS Pageviews by improving the speed
  • To implement Disaster Recovery Policy and maintain backup

It pays off if you maintain your own server team for the reasons mentioned above and for budget considerations in the long run.

Who will require such a self-hosted LMS?

Well, any mid-sized industries or enterprises can install their employee training software on-premises. Above all, again the emphasis is on the security of training content and the users’ data.

Cloud-Based LMS Hosting 

Cloud-based or SaaS (Software as a Service) LMS hosting is called “on-demand” service. That means you get an LMS product as a service from your software vendor when they host your LMS on their remotely located servers. Ever since the popularity of cloud services, cloud-based hosting has become a kind of boon for a variety of reasons.

A cloud-based LMS hosting offers you the following advantages.

#1 It Suits Every Budget

This is the best advantage of the cloud-based LMS hosting. In some occasions, your LMS turns out to be a white elephant. To avoid such cases, you can go with this kind of hosting option.

So you can spend on this hosting wisely based on:

  • How many users do you have?
  • How much storage space do you require?
  • What custom features do you need?
  • And more

Hence, you pay for what you use. That’s all.

#2 Just a Few Minutes of Deployment 

Everything has readily been set for use with the cloud-based LMS hosting. The only thing that’s pending will be the addition of your production URL and the number of users you have. Even if you mention your requirements, it doesn’t take much time to deploy the system for your use.

So you have the faster and quicker deployment of your employee training software with the SaaS model when compared to the conventional self-hosting LMS deployment.

#3 Easy Maintenance for You

Most of the technical complexities of regular maintenance are taken care of your SaaS hosting provider whilst you may have little or no maintenance tasks from your side.

On the other side, the other hosting options require regular maintenance from their in-house team. Plus, when your requirements and user base increase you can easily upgrade to other plans.

#4 Easy In, Easy Out

You maintain no infrastructure – the servers and the maintenance team for that. Consequently, it’s easy for you to adopt a SaaS model hosting, and at the same time, it also easy for you to opt-out. There is nothing to lose here. But the other hosting option doesn’t give many conveniences.

Besides, it’s possible for you to try it out once before you actually subscribe to a cloud-based LMS hosting provider.

Cloud-based LMS hosting is very useful if you have a small number of the user base for any industry of any size, and content security isn’t that priority. Considering those points, you can opt for cloud-based LMS hosting.

Which hosting is best?

Users’ privacy is their fundamental right. When their information is exchanged between the parties, there are chances of information misuse for business gain. Hence, the European Union Commission brought in the GDPR to protect users’ data with more teeth given to punish the business entities.

If the parties involved comply with those norms, it’s well and good to for cloud-based hosting. Otherwise, it’s always good to go for self-hosting LMS despite some complexities initially.