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What Is a Self-Hosted LMS? And What Are Alternative LMS Option?

Today, classes are not restricted to lectures or the availability of the general public range. It is now easier to access the most acceptable educational resources from various universities globally, that too anytime and anywhere. All of this has become possible after the innovation of LMS software — a software that provides a wide array of tools to deliver and manage educational courses and training programs.

Hope the term LMS is pretty clear, which is Learning Management System. However, ‘self-hosted’ is a bit difficult to understand as compared to cloud-based cloud academy LMS. It means that the organization using an LMS owns and regulates the server, from the premise as well as remote.

Benefits of Self-Hosted LMS

Self-hosted LMS has several advantages over any other LMS:

  • Data Security: No software is unbreakable but self-hosted LMS does not share the same server or vulnerabilities. So, the hacker could not hack it and access sensitive information which makes it better than any substitute in terms of security. Moreover, you can also host this LMS on a server without an Internet connection whatsoever, eliminating the risk of hacking almost entirely.
  • Customization flexibility: Self-hosted LMSs generally provide better customization features. Using self-hosted makes it easier and time optimizing to alter your platform  accordingly which enables you to deploy a consistent brand identity through your e-learning platform.
  • Full control: Self-hosted LMS offers all intentions and purposes, you can sign up for additional support services as well as can have total control over the learning program and can personalize it however your team wants.

Cons of Self-Hosted LMS

Using a self-hosted LMS brings you multiple disadvantages as well:

  • Manual setup: Building an e-learning website comes with its own responsibilities, and using a self-hosted LMS might increase those responsibilities a bit. With it, you have to do all the set-up work on your own with any automation.
  • Overhead cost: Self-hosted LMSs do not optimize costs completely. It has to cover plenty of overhead expenses related to running a website such as domain name costs, the actual web hosting charges, security expenses, etc.
  • Requirement of IT team/skills: Other software comes with its own IT teams to do all of the codings. But, self-hosted LMS adds additional expenses requiring IT teams. You also need to have skill sets that would include programs like HTML, javascript, CSS, SQL, XML, PHP, and possibly Ruby on Rails.

Alternative to a Self-Hosted LMS

Considering above mentioned disadvantages, companies usually use cloud-based LMS as an alternative to self-hosted LMS. The difference comes down to accessibility and cost-effectiveness.

Could-based or web-based LMS is a learning management system where you don’t require an installation process. Rather, it’s all an online hosted program. You simply have to sign in to the LMS software tool and start using it. If you offer an online training program then you need an LMS with cloud-based security. A cloud LMS typically has fewer tech issues than other options.

Some of the features of cloud LMS are:

  • Engaging learning: cloud-based LMSs enable an immersive user experience for complex courses through videos, customized audio, interactive images, chatbots, and digital stories to boost engagement, motivate learners and increase retention.
  • Seamless Integration: A cloud-based LMS such as cloud academy offers you a role-based and highly-secure authentication system and allows organizations to effortlessly connect the LMS with other software to deliver better UX and provide efficient training.
  • Quick setup: With a cloud LMS, it’s all ready to go and no additional team is required to set up.


Some self-hosted LMS also provides a fast set-up too, but there are way more functions and finding to do. Therefore, choosing the learning model (cloud or self-hosted) can affect the costs of the implementation, the availability of the system, and even the security of your data. Choose wisely.

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