Online education is a lucrative industry that is quickly gaining popularity with this rising popularity of online tutoring. Now with the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing globally, online learning space is witnessing a phenomenal boom as both schools and universities are moving towards online learning. Moreover, the online learning industry is projected to reach $240 billion by 2023.
Considering the huge potential of the online learning industry, many businesses are venturing into developing their own online learning website. To achieve success, you need to do continuous development to enrich the user experience by adding new features according to your unique project requirements.
Choosing the deployment mode whether it is self-hosted or cloud-hosted can greatly affect the security of your data, the cost of implementation, and a lot of other factors.
In this blog, we would be looking into the major advantages of a self-hosted learning management system.
What is a self-hosted learning management system (LMS)?
Self-hosted LMS as the name suggests is a self-deployed or an in-house LMS. This means the solution offers the online tutoring software as a product and its installation has to be done on on-premises. To be more clear, you need to host your own LMS on your own server, instead of hosting it on the cloud.
Who needs a self-hosted LMS?
Self-hosted learning management systems have become more of niche option than a universal one as most people consider it as a thing of the past. The impact has been contributed by the cloud revolution happening in the digital industry. However, there are certain scenarios when a self-hosted LMS is the best fit for your enterprise.
Let’s see who benefits from self-hosted LMS the most.
Large organizations might be equipped with the infrastructure and adequate arrangements that can support self-hosted LMS without any issues. Enterprises can also benefit from the long term value offered by self-hosted learning management systems.
Businesses handling sensitive data
In case of a business that stores very sensitive data in their system, even the best cloud-based LMS becomes a liability, Self-hosted LMS suits security-conscious organizations who want to keep their data safe and secure.
With a self-hosted learning management system, you own the database and the data. This means that you get the control of security like data probability, reporting standards, restricting access, implementing advanced encryption that shuts the door on unauthorized third-party access.
LMS needs to be integrated with other systems
Let’s be honest about this. Your learning management system is not the only software suit your business would rely on. You have other systems in your organization like HR systems, project management systems, communication tools, time tracking software, and a bunch of other essential apps.
When you implement an LMS, you need you to integrate these many systems with your LMS. Selecting a self-hosted LMS will help you fully integrate your online learning software with the rest of your infrastructure.
Benefits of a self-hosted learning management system
When compared with cloud-based learning LMS, self-hosted LMS solutions are a long-term asset for your eLearning business. Do you think it is valuable comparing the huge initial costs you bear?
Let’s explore the advantages of an on-premise learning management system.
A greater level of personalization
Self-hosted learning management systems typically provide more features for customization. You can personalize different areas of the dashboard and incorporate branding into your online education resources.
While cloud-based LMS also allows you to customize your learning website to a specific level, self-hosted LMS offers more customization options than cloud-based solutions.
Implement data security policies of your choice
Most learning management systems come with important features for data security. However, they come with their own protocol to make sure your data stays safe. An in-house LMS permits you to implement your own data security features.
For example, it helps you to limit third-party access to certain areas of the online learning platform or allows establishing a more sophisticated security system to maintain unauthorized third-party access at bay.
Team members will have complete control
Self-hosted LMS offers full control to your in-house team over the LMS and can customize it however you want. For instance, your IT team will be able to make changes to significant areas of the learning website to match your unique requirements.
Most self-hosted LMS offers the best services by allowing you to choose for extra support services if required. For instance, if any of your team needs help to solve a particular issue, you can contact specialized trainers to help. You can also choose to opt for long-term customer support if your LMS provider offers the service.
Lower continual costs
While in the case of cloud-based learning platforms, you need to pay a recurring monthly or yearly subscription, a self-hosted platform comes with a one-time fee.
While the upfront cost might seem higher, a self-hosted learning platform is cost-effective in the long run due to the lower continual costs. You just need to bear the one-time licensing fee which allows you to access the online learning platform unlimitedly.
There are add-on costs and upgrade costs to include as well. However, when compared to cloud-based LMS, self-hosted LMS have lower ongoing costs which reduce the total cost in the long run.
With self-hosted LMS, you can integrate it with your already existing tools. Otherwise, you need to address the challenges and problems caused by incompatible software. However, an in-house online learning system offers you the flexibility to integrate all the software you use effortlessly making it easy to manage all processes smoothly and efficiently.
You determine the storage capabilities
An in-house LMS allows you to choose the storage capability and decide the amount of information you can reserve and choose the location of storage. However, it is still advised to back up your data on another server in critical situations where you might need to access the backed up data.
Easy to allocate other online education costs
After you pay the upfront costs for the self-hosted LMS, it becomes easy for you to allocate budget for other online training aspects.
However, with a cloud-based LMS, it might be difficult for you to plan for the other costs as the monthly subscription fee is ongoing and it adds up to the costs every month. Self-hosted LMS allows better resources and budget allocation and better online training ROI.
Tips to choose the right on-premises LMS
Once you have finalized to opt for an in-house LMS, there are some important things you need to consider to find the best fit for your needs.
Here is what you need to consider.
Use the software before you purchase
A self-hosted LMS is a long term investment. Hence, you got to conduct thorough research before actually buying one. Not just that, before purchasing, it is recommended to try the LMS to test run your choice. See whether the UI is simple to use and easy to navigate, and valuable for the price you pay.
Trying out will also help you to understand whether the customer services match your expectations. Some of the LMS solutions also offer free demos and trials.
Make sure you prepare valuable questions during your trial period and clarify them with your service provider before buying the online tutoring software. You definitely don’t want to regret it after you have made the purchase.
Involve your team during the software selection
During your LMS selection process, make sure you involve each member of every team. Don’t opt out members who would be using the LMS consistently to create and manage online learning resources. Invite your team members to test drive the self-hosted LMS system and offer their valuable feedback. You can seek their opinion as they would have some valuable suggestions to share.
Stick on to a practical budget
Before buying a self-hosted LMS, you need to set a realistic budget and consider all the related costs, instead of considering only the one-time fee. Also, plan the ongoing content development costs, maintenance costs, and up-gradation costs that you will have to bear. This helps you to analyze and calculate the overall costs precisely and avoid splurging than what you can bear in the long run.
Self-hosted LMS comes with plenty of advantages for your business. It allows you to personalize every area of your learning management system and offer you the flexibility to integrate the systems of your choice, adopt the safety measures with existing tools and software.
While the initial costs might be a little higher, with self-hosted LMS, you might save a lot in long term. Those were some of the few benefits you get by selecting an in-house LMS.
LiveLearn from PinLearn is one of the best self-hosted LMS that allows educators and businesses to build and launch their own online tutoring business. Are you already using a self-hosted LMS? What are your experiences using a self-hosted LMS? What advantages did you enjoy by using a self-hosted solution? We would like to listen to your experiences and feedback in the comment section below.