Difference Between Self-hosted And SaaS Tutoring Software : Pros and Cons


In today’s evolving eLearning landscape, online tutoring has emerged as a lucrative business venture. As online tutoring platforms strive to provide a quality learning experience to learners, choosing a reliable and robust online tutoring software becomes paramount. 

The surge in demand for online tutoring software solutions has led to the proliferation of numerous software options in the market. The two most popular choices among entrepreneurs include self-hosted and SaaS (Software-as-a-service) based software. Both software options have their own merits and drawbacks and serve different business needs. Hence, in this blog, we aim to provide you with valuable insights about both software solutions to help you make an informed decision.

Furthermore, let’s understand, what is the difference between self-hosted and SaaS, their pros and cons, and how can you decide which one is better for your business. 

Self-Hosted Software

In a self-hosted set-up, the software is purchased outright via a license with lifetime ownership. Business owners purchase the software from software development companies by paying a one-time cost. They get a full-fledged platform with essential features and functionality, along with complete source code ownership. Moreover, self-hosted software offers complete control over the infrastructure and data of the platform. 

Outweighing Pros and Cons of Self-Hosted Software


  • No recurring fee
  • Fully customizable and highly secure 
  • More reliable and scalable
  • Integration flexibility
  • Source code ownership
  • Cost effective in the long run


  • Server is required as software is self-hosted.
  • Dedicated team is required for installation setup.

Know How Self-Hosted Software Can Work For Your Business

SaaS (software-as-a-service) Software

In SaaS-based software, the software is hosted on the cloud and the full control of the system including data, speed, security, and more, is totally dependent on the software provider. Business owners need to pay bills for accessing and using the software every month or year. 

Outweighing Pros and Cons of SaaS-Based Solution 


  • No server required as hosting is on the cloud.
  • Easy deployment
  • Easily accessible


  • No source code ownership
  • Monthly payments 
  • Limited customizations 
  • Less scalable 
  • Feature integration dependency 
  • Low data security and privacy
  • Billing dependency 
  • Less cost-effective in the long run

Note: As hosting is on the cloud, the speed of the system and data security is totally dependent on the software (SAAS)  provider. 

Now that you have gained an understanding of self-hosted and SaaS-based software, let’s know more about these software solutions by comparing them.

Self-Hosted Software Vs SaaS-Based Software

Parameters Self-Hosted Software SaaS-Based Software
Hosting On-premise or third-party server Hosted on vendor’s cloud infrastructure
Customization Full Limited or nil
Performance High Relatively low
Dependency Low dependency on vendor Full dependency on vendor
Updates and Features Control over when to add more features and get updates New features and updates deployed by vendor
Cost Intially high, less in the long run Intially low, can add up to be high in the long run
Security Highly secured High, but inherent risks are involved
Control Complete control over infrastructure Limited or no control over the infrastructure.

Why Choose a Self-hosted eLearning Solution Over a SaaS-Based Solution?

Both software solutions have their own merits and demerits, however, in this section, we provide numerous reasons why self-hosted software solutions are the best choice and win over many criteria as compared to SaaS.

One-Time Purchase

One of the primary advantages of the self-hosted eLearning solution is that the self-hosted software involves a one-time purchase. Unlike SaaS-based software, which involves a monthly or yearly recurring fee. With one-time purchase business owners can have full lifetime ownership of their platform. Whereas, in the case of SaaS, they are renting the software till the time the recurring fee is paid.

Source Code Ownership

Choosing a self-hosted eLearning software grants business owners access to source code. This results in a lot more freedom, control, and affordability when it comes to integrating customizations and other future enhancements into the platform. With source code ownership business owners get complete ownership of the platform without any liabilities and major dependency on the solution provider.

Additionally, with full control over the source code, business owners can tailor the platform to meet their specific needs, and branding requirements, incorporating unique features with the existing system effortlessly. 

Looking For Software That Provides Source Code Ownership

Ready-Made Yet Customizable

Self-hosted software comes with pre-built features and functionality, providing a strong foundation to kick-start an online tutoring business. The key advantage also lies in the fact that self-hosted software is fully customizable, unlike SaaS-based software which requires you to hire qualified developers or designers separately for any customizations or other feature enhancements.

Additionally, self-hosted software comes pre-built with essential functionality to successfully run an online tutoring business, and more features can also be integrated with customization. Whereas, in the case of SaaS, various subscription plans offer various levels of functionality and features. To avail more features you need to pay more. 


In order to grow and scale your business, you need to have a robust software solution that can accommodate your needs and handle the increasing number of users without compromising your platform’s functionality. Self-hosted software is highly scalable and lets you have full control over the infrastructure eventually helping you cater to the growing demands of your business.

However, if you choose a SaaS-based solution, you have to depend on your provider, as they may limit your scalability to a certain level. This may also result in extra costs in addition to the recurring fee you are already paying. With SaaS-based software, scalability comes at a price. 

Freedom of Hosting

With self-hosted solutions you get the freedom to choose your web hosting partners. These hosting services can be on-premise, or via third-party hosting providers. While in the case of SaaS-based software, the software is pre-hosted on the cloud server of the SaaS provider. Also, the website hosting cost can vary in the case of SaaS-based software, depending on various factors such as how much traffic your platform gets, or any extra services you may need.


With increased concerns about data security it has become crucial for online platform owners to make sure the data on the platform is secure. Self-hosted online tutoring software offers robust security and greater control over the data which ensures the user’s data remains protected. 

Whereas, with SaaS-based software, you have limited control over security measures implemented by the SaaS provider, leaving you reliant on the provider’s security practices. Additionally, users are entrusting their data to third-party providers which increases the risk of unauthorized access and data breaches. 


Self-hosted software companies charge you one time, and offer ownership of the platform for a lifetime. Whereas, SaaS providers have multiple plans starting from basic to advanced which includes different levels of feature integration and services. Sometimes the basic plans offered don’t even support the basic functionality required for a successful online tutoring platform. 

Moreover, SaaS providers also charge additional fees such as payment processing fee, theme & design costs, add-ons & extension charges, and more for the services they offer.

Till now, we have shared all relevant information about SaaS-based and self-hosted software, furthermore, let us help you decide which software would be suitable for your business.

How to Decide Which Option is Best For Your Business?

Both software options have their own merits and demerits. Choosing the one suitable for you would depend on multiple factors such as your business goals, needs, future plans, and more. The key is to decide what you want for your online tutoring business. Do you want to have more control over your platform? Or are you willing to relinquish some of the control for other benefits? Do you have a lot of customization needs for your platform? Or the basic functionality offered would be enough for you? 

Additionally, inquire if your software provider, SaaS or self-hosted, follow all regulatory policies like GDPR, HIPPA, and others? Would the software you are opting for be able to fulfill your growing business needs in the long run?

These are the questions you must ask yourself before deciding on one software solution. If you are planning to opt for or switch from SaaS-based software to self-hosted software, Yo!Coach could be a compelling solution for your needs. Let’s understand how Yo!Coach can help you launch your online tutoring business effortlessly and why it is considered one of the best.

Are you Planning to Launch your Online Tutoring Business?

The Right One For You

Yo!Coach is one of the most reliable self-hosted online tutoring software available in the market. This software solution comes pre-integrated with all essential features and functionality required to launch an online tutoring marketplace. Although Yo!Coach is built on the most advanced and cutting-edge technologies but also offers a high degree of customizability to add any new features you want for your platform. 

It is also worth noting that Yo!Coach offers flexible payment options for their services making it an affordable option. Yo!Coach offers lifetime ownership and is GDPR compliant. This software is highly scalable with the capability to meet the growing business needs efficiently. 

Platforms Successfully Migrated From SaaS to Self-Hosted

Self-hosted software offers many advantages over SaaS, and numerous business owners are considering it for establishing their businesses. In fact, there are businesses that have migrated from SaaS-based software to Yo!Coach (a self-hosted software solution), considering the advantages it offers in the long run. Some such platforms that migrated from SaaS to self-hosted and are successfully running their businesses are:

1. Tutordel, an online tutoring platform that offers on-demand tutoring and online courses to students worldwide. The platform offers a wide range of courses from algebra to Python programming. They migrated from a SaaS-based solution to a self-hosted solution as it better met their business needs. 

2. Starwise, a business coaching platform connects leading startup mentors with budding entrepreneurs that need guidance to take their business to the next level. Starwise migrated to a self-hosted solution from SaaS-based software considering the customizations offered, and the complete ownership of the platform.
In addition to these, there are several other platforms that have successfully migrated from SaaS-based to Yo!Coach (self-hosted software).

Final Thoughts

Both self-hosted and SaaS-based software solutions have their own merits and demerits. However, self-hosted software is a more reliable option as it offers more cost-effectiveness, control over the platform, and customization options. Consider all the information shared by us in the blog and make a decision that best suits your needs and fulfills all your business requirements. 

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