What is the difference between a hosted and an open source Platform?

We understand that selecting the right CMS platform can be challenging, especially with today’s many options. In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between open source vs self hosted platforms to help you make an informed decision.

Hosted Platforms

Hosted Ecommerce Platforms
Source: litextension

Hosted platforms offer complete solutions to set up online stores without technical expertise. The provider handles hosting, maintenance, security, updates, and support, freeing you to focus on running the business.

Self-hosted platforms require purchasing a web hosting service, providing complete website control, and adding necessary features. Hosted platforms are easy to set up, secure, scalable, and offer top-notch support, with cons such as limited customization options and ongoing monthly fees.

Key Features of Hosted Platforms

Easy to set up

Hosted platforms are designed to be easy to set up, with pre-built templates, drag-and-drop editors, and intuitive interfaces.


Hosted platforms provide top-notch security, with regular updates, SSL encryption, and PCI compliance, ensuring your customers’ data is safe.


Hosted platforms offer customer support with dedicated teams to assist you with any technical issues, questions, or concerns.


Hosted platforms can scale with your business as it grows, with features like unlimited bandwidth, storage, and product listings.

Pros and Cons of Hosted Platforms

  • Easy to set up and use, even for non-technical users.
  • Minimal maintenance and upkeep are required.
  • Secure and reliable, with top-notch support and regular updates.
  • Scalable, with the ability to handle high traffic and sales volume.
  • Limited customization options compared to open-source solutions.
  • Ongoing monthly fees can add up over time.
  • Restricted access to the platform’s backend code and database.

Open-Source Platforms

Open Source Ecommerce Platforms
Source: litextension

Open-source platforms are self-hosted, providing complete control of code, design, and functionality but requiring more technical knowledge to maintain, set up, and customize.

They are free to use, customizable, and have community support. They offer greater flexibility and customizability, complete control over code, design, and functionality, community support, and no initial investment cost. However, they require technical knowledge, ongoing maintenance, updates, security patches, and lower security than hosted platforms.

WordPress is one of the most popular open source solutions for building a website. WordPress is a content management system (CMS) that allows you to create and manage your website without writing any code. It is also very flexible and customizable, making it an excellent choice for beginners and advanced users.

Key Features of Open-Source Platforms


Open-source platforms allow full customization of the website’s code, design, and functionality, giving complete control over the online store.

Community Support

Open-source platforms have a community of developers who can support, guide, and assist with technical issues.


Open-source platforms are free to use, which can significantly reduce the initial investment cost.

Pros and Cons of Open-Source Platforms

  • Greater flexibility and customizability than hosted solutions.
  • Complete control over the website’s code, design, and functionality.
  • Community support and assistance for technical issues.
  • Free to use, significantly reducing the initial investment cost.
  • Requires technical knowledge to set up, maintain, and customize.
  • It may require ongoing updates, maintenance, and security patches.
  • It may not be as secure as hosted solutions.
  • Lack of support from the platform provider.

Open Source vs Self-Hosted: Which One is Best for Your Website?

Several factors must be considered when deciding between open source and self-hosted solutions. Here are some of the most important things to think about:

  1. Cost: Open source solutions are free, while self-hosted solutions require you to purchase a license or subscription.
  2. Ease of use: Open source solutions are often more accessible, while self-hosted solutions can be more difficult for beginners.
  3. Flexibility: Open source solutions are often more flexible and customizable, while self-hosted solutions offer more control over your website.
  4. Support: Open source solutions are typically supported by a community of developers, while self-hosted solutions often come with dedicated support.


Choosing between open source and self-hosted solutions will ultimately depend on your specific needs and budget. Open source is probably the best choice if you are looking for a free and flexible solution. If you need more control over your website and are willing to pay for it, a self-hosted solution may be the way to go.

Overall, hosted platforms are more user-friendly and secure, while open-source platforms are more customizable and cost-effective. We hope this article helps you decide and choose the CMS that best suits your business needs.

Open Source vs Self-Hosted FAQs

What is the difference between open source vs self-hosted?

Hosted means your website is stored on someone else’s server, while self-hosted means you store your website on your server.

Is self-hosting better?

Self-hosting may offer more control and flexibility but requires more technical knowledge and maintenance.

What does self-hosted mean?

Self-hosted means storing your website on your own server or computer.

What is the difference between hosted and non-hosted?

Hosted means your website is stored on someone else’s server, while non-hosted means no hosting is involved, such as a static site.

What are the disadvantages of self-hosted?

Disadvantages of self-hosting include higher technical requirements, maintenance costs, and potential security risks.

What is the advantage of a self-hosted website?

The advantages of self-hosting include more control, flexibility, and customization options.

Do I really need a host for my website?

Yes, you need a host to make your website accessible on the internet.

What happens if I don’t host my website?

If you don’t host your website, it won’t be accessible online.

How much money is needed to host a website?

Hosting costs vary depending on the provider and the resources needed but can range from a few dollars to hundreds per month.

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