Open-Source LMS VS Cloud-Based LMS- Which is Right for you?

Cloud-Based LMS

Learning Management System is an application used for developing, delivering, and tracking training online for their employees and customers. With an LMS, a training manager can quickly create, manage, and deliver your online training content. LMS is one of the crucial considerations for organizations for organizing their training programs. It facilitates a rich learning experience and effectively manages the tasks of a company. However, choosing the right Learning Management system for your organization is a pretty challenging process that involves a significant investment of your valuable resources, including money and time. While comparing different LMS technologies, you will come across two other LMSs – Open-source and Cloud-based. To make a decision, you need to consider several factors like deployment options, features, prices, cost-effectiveness, etc. 

Therefore, in this blog post, you will learn about various LMS models and determine which option, i.e., open-source or cloud-based, is best for your business needs. 

What is an Open-Source LMS?

An Open-Source Learning Management System has an open-source code that you can use, reuse, and customize for free according to your specific needs. In other words, with an open-source application, the primary and original source code is made available that users can redistribute and redesign when they have access to the source code to meet their appropriate requirements. 

According to Kineo, 40% of individuals ascertain that flexibility is one of the primary reasons for investing in an open-source LMS solution. Specifically, open-source LMS provides an opportunity to customize the system according to the organization’s appropriate needs. 

What are Open-Source LMS Pricing Models?

Most open-source LMSs are free or offer freemium plans. However, the basic package of open-source software is entirely free, but you can pay for additional features as well. 60% of individuals highlighted price as another reason for selecting an open-source LMS solution for their organization. 

Furthermore, open-source solutions are scalable, facilitating customization of training content in accordance with your evolving business and learning needs without paying for any license costs. However, other expenses are associated with open-source software like up-gradation costs, support and maintenance charges, setup and hosting fees, etc. 

Deploying an Open-Source LMS

Undoubtedly, with an open-source LMS, you need to invest a lot of time developing and customizing your own functional LMS solution. Open source LMSs involve a diverse range of applications and a dedicated and costly IT team responsible for doing all administrative and maintenance tasks. 

An open-source LMS deployment comes with the following associated charges:

  • Hosting Charges: IT specialists need to host open-source LMS solutions on a server. 
  • Server Set-up: Based on the number of expected users, you will need to configure an appropriate server. 
  • Customization: You can add, edit or modify features or LMS appearance following your organization’s training and learning needs. 
  • Ongoing Up-gradation and Maintenance Charges: Open-source platforms require constant upgrades, debugging, support, and maintenance for maintaining their usability and scalability.  
  • Backups: A suitable back-up plan is mandatory for recovering your important data after your LMS breaks down. 

Cloud-Based LMS

What is a Cloud-Based LMS?

As the name suggests, Cloud-Based LMSs are systems hosted on servers and are accessible through the internet. According to Capterra, 87% of LMS individuals entrust on web-based learning management systems

Cloud-Based LMSs are generally hosted off-premises, on secure cloud-based platforms like Google cloud platform or Amazon Web Services. Training managers can easily create new courses and distribute them amongst learners at any minute.  

Your LMS providers support Cloud-based LMSs; therefore, you don’t need to bother about their maintenance or enhancements. 

What are Cloud-Based LMS Pricing Models?

Cloud-based LMSs have different pricing models like:

  • Pay-per-user
  • Pay-per-use
  • License fee

Per-per-User: Charges depend on the number of registered or active users

Pay-per-use: Here, your LMS providers will charge you every time you use an LMS. For instance, you will get charged every time a user accesses the module.

License fee: Cloud-based LMS providers charge you one time or a flat fee to access the LMS solutions for a specific period.

However, some LMS vendors also charge for setting up and installing your system, covering maintenance, implementation, training, and support charges. 

Deploying a Cloud-Based LMS

There are significant benefits of investing in a Cloud-based LMS for online training like:

  • Less Set-up fee: Setting up and installing a cloud-based LMS is straightforward. All that is required is to create your account and sign-in.
  • Quick deployment: You can use Cloud-based LMSs right away. Furthermore, you can deliver training to your employees just after one hour of setting your system.
  • Easy Maintenance: Your LMS vendor identifies and fixes bugs, releases new updates and functionalities themselves. 
  • Scalability: You can quickly manage multiple users accessing the system simultaneously and ensure that all your learners have access to training content. 
  • Data Security: The built-in security features in cloud-based LMSs ensures data security and reliability on the cloud. 
  • Predictable Costs: Cloud-based LMSs are cost predictable. You need to pay a dedicated amount every month based on your usability plans. 

With this information, you can quickly make informed decisions regarding your learning management system for your organization. 

Undoubtedly, cost factors are important, but it’s not the only thing necessary when it comes to choosing LMSs. 31% of users shifted to another LMS because the LMS lacked the required features, while only 6% moved because of cost. 

While choosing an LMS for your organization, the first and foremost thing is to define your learning goals and objectives and accordingly establish a list of features that your LMS should have to accomplish those goals. Don’t forget the end goal is all about delivering rich and engaging learning experiences to your learners and drive training effectiveness. 

How KloudLearn LMS is a Perfect Match?

KloudLearn is a cloud-based LMS that might be suitable for your learning and training needs. The top features of KloudLearn LMS are as follows:

  • Scalability: KloudLearn LMS allows you to manage multiple users at the same time. It enables you to define active users on LMS account regardless of their job role. The solution is scalable to meet your evolving business and learning needs by effectively and securely managing your large amount of data.
  • Implementation Services: We provide a comprehensive walkthrough of the proper implementation process and ensure your LMS runs successfully. We ensure your LMS implementation is smooth by integrating your LMS with existing applications and defining your requirements. 
  • Integration Abilities: KloudLearn LMS easily integrates with your existing software and applications. 
  • Technical Support: KloudLearn offers comprehensive and searchable support for your evolving needs of the organization. Our technical support is accessible by phone and email.  


Both Open-source and Cloud-Based LMS have their perks and challenges. However, most organizations start with Open-Source LMS and switch to Cloud-Based LMS after some time. Undoubtedly, cost factors are important but not essential. In the end, features and capabilities matter to meet your learning objectives and grow your business. If your LMS solution lacks the required features and capabilities, your business will fail to develop your organization’s talent. 

LMS like KloudLearn is the best of both worlds. Its flexibility and cost-effectiveness are like Open-source LMS and features, capabilities, customer service, and support from Cloud-based LMS.

Difference between Cloud LMS & On-Premise LMS

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