Installable live chat software: the pros and cons

Installable live chat software isn’t for everyone. In an increasingly cloud-based world, self-hosted solutions have fallen out of favour. Most businesses looking to deploy chat want the quickest, most convenient and hassle-free option. And for most businesses, that means choosing the cloud option.

But within its niche, installable live chat software has a unique range of benefits. Particularly for heavily regulated industries, the self-hosted solution is the safest solution.

So, to install, or not to install? To help you decide which deployment works best for you, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of installable live chat software.


  • Pros:

Installing software on your own servers and behind your own firewalls comes with obvious security benefits. You’re taking ownership of your own security, rather than entrusting it to an external provider. Installable live chat software is self-contained, and inherently secure.

Total ownership is key to self-hosted solutions. You control the network end to end, you control the security policies protecting your software, you control user permissions, you control access. If you follow strict rules and regulations, that’s just the level of control you need.

  • Cons:

Taking security into your hands can be a mammoth undertaking. Firstly, it’s time-consuming. Secondly, it puts pressure on your IT team. And of course, unless you’re a company with strong technical knowledge and resource, there’s no guarantee that you can offer better security than a cloud provider.


  • Pros:

With installable live chat software comes accessible chat data. You’re not shipping your sensitive data to a public cloud service somewhere on the other side of the world. Instead, all customer details, chat reports, transcripts and analytics go directly to your own local database.

You own your data, and can view and extract it whenever you wish. And because of this level of access, you can customise your data usage to meet your needs – from bespoke reports to bespoke integrations. Even better, you do it internally. That means no added cost, and no need for professional services.

  • Cons:

With a cloud solution, you’ll be using a state of the art data centre. It will have leading equipment, leading procedures and leading security techniques. After all, data storage and protection is what it’s designed for.

Those optimum conditions will be hard to replicate in-house. That’s not to mention the expense of creating a scalable, maximum-security environment for your data. Choosing the installable live chat software option means more legwork for your team, and more considerations.


  • Pros:

Hosting your own solution gives you more freedom over the software. You get your own chat URL and SSL certificate. Chat window themes and style sheets can look however you wish them to look. You can hook data to existing corporate database servers, or to other internal systems. Simply put, you can do things you wouldn’t be able to do with a cloud solution.

And again, you can do it all in-house free of charge. At no extra cost, you can tailor the chat to match your brand and streamline your user experience.

  • Cons:

Installable live chat software comes with a certain degree of delay. With so much customisation control, your team can lose focus on the chat itself. Instead, they’re spending time on set-up – set-up that could easily come out of the box.

Plus, things like maintenance and disaster recovery can become a drain on your resources. If you can’t commit extra time and effort to the solution, self-hosting may not be your best option.


Different strokes

Ultimately, it all comes down to your business requirements. If your mind isn’t made up yet, we can happily advise on whether cloud or installable live chat software would be best for your business. We offer both options with WhosOn, with the same great feature-set. Drop us a chat today and we’ll discuss your needs.


Useful links

WhosOn installable edition

WhosOn cloud edition

Is the cloud strangling the self-hosted model? Don’t believe the death knell