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The Difference Between 'Software as a Service' and Website Hosting

Many people think that hosting their website and using software such as MoST is one and the same thing. It isn’t.

An easy way to understand the difference between these two services is to look at them like property.


Hosting is the equivalent of renting a vacant lot. You get metered services for the property such as power, water and waste, but that’s all, it is still a vacant lot waiting for you to build your house on it or move your caravan or trailer home onto the site. Service from the owner of the lot is extremely limited – basically they only provide the land and the metered utilities to the property. If you use too much of these services, you have to pay more. The utilities are maintained but that’s as far as it goes. If something goes wrong with your home then you are on your own and will have to pay someone else, such as a contractor to fix it. Another important aspect is there is often no insurance (backup or data/disaster recovery in the case of websites), so if your home burns down, or is broken into (website hacked) the owner of the lot is not responsible at all and usually doesn’t care. It is up to you to protect yourself at every level and ensure you cover the insurance on your property.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is more like renting an apartment; you get all the utilities, a place to live and all the appliances, and it is managed by a property manager. It has all the amenities you signed up for and everything that you need. You just have to move your furniture in and position it where you like. Service from the property manager covers everything you’d expect when you are renting an apartment and the apartment is fully insured giving you peace of mind that should it burn down it can be quickly re-instated or other accommodation will be found for you. In the case of SaaS, your website can be reinstated quickly should there be an outage or similar problem. However unlike an apartment where insuring the contents is your responsibility, using SaaS ensures your data is also safe.

If your website is being hosted elsewhere the team at Expert are happy to discuss your SaaS needs Contact us.

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Phone: +64 4 384 9833 | Email: us@expert.services
Address: 19 Tennyson Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
Postal address: PO Box 6474, Wellington 6141, New Zealand

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