actiTIME Tips: How to Switch from Self-Hosted to Online

5 min readOct 18, 2020
Photo by Samantha Borges on Unsplash

There are many reasons why companies prefer self-hosted time trackers. With self-hosted solutions, you can be sure that all your data is secure within your on-site servers. Middle-sized and large companies have their own teams of webmasters that maintain the servers, do regular backups, move or expand on the current servers.

At the same time, most of our clients switch from the on-premises software to actiTIME Online and stick to it. While there are many reasons to prefer online software over the self-hosted solution, this is not always the best choice. In this article, we will delve into the benefits of the self-hosted and Online solutions, talk about companies that will benefit more from actiTIME online and provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to switch from actiTIME Self-Hosted to Online.

Why Switch to actiTIME Online

First of all, you need to get a clear understanding of the difference between actiTIME Self-Hosted and actiTIME Online. Read on to learn more about these options and review the comparison chart.

actiTIME Self-Hosted

actiTIME Self-Hosted is software that you use on your own servers inside your network. It means that your IT team is responsible for purchasing or leasing a server, maintaining it, and installing the software. This server may be located in your office or on the web, depending on your company’s security policy.

With the self-hosted solution, you purchase the newest version of the software with the full set of features. It’s a one-time payment that scales according to the number of users required to use the software. It’s the best choice for the companies that value privacy and security, have a team of webmasters to maintain the infrastructure and would like to cut corners on the software cost.

However, many forget about the additional costs of the hardware, electricity, running a server, and paying the webmasters’ wages, not to mention that it costs you time and money to configure the server, install the software, optimize the server and do the backups.

“$20,000 — the average cost of buying your own server”

Moreover, with the self-hosted solution, you purchase only the current software version. In case we issue a minor upgrade, your webmasters will need to manually install the upgrades when your teams are not at work not to interrupt the company’s processes. To access the newest actiTIME self-hosted version with significant upgrades, you’ll need to pay 100% of the full product price.

actiTIME Online

actiTIME Online is a browser software that’s licensed to be used based on a subscription fee and is hosted in the cloud on the Amazon servers. One of the biggest advantages is that you don’t have to buy or install anything on your own — you start a free 30-day trial, explore the product right from your browser and make a monthly or yearly purchase if it fits your needs.

To use actiTIME Online, you don’t need an IT department or even a single webmaster. We deal with server maintenance, backups, data restoration, database import & export and provide first-class customer support. Moreover, you don’t need to do upgrades or backups — we issue product improvements and upgrades automatically and these costs are already included in your subscription plan.

What else makes actiTIME Online attractive is that it’s available anywhere on any device — browser or mobile app. Even if you lost the Internet connection, all your data will be saved in the browser or your smartphone and synced once the connection is restored. A self-hosted system, on the other hand, in addition to requiring internet connectivity, also needs a VPN setup to connect to your local network.

Subscription plans scale according to the number of users. If you’d like to cut corners on the subscription fee, you may want to make the annual payment. In the case of actiTIME Online, you pay much less than you do for the self-hosted solution, servers and webmasters’ services.

Even though self-hosted solutions are considered the most secure and private, in our opinion, it depends. actiTIME Online is the best fit for small and middle-sized teams that don’t have webmasters to support the infrastructure, backup and restore the data. These services are already included in your subscription fee — you just need to contact our support team.

Self-Hosted vs. actiTIME Online

To help you understand the difference between actiTIME Online and Self-Hosted and make the right choice, we prepared the following table.

How to Switch to actiTIME Online

If you are made up your mind about switching to actiTIME Online, we prepared step-by-step instructions on how to do it:

1. Start your actiTIME Online 30-day trial.

2. Once you’re ready to make the switch, your tech team will need to back up your actiTIME database on the old server, following the Database Backup Instructions.

3. E-mail us at to request a transfer. Attach your backed-up database so that we could upload it into your online account.

4. Once we load your data into your new account (this could take 1–2 business days), you can start using your actiTIME Online. At this stage, we recommend a conference call to review the upload results.

5. If you switch from actiTIME version 2019.1 and older, please, contact your admin and make sure that they review the list of turned on features in the new Turn Features On/Off interface, check Work Assignments in the User List and User Permissions in users’ profiles.

6. As the 30-day trial offers unlimited user seats, please remember to disable unused user accounts before moving to the paid version if you plan to decrease the user count.

7. When you are ready, head on to Settings — Licenses, choose your subscription period and user count. Then you will be prompted to pay.

Still not sure if you should stick with actiTIME Self-Hosted or switch to actiTIME Online? Contact our support team to learn which option is the best fit for your business.




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