Previous: Features to Look For

Hosted or Installed Calendar Software

When you're shopping for calendars, you'll need to make a choice between software that installs on your web server, and a hosted version of the product. In the hosted version, the software vendor runs the application on their computer for you. There's no software for you to install. Here's a table that shows the pros and cons of each kind of software.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Installed Software
  • No recurring fees unless you upgrade.
  • Software under your control - No dependency on vendor.
  • Requires IT buy-in of selected package.
  • Installation and Upgrade require technical staff.
  • Data may or may not be backed up.
  • Application Rot - You're usually running an older version without current fixes or enhancements.
  • More difficult to support. Vendor support staff usually can't login and manage the system.
  • Target installation server must support scripting language/database supported by application.
Hosted Calendars
  • Vendor usually upgrades to latest versions when released. You always have the newest features and bug fixes.
  • Data is backed up and can be restored.
  • Simpler Support. Vendor support staff can easily login and troubleshoot problems.
  • Typically, no buy-in or approval from in-house IT staff required.
  • Recurring Fee
  • System will be unavailable if internet connection is down.
  • If vendor goes out of business, data may not be accessible.


One advanced feature to look for in a hosted calendar is virtual host name support. Ideally, you want the URL to the calendar to be http://calendar.yourdomain.com, not http://some.calendarvendor.com/some_long_stuff/Calendar=?YourDomain

In the calendar software category, you want to look out for calendar generators. These are desktop applications that install on your computer. They generate HTML calendars that are then uploaded to the web server. The issue that arises with this type of software is that only one person can make changes to the calendar, and changes must be uploaded each time.

Next: Free versus Purchased Calendar Software

Choosing a Web Calendar