Self-hosted SaaS Alternatives
Self-Hosted SaaS Alternatives: Replacing Paid Tools With FOSS Tools
Self-hosted Google Analytics alternatives
- Too hot: Umami is slightly warmer than the winner in this category and is quite similar in many ways. However, Umami's hosted cloud service is not ready for mainstream use yet, giving its competitor the edge. But watch this space.
- Too cold: Matomo is only a little more complicated than the alternatives, not by much. It's still quite good. Its interface, which can be viewed in demo form here, is more like Google Analytics than the alternatives, but in a way that makes sense.
- Just right: Plausible strikes the perfect balance in cost and usability. The company makes an open-source version that is quite good but also offers a paid version that costs enough that you know you're the customer, not the product. Easy to set up and friendly to use.
- Outside the box: You could always do with Mastodon does and eschew analytics entirely.
Self-hosted Email newsletter platforms
- Too hot: Keila, a very-polished-looking email sender that will fit many users' needs, but its emphasis on a single flexible template makes it difficult to recommend for power users. (They are working on it, however—and the team seemed responsive to feedback.) Sendportal also has potential, but the fact it hasn't been updated in more than a year gives us pause.
- Too cold: Mailtrain has most of the features one might expect out of an email-sending tool, including power-user features like support for MJML, but its user interface can feel imposing to new users. A less-imposing but still-complex alternative is Mautic.
- Just right: Listmonk has a clean interface and lightweight feature set. It lacks some bells and whistles that some users might expect, like on-the-fly segmentation, but it's closer to being a daily driver than any other tool in this category.
- Outside the box: Hosting something through your CMS is a good idea. Ghost, while not anywhere near as full-featured as the other tools mentioned for email use cases, strikes a good balance for the average creator.
Self-hosted Zapier alternatives
- Too hot: Automatisch is the closest thing to a direct open-source variant of Zapier at this time, as its design carries the spirit of the paid tool's interface, but it is brand new, having just launched only in November, and doesn't have many apps. It feels like one to watch, though. However, unlike other options, it falls under a standard AGPL license. So I had no trouble installing this locally.
- Too cold: N8n has the correct number of apps, a larger community, and is much more mature than many of its competitors, but its less-intuitive design is potentially a turnoff. (Despite being free to self-host via a community option, it also does not have an open-source license.) It can be run inside a desktop application, which is a plus.
- Just right: ActivePieces seems to have the right momentum to get things going in a good direction; it also has a reasonably priced cloud option, and while it is still new, it has a lot of potential and a quickly growing app list. (It, too, doesn't use a pure GPL-style license, however. Another responsive-to-feedback team, however.)
- Outside the box: If your goal is automating some basic tasks, the browser extension Automa also has much potential.
Self-hosted Calendly alternatives
- Too hot: Cal. Com has a lot of potential to make many people's lives more accessible; it's not only a helpful tool, but it also appears to be relatively modern and offers a natural alternative to the dance of trying to book a meeting. That means it is not embarrassing to use when you're trying to set up an appointment. But I'm not recommending it because, at least now, it fails at the fundamental hurdle of being self-hostable, in part. After all, it uses a very temperamental and very modern application stack.
- Outside the box: If you're a NextCloud user, there's a decent appointment app that you can add to the application that covers most of Calendly's primary use cases. Granted, it's nowhere near as good as Calendly and doesn't seamlessly integrate into Zoom, but unlike Cal.com, you can install it without ripping out your hair.