Confluence Cloud vs. Server: main differences 2022 - Actonic – Unfolding your potential
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Confluence Cloud vs. Server: main differences 2022


Confluence Cloud is the same product as Confluence Server, just hosted on the Cloud, right? Wrong. Confluence Cloud offers some innovative features that the server variant does not. Furthermore, there are some technical differences that need to be considered. Find out exactly what the differences between Confluence Cloud vs. Server are and why many teams around the world are migrating to the Cloud!

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What is Confluence?

Confluence is a versatile collaboration tool that helps teams worldwide to unfold the full potential of their teamwork. With this software, creating and organizing, as well as connecting all your work takes place in a single source of truth. In real time, users can access data, create wikis, share attachments, and comment constructively on projects.

What is Confluence Cloud?

Many people think that Confluence Cloud is just like the Confluence Server version in the Cloud. However, this is a myth that can be disproved as soon as you log in. Even at first glance, it is evident that the user interface in Confluence Cloud is much more friendly and well-organized. Furthermore, the platforms function completely differently in the Cloud than on Servers and Data Centers. Most new features will first appear in the Cloud before they are also applied in server versions – if at all.

Here are the most important functional differences:

Functional differences in Confluence Cloud vs. Server

  • Page creation

    • In Confluence Server, the only way to create a page is by clicking the button on the top bar.

    • In Confluence Cloud, you save a lot of time by being able to create pages directly from the page tree. Furthermore, you can easily rearrange the pages with drag-and-drop.

  • Confluence templates

    • In Confluence Server, templates are very cumbersome to create. In Confluence Cloud, however, many templates are already available. You can choose from over 100 default templates or, of course, create your own template.

  • Live macros

    • Confluence Server offers many macros that you can select directly from the toolbar. The macros show their full functionality after the page is published. Confluence Cloud, on the other hand, allows you to insert macros with the slash command in a snap. The highlight: the macros update themselves in real time and already during the editing of the page.

    • Moreover, Confluence Cloud also includes some new macros that are not available in the Confluence Server variant.

    • Also new in Confluence Cloud: Instant chart creation for Confluence tables.
  • Inline comments in edit mode

    • This feature is only available in the Cloud and ensures a better collaboration, no matter where in the world you are working from. Comments are quickly written, responded to, and help dramatically boost performance.

  • Smart Links

    • Only in Confluence Cloud there are Smart Links: a way to easily embed documents, videos or data from apps. Once you insert a link in Confluence Cloud, you can choose how you want the link to appear on the page.

    • You can also insert an Excel spreadsheet and edit it directly in Confluence. This way you save switching back and forth between different applications.

  • Customize and schedule publishing

    • To publish, or not to publish? That’s no longer the question in Confluence Cloud. Because here you can also decide to create a publishing without informing watchers.

    • In addition, you can schedule the release and pick the best time for your team.

  • New editor experience

    • Within Confluence Cloud, you can create visually appealing pages that look like web pages. For example, headers can be quickly added to your page.

These were some of the functional differences between Confluence Cloud vs. Server, which are primarily of interest to users. As a system administrator, your priorities are probably a bit different. Therefore, we also want to give you a brief overview of the technical differences:

Technical differences of Confluence Server vs. Cloud


Feature Server Cloud
Costs and license You buy the product once and get support for the first year for free. In addition, you pay for the maintenance of your Server. You rent the product and receive a license, support and upgrades for free.
Installation effort for customers individual just a few clicks
Hosting You take care of your own infrastructures (or find a third-party provider). Confluence Cloud is hosted on AWS. You don’t have to worry about anything.
Access You have full access to your database and the backend of your systems. LDAP connections are available immediately. You do not have full access to your database. You cannot connect directly to a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) directory.
Data storage location You determine You can select for various data whether it should be stored in the USA, the EU or Australia.
Updates Self-determined installations Automatic installations – new features are often available earlier in the cloud (or only exclusively)
Extension through apps Unlimited selectable from the Marketplace (constantly updated list)
Customizations Fully customizable to your wishes Customizations are limited to given options
Scalability Scalability depends heavily on the capabilities of your organization. Quick scalability. When adding users above the current user limit, the price increases.
Security and GDPR compliance The sole power – and also the full responsibility for compliance with all policies, is entirely yours. Atlassian takes care of security and can help with compliance with some apps like Actonic’s GDPR (DSGVO) and Security for Confluence.
Data storage limits Managed by your organization

2 GB (free of charge)

250 GB (Standard)

Unlimited storage (Premium and Enterprise)

Maximum number of users Unlimited Up to 20,000 users per instance (Enterprise)

Reasons to migrate to Confluence Cloud

Confluence Cloud is the best option in our digital age if you want consistent access to the latest features to keep your team’s quality high. We’ve already compiled 10 reasons to migrate to the Cloud. Here comes an overview of why Confluence Cloud is worth it:

  • Fast and straightforward setup
  • Cost savings (no physical hardware, no maintenance)
  • Dynamic and uncomplicated scalability
  • 24/7 support and 99% uptime SLA of cloud support
  • Mobile application of Confluence

Migrate to the Confluence Cloud: Take advantage of our service

Confluence Cloud is especially useful for organizations that want a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) experience and to benefit from the latest updates.

Do you own Confluence Server licenses and want to retain full customizability and control of your data even after the end of support for Server 2024? If so, we would be happy to advise you on a Confluence Data Center migration without obligation.

You will find the best performance, intuitive operation and the latest functions in the Confluence Cloud. Choose progress and the maximum of your team performance. Choose to migrate to the Confluence Cloud.

Of course, such a decision needs to be made very carefully. Let us advise you without any obligation. We will be happy to support you in your migration decision.

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