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Functional differences in Confluence Cloud vs. Server

Administration in Confluence Cloud varies from administration in Confluence Server. The features listed below either function differently or are not applicable in Confluence Cloud.

Server functionality


System Administrator permissions

The closest equivalent to a system administrator is an Atlassian Cloud site admin, who has all the rights of a server system admin plus extra user management and site admin rights, such as managing billing details.

For more information on Atlassian Cloud site administration, see What are managed accounts? For more information on administration and how to manage roles or groups in Atlassian Cloud, see Create and update groups.

Server base URL

Atlassian provides cloud subscribers with a secure, authenticated domain name. Your cloud site is accessible at example.atlassian.net, where example is a unique word that you specify when signing up for Atlassian Cloud. 

Choose wisely, because your Atlassian Cloud domain name can't be changed after your cloud site is created. For more information or to vote on the status of this feature, view updates on or follow CLOUD-6999

External user management

You can't link Atlassian Cloud products to another cloud or server site for user management. Instead, integrate your existing G Suite user directory with your Atlassian Cloud site, which makes domain and user management more flexible and manageable.

For more information, refer to Connect to G Suite. Atlassian Access allows for single sign-on (SSO) and can help you manage authentication and security policies across your Atlassian Cloud users. For more details on Atlassian Access, refer to the Atlassian Access for Cloud FAQs

Content indexing

General access to content indexing is disabled by default, and can only be done by the System Administrator. To enable content indexing, contact Atlassian Cloud Support.

Daily backup administration

Backups on your Atlassian Cloud site are managed globally. See our storage FAQs for more information.

Editing improvements

All new pages are now created using the new editor which has loads of great improvements. We also we redesigned other features to:

  • Support more use cases

  • Solve deeper problems

  • Make them easier to master

Learn more about Create and edit content.


Some apps are only supported in self-hosted instances of Jira products and Confluence; however, Atlassian Cloud contains a number of popular apps (and the list just keeps on growing). See Integrate apps for the list of supported apps.

The Companion app that is available in Server will be removed from Confluence Cloud at the end of March 2022.

You won’t be able to edit files using the app after that date.

Mail servers (POP/IMAP/SMTP)

Atlassian Cloud comes with an internal SMTP server configured to send notifications. The internal SMTP server is not configurable, but you can configure Jira Cloud to send emails on behalf of your domain.

For more information on how to use a custom 'Project Email Address' with your domain, refer to Enable Jira Cloud to send emails on behalf of your domain.

Mail accounts

The Mail to Page functionality is disabled in Atlassian Cloud.

User macros 

User macros allow HTML and JavaScript to run in Confluence Cloud, which can affect performance. To see what custom macros can be added to Confluence Cloud, check out the Atlassian Marketplace. Note: To install any of the Confluence Cloud macro apps, you must be the administrator for the Atlassian Cloud site.

Attachment storage

Attachments are enabled by default, maximum size set to 100MB.

Look and feel

  • Layouts

  • Custom CSS

On Atlassian Cloud, Confluence uses a custom theme that can't be modified or updated using custom HTML or CSS. For more information on custom themes in Confluence Cloud, refer to Install a theme.

Confluence Cloud Developer community: You can also create your own theme for Confluence Cloud. Check out the Theme page in our Confluence Cloud Developer site.

Backup and restore

Confluence exports can be created manually from the Backup Manager. For more details or if you have any questions, contact Atlassian Cloud support.

Importing pages from disk

Importing a Text File requires access to the Confluence server, which is not possible for Cloud customers.


The XML-RPC and SOAP APIs have been deprecated since Confluence 5.5, and may not work as expected. Confluence has a new REST API that is progressively replacing our existing APIs. We recommend plugin developers use the new REST APIs where possible. Note that for Confluence Cloud, API tokens do not support the XML-RPC and SOAP APIs.

Spam prevention / CAPTCHA

By default, Captcha is disabled. When enabled, the default is that only anonymous users will have to perform the Captcha test when creating comments or editing pages. You can also choose to enforce Captcha for all users or members of particular groups. You can raise a support request to have Captcha turned on in your instance if you have allowed anonymous users to comment or create content in Confluence.

Hide the People directory

See CONFCLOUD-7837 to vote for or check the status of this feature request.

PDF export language support

Confluence Cloud only supports one font at a time. Installing a new font will replace the default (or current) font. For more information on installing a font to support another language, refer to Create a PDF in another language.

Custom database configuration

Changes like this can adversely affect the performance of Confluence Cloud.

Linking to anchors in app macros

In Confluence Server, you can link to an anchor macro that's embedded within a macro provided by an add-on. This isn't possible in Confluence Cloud. Any links to anchors within macros will take the user to the relevant page rather than the specific location of the anchor macro.

Copy and delete page hierarchies

In Confluence Server you can copy a page and all its child pages, and also delete a page and all its child pages.  This option is not available in Confluence Cloud. Pages can only be copied and deleted individually. 

Read-only mode 

In Confluence Data Center you can make your entire site read-only, while you perform maintenance or prepare to consolidate sites or move to another server. Users can read pages, but can't create, edit, or comment. Most administrative functions are still available. 

Read-only mode is only available in Confluence Data Center.

Upcoming and deprecated features

When improvements are made, you replace things and get rid of others. Many familiar features are available in the new editor, some are being worked on, and others won't be available. See Confluence cloud editor roadmap for more information on planned and deprecated features.

The Companion app will be removed from Confluence Cloud at the end of March 2022. You won’t be able to edit files using the app after that date.


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