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  #1  
Old 07-19-2010, 05:47 PM
KayT KayT is offline
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Web host for Moodle site


I need advice for a new web host as my contract with JustHost will expire next month.

I added Moodle to my JustHost site - installed it through Fantastico - and learned the admin and course creation part of Moodle, but I am clueless when it comes to php and databases. I've spent a lot of time on the Moodle forums and know updating Moodle is necessary for security purposes, but there can be issues associated with an update that I'm not able to handle. The folks over at Moodle.org recommend a Moodle partner, but there is a huge gap in what they offer - on the low end, affordable teacher accounts that are too restrictive for my purposes; or costly accounts for large organizations. Nothing for a sole practitioner just starting out.

I don't anticipate a huge number of users. I am a software trainer and continuing education provider for a niche group of professionals. If I have 5 trainees accessing my Moodle site per month, I will consider it a success.

Each of my courses will consist of Flash .mp4 videos, 5 to 10 minutes in length, between 6-12 MB, with associated .html and other files; simple .html pages; and a quiz. Each course will only be 2-3 hours in length, and I will allow trainees access for 30 days (for those who actually want to learn the material as opposed to going through the motions to get their CE credits).

Eventually I'd like to have at least 12 courses, but it will take probably a year - I have to build the course, request approval from the accrediting board, wait for feedback, make required changes, etc.

My budget to start is $15 per month, and if I generate enough traffic and revenue, I expect to pay more if upgrades are needed. If help with Moodle updates and databases is not included, I'd appreciate a reasonable fee for that kind of service. (I read on the Moodle forums that a Moodle partner charges a $400 minimum. There's no way I can afford that!)

So, if you are a hosting provider who has a familiarity with Moodle, and you are honest and fair with your customers - in other words, the opposite of JustHost - or you know of one, please advise.

Thank you.



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  #2  
Old 07-19-2010, 05:51 PM
GCM GCM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayT View Post
I need advice for a new web host as my contract with JustHost will expire next month.

I added Moodle to my JustHost site - installed it through Fantastico - and learned the admin and course creation part of Moodle, but I am clueless when it comes to php and databases. I've spent a lot of time on the Moodle forums and know updating Moodle is necessary for security purposes, but there can be issues associated with an update that I'm not able to handle. The folks over at Moodle.org recommend a Moodle partner, but there is a huge gap in what they offer - on the low end, affordable teacher accounts that are too restrictive for my purposes; or costly accounts for large organizations. Nothing for a sole practitioner just starting out.

I don't anticipate a huge number of users. I am a software trainer and continuing education provider for a niche group of professionals. If I have 5 trainees accessing my Moodle site per month, I will consider it a success.

Each of my courses will consist of Flash .mp4 videos, 5 to 10 minutes in length, between 6-12 MB, with associated .html and other files; simple .html pages; and a quiz. Each course will only be 2-3 hours in length, and I will allow trainees access for 30 days (for those who actually want to learn the material as opposed to going through the motions to get their CE credits).

Eventually I'd like to have at least 12 courses, but it will take probably a year - I have to build the course, request approval from the accrediting board, wait for feedback, make required changes, etc.

My budget to start is $15 per month, and if I generate enough traffic and revenue, I expect to pay more if upgrades are needed. If help with Moodle updates and databases is not included, I'd appreciate a reasonable fee for that kind of service. (I read on the Moodle forums that a Moodle partner charges a $400 minimum. There's no way I can afford that!)

So, if you are a hosting provider who has a familiarity with Moodle, and you are honest and fair with your customers - in other words, the opposite of JustHost - or you know of one, please advise.

Thank you.
Howdy KavT,

I'm not sure why they recommended a Moodle Partner, but as you said Moodle can run on any host. They just need a basic understanding of how it works. Medium sized companies will usually be more helpful then larger organizations such as JustHost. Some hosts do have experience with Moodle while as others do not, I would recommend asking their sales team and ask for a demo if they help run one. I would start with a small plan then scale up as needed.

As far a host, try to stay away from anyone offering "unlimited" disk space or bandwidth.

Best of Luck!

  #3  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:14 PM
AdeptHosts AdeptHosts is offline
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Agreed. You don't need to host with a moodle partner. You can run moodle on any host. Like GCM said above me, stay away from hosts that offer "Unlimited Disk space and Transfer", because it's impossible to offer. Your best bet would be to go with a small to medium size web host, because they would be more willing to help you with the issues in regards to moodle.

Check the offers section here on WHT. There are plenty of web hosts who can offer you exactly what you are looking for.

Good luck with your web host search, and let us know who you choose.

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  #4  
Old 07-19-2010, 06:18 PM
Sparrow-Sean Sparrow-Sean is offline
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Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Quote:
I need advice for a new web host as my contract with JustHost will expire next month.
"Unlimited Juice"

Quote:
I added Moodle to my JustHost site - installed it through Fantastico - and learned the admin and course creation part of Moodle, but I am clueless when it comes to php and databases. I've spent a lot of time on the Moodle forums and know updating Moodle is necessary for security purposes,
It's not just Moodle, mostly all other products need to be upgraded on new releases for security reasons and each has their own way of upgrading - it's just understanding how.

Databases can be a bit of a pain, however, once you understand how they work it becomes a little more easier to manage and maintain, generally you won't need to touch them.

Quote:
but there can be issues associated with an update that I'm not able to handle.
You will not know there is a problem until it happens, as long as you follow the proper procedures you should not have many issues. If you run in to an issue you can contact the webhosting provider for assistance or you could check the forums and or contact the Moodle support team to get more information on errors or problems that arise with upgrades of your moodle.

Quote:
The folks over at Moodle.org recommend a Moodle partner, but there is a huge gap in what they offer - on the low end, affordable teacher accounts that are too restrictive for my purposes; or costly accounts for large organizations. Nothing for a sole practitioner just starting out.
I cannot really speak for there partners in the industry, it's just as good as finding a Wordpress hosting provider that just primarily deals with the setup and upgrade of Wordpress software.

http://docs.moodle.org/en/Upgrade_fr...iki_upgrade%29

^ This is a base idea however to upgrade your Moodle sotware.
- Seems you can contact their support team and their community for assistance which might come in handy seeing as it's a free program.

http://moodle.org/

Quote:
I don't anticipate a huge number of users. I am a software trainer and continuing education provider for a niche group of professionals. If I have 5 trainees accessing my Moodle site per month, I will consider it a success.
Ah, in that sense you really are not requiring much at all. JustHost is offering you unlimited resources and you really do not need it - sure it looks very exciting and very enticing though you will never fulfill those alloted resources

As Axigy said above your better off finding a Medium sized hosting company and one that does not oversell there services heavily, search a service and product that fits around your needs.

Quote:
Each of my courses will consist of Flash .mp4 videos, 5 to 10 minutes in length, between 6-12 MB, with associated .html and other files; simple .html pages; and a quiz. Each course will only be 2-3 hours in length, and I will allow trainees access for 30 days (for those who actually want to learn the material as opposed to going through the motions to get their CE credits).
In such instances it will depend on the concurrent connections to the site and how many people are streaming the .mp4 videos - I assume they are streamed online rather than a download?

In any respect this can cause load with constant hits, however, as this seems to be very limited you should be fine with both flash and streams on a shared environment.

Quote:
Eventually I'd like to have at least 12 courses, but it will take probably a year - I have to build the course, request approval from the accrediting board, wait for feedback, make required changes, etc.
Alright, sounds like you have it sorted.

Quote:
My budget to start is $15 per month, and if I generate enough traffic and revenue, I expect to pay more if upgrades are needed. If help with Moodle updates and databases is not included, I'd appreciate a reasonable fee for that kind of service. (I read on the Moodle forums that a Moodle partner charges a $400 minimum. There's no way I can afford that!)
I believe you have a fair budget for what you want to achieve, I would recommend a Shared Service to start off with and upgrade your package as your site expands - no need to pay for what you do not need from the beginning otherwise it's money lost and burited for nothing.

Quote:
So, if you are a hosting provider who has a familiarity with Moodle, and you are honest and fair with your customers - in other words, the opposite of JustHost - or you know of one, please advise.
I do not know any of these webhosting providers, you could contact a few and see if they can assist you. Going with a Moodle partner is a recommendation, however, it is not neccesary.

Talking from some experience you do not need a host that entirely understands Moodle, more databases if it's regarding upgrades - though some experience would be advised.

Quote:
Thank you.
Sean

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  #5  
Old 07-19-2010, 08:20 PM
KayT KayT is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 9
Thank you all for your replies.

I have an understanding of the "unlimited" issue. I haven't needed an "active" website (visitor interaction as opposed to static "about me" html files) for over eight years and discovered the hard way that web hosting has changed to the detriment of consumers.

It's my understanding that the folks on the Moodle forums advise using a Moodle Partner because Moodle Partners contribute a portion to the Moodle cause, and because they can deal with all Moodle upgrades and issues.

Unfortunately, the Moodle Partners do not have anything available for the little folks like me.

Yes, my Flash videos will be streamed. I won't even upload a PowerPoint presentation because I don't want it downloaded. Unfortunately, in a small niche market, you have to protect your work product.

I have investigated the web host offers on this forum and it's pretty overwhelming. <snipped>


Last edited by ldcdc; 07-19-2010 at 10:00 PM.
  #6  
Old 07-19-2010, 08:28 PM
TheChemist TheChemist is offline
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They are recommending you to a Moodle Partner because a lot of web hosts will not offer support for scripts that are installed via Fantastico, Softaculous, or Installatron.

If you find a Moodle Partner host, you will get the support you need in order to understand the functionality. If you go with any web host, they will probably be doing the same thing as you. Browsing Moodle forums to understand what it does and how to support you with it.

I would ask if anyone knows of anyone that has any experience with Moogle, and have the users here point you in the right direction. You know what you need as far as disk space and bandwidth. So now you just need to be pointed to the right place. I have no idea I just thought I would tell you why they are suggesting a Moodle Partner. If the Moodle Partners don't have or can't work with you on giving you what you need then you will need to do what you are doing and search for a host here that knows how to use Moodle. And believe it or not, there are hosts here that will learn for you as they are good companies (most of them).

I can recommend you a few hosts, ones that I use. I am not sure if they can support you but I can tell you that they have great support and I have had a great experience with all of them. Sean from SpeedySparrow hosts one of my sites. He just gave you a boatload of info. EZPZHosting.co.uk hosts a reseller package of mine. DMEHosting.com (probably the last choice you should go with) and then MDDHosting.com (great customer oriented company)

Best of luck in your search!

  #7  
Old 07-19-2010, 08:33 PM
AdeptHosts AdeptHosts is offline
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Here is a post that I made in another thread here at WHT. It gives information and tips when choosing a web host. Hope this helps you a little.

Thread can be viewed at (2nd post):
http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showth...ght=AdeptHosts

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdeptHosts View Post
1. Great up Time! (I always check to see if the server speed is good/online during different times of the day. Checking server speeds during peek hours and random hours helps to ensure your website will always been available)

2. Money Back Guarantee (I like to see that money back guarantee symbol. Whether its 15, 30, or 45 days its nice to have the option to cancel your hosting plan and get some sort of refund on it.)

3. Good Support (Doesn't have to be 24/7 support, but I like to have my issues/questions answered in a reasonable time frame. I don't want to submit a ticket and 48+ hours later I have an answer to my question.)

4. Reasonably Priced Hosting Plans (I like to see plans that are actually reasonable. When you have companies offering 25MB of space for $10 a month it makes you question. Also when you have companies offering 200GB of disk space for $5.00 it makes you question as well.)

5. No Unlimited Disk Space/Transfer (This is just false advertisement. It's impossible to offer unlimited disk space and transfer plans. I don't like seeing this because it's not possible, and theres always limits in there TOS. I like the company to be upfront.)

6. Website Looks Professionally Done (I like to see a professional website. Not something that was done in a web template creator. I understand everyone has to start somewhere but I like to see a professional, and clean website design.)

7. Been in Business for a Bit (I realize hosting companies start every day. But I want to choose a company thats been in business for a little bit, so I know that there not going to just quite out of the blue the next week after I sign up.)

8. Multiple Support Options (I like to have the ability to either chat live with someone, or submit an email/ticket. It gives me multiple ways to contact the hosting provider and ask the questions.)

9. Phone Support (Phone support is a really big plus, but I don't require it.)

10. Good Reviews (Most companies if they have been in business awhile will not always have good reviews. I realize you can't please everyone. But if all you see is negative reviews about the company/owner thats a different story.)
Just look in the offers section, find a couple hosts that you like. Contact the hosts and see which you get a good vibe from. After that, follow the steps/tips listed above and you should be alright.

Good luck with your search!

  #8  
Old 07-19-2010, 11:38 PM
WHC - Travis WHC - Travis is offline
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I would say go with a known name like Host Gator, Dreamhost, etc. Don't just go by the name but there are plenty of people who can help here at WHT!

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  #9  
Old 07-20-2010, 09:14 AM
TheChemist TheChemist is offline
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In her case thename of the company means nothing. She needs a host thatwill sit down and help her with the necessary software. She can not find a host that will support her MOODLE so she is going to have to get a host that will research and help.

For abnormal support @ hostgator, just host, or any large companies she will pay a fortune!

  #10  
Old 07-20-2010, 10:59 PM
TheChemist TheChemist is offline
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Any luck? Hve you found a host yet?

  #11  
Old 07-21-2010, 05:48 AM
josephgarbett josephgarbett is offline
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Just look for a host that gives you a limit and isn't too pricey for you. Easy-peasy.

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  #12  
Old 07-21-2010, 01:54 PM
KayT KayT is offline
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@ldcdc - Thank you for editing my post. I still haven't found an edit option.

@HS-CB Matt - I'm just getting back to this, so I haven't found a host yet. I'll be making some inquiries today - after I read your blogs!

Thank you, everyone, for all of your help!

  #13  
Old 07-21-2010, 02:11 PM
mirvine mirvine is offline
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What exactly are you trying to do with moodle. Are you looking for help to install it, or do you need help to configure it.

Hosting will matter alot, but what about how much space and bandwidth do you think you need.

Also, like it was said here a lot, Dont let the word unlimited fool you. Go for something that has limits. You can even go with a cheap plan like slicehost to get your site up.

  #14  
Old 07-21-2010, 02:30 PM
bobbravo2 bobbravo2 is offline
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As others have shared, unlimited is a marketing hyperbole, there is no such thing as an unlimited hard drive.

I'd make sure you go with a smaller host that can provide you with custom support, beyond the fantastico automated script installs. You're probably going to want a host that also offers development services, and has some experience with the LCMS you've selected (Moodle).

What version of Moodle are you planning on using?

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  #15  
Old 07-21-2010, 03:40 PM
startsphere startsphere is offline
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I once did hosting from an "unlimited" place and they pretty much shut me down after I was using "potentially high bandwidth". They told me they projected my usage too high for their servers.

Just be wary, what you pay is what you get. A more expensive "unlimited" plan will probably have a higher limit than the cheaper ones

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