Moodle is an open-source learning management system that is loved by many universities and schools. Like many others, I myself have used Moodle when I was getting my degree. And I like it - it's really in a league of its own when it comes to powerful and free open source eLearning management tools.
Finding the right Moodle hosting service to make your Moodle site run smoothly is no easy feat - because it's such a powerful tool, it can create a hefty demand on the servers it's hosted on.
But don't worry, I'm here to help - over the past months I've tested many hosting providers for this blog, including many that are Moodle compatible. Here are 5 top Moodle hosting options on the market in no particular order:
- A2 Hosting (Scalable Moodle packages)
- Hostinger (Affordable Moodle hosting)
- Bluehost (Powerful hosting to support large numbers of Moodle students)
- SiteGround (Moodle hosting with amazing customer support)
- MoodleCloud (Tailor-made FREE Moodle hosting)
1. A2 Hosting
Moodle hosting from: $3.92/month
Recommended for: those looking for scalable Moodle hosting packages.
If you only need one eLearning site (say if you run a single small academic institution) then the $3.92/month starter plan will be perfectly suitable - it provides hosting for a single Moodle site.
However, if you run a large corporate training business then you may wish to upgrade to the $4.90 or $9.31/month plan, which provides support for an unlimited number of websites.
Whichever option you choose, you'll benefit from a free SSL certificate which will encrypt the connection of instructors and students alike, keeping your eLearning platform secure.
And all plans include unlimited storage and bandwidth. That's super important for Moodle sites if you want the freedom to share multimedia content with your students.
What's more, all that storage is SSD based. Solid state storage is faster than traditional hard drives so your Moodle pages will load quickly. When I tested my A2 hosted Moodle site response times, I found speeds as low as 83ms.
- Only pay for resources you need
- Reliable hosting with a 99.9% uptime commitment
- Unlimited SSD storage and bandwidth
- Free SSL certificate
- Anytime money-back guarantee
- Domain registration not included
Moodle hosting from: $1.45/month
Recommended for: those looking for a reliable and affordable Moodle hosting solution.
Hostinger proves high-quality Moodle hosting doesn't have to cost a fortune. Moodle hosting is available on all Hostinger's shared hosting packages, and Hostinger provides a guide to help you get it set up.
Fees begin at an absurdly low $1.45/month, but storage with that plan is limited to 10GB and bandwidth to 100GB.
However, as Moodle is liable to hoover up bandwidth faster than you can blink, I recommend choosing the $2.95/month premium shared hosting package for unlimited storage and bandwidth Moodle hosting.
The premium plan also includes free weekly backups. Moodle lets you track students' progress in real time, so backups are important to safeguard class records.
The one downside of the premium plan is a lack of SSL certificate. Security won't necessarily be a priority for most learning courses. However, if your institution offers accredited qualifications, it may be worth upgrading to the top-of-the-line premium package for $3.95/month which does include one.
Also, if customer service is important to you, do note that Hostinger doesn't provide a phone-in helpline. Support is available 24/7 by live chat though. In my experience, live chat is often a better vehicle to use to tackle hosting troubles anyway.
- Super low prices
- Reliable hosting with nearly 100% uptime
- Moodle can be installed on all packages
- 24/7 live chat support
- Starter plan's storage and bandwidth limited for Moodle
- SSL only included with the top-end package
Moodle hosting from: $2.95/month
Recommended for: those looking for support of a data-dense Moodle website.
While Bluehost plans aren't tailor-made for Moodle compatibility, they all include MOJO marketplace installer software which lets you add Moodle to your site in a few clicks.
Plans start at just $2.95/month (for the first term, then $7.99) for 50GB of SSD storage which will be plenty for most eLearning sites.
And Bandwidth is unlimited with all plans which, again, is excellent if you expect large numbers of students to download data from your Moodle website. Bluehost also throws in free SSL certificates with every shared hosting plan.
Of course, every Moodle site has different needs and requirements - if you sign up with Bluehost and find the service doesn't meet your expectations, don't panic! All shared plans come with a no questions asked 30-day money back guarantee.
The only flaw worth mentioning with regard to Bluehost's Moodle capabilities is that only 200MB of e-mail storage is included with the base plan. This may cause issues if your students are constantly exchanging e-mails with instructors. Well - all the more reason to use Moodle's internal messaging system.
- Easy Moodle installation
- SSD storage
- Uptime guarantee of 99.9%
- Includes FREE domain & SSL certificate
- 24/7 Live Support
- Prices increase after the first term
- Limited e-mail storage
Moodle hosting from: $3.95/month
Recommended for: those looking for amazing customer support in addition to Moodle hosting.
Moodle sites are often run by multiple educators. If you want a large team of administrators to manage yours, it's unlikely they will all be equally technically literate. That means having helpful web hosting support for your Moodle site is extremely important.
And that's precisely what SiteGround provides - support agents are available 24/7 by live chat, phone, email, and ticket support lines. But even better, SiteGround takes it up a notch with a support shift overstaffing policy which means you won't experience any wait-time when you call.
But technical support is by no means SiteGround's only selling point - it makes Moodle super simple to install thanks to the inclusion of Softaculous installation software with all hosting plans. That means that it only takes 1-Click to add Moodle to your site.
What's more, all plans include FREE daily backups and SSL certificates so you'll never have to worry about losing students progress records or having your web pages not secure, with all the sensitive data visible to the hackers.
Prices begin at $3.95/month for 10GB of SSD storage and unlimited bandwidth and scale up to $11.95/month for 30GB of storage. My one reservation about recommending SiteGround as a Moodle ISP is that there is no unlimited storage shared hosting plan. Of course, 30GB is will be enough for most eLearning courses - and media, such as videos, could always be uploaded to YouTube.
- 1-Click Moodle installation
- SSL certificates and daily back-ups included with all plans
- 24/7 Phone and live chat support with no wait-time guarantee
- Unmetered traffic
- 30-day money-back guarantee
- Storage restricted with all plans
Moodle hosting from: free!
Recommended for: those looking for free Moodle hosting produced by Moodle creators themselves.
When it comes to Moodle hosting, why not go straight to the source? MoodleCloud is a Moodle hosting service tailor-made for Moodle sites, created and run by the very same people who operate Moodle itself.
If you pick MoodleCloud, that means you know your Moodle site (or as the developers call it, your MoodleCloud site) will always be kept up to date with the latest Moodle security updates.
MoodleCloud sites aren't assigned a unique domain. Instead, they are subdomains of the main MoodleCloud site, though you can pick a personalized site name.
MoodleCloud isn't just a unique Moodle ISP because of its Moodle focused design and features - it also stands out for its price - MoodleCloud offers completely free Moodle hosting which can support up to 50 users.
The most significant restriction on free MoodleCloud sites is that inactive free sites are removed after 60 days. They don't include automated backups either. Essentially, if the data you plan to store on your MoodleCloud site is vital to your institution or business, don't entrust it to the free plan.
Paid MoodleClould plans begin at $56/year and are not subject to the same inactive site retention rules. Paid plans scale in price to accommodate different numbers of users and maximum file upload sizes, topping out at 1GB and 500 users respectively - perfect for even the largest college courses.
- Moodle hosting service designed by the same people that brought you Moodle
- Scalable to fit the number students on your course
- Constantly up to date with the latest Moodle features
- Free plans available
- No unique domains
- Inactive free plans deleted
Which is the Right Moodle Hosting Choice For Me?
That all depends on your unique Moodle hosting needs - the hosts I picked for this list all offer different unique features to enhance your Moodle site.
- A2 Hosting offers a scalable set of packages designed just for Moodle.
- Hostinger's Moodle compatible plans come with tons of extra features.
- SiteGround is the choice if you want top-notch customer support for your Moodle site.
- Bluehost gives your Moodle site the capacity to handle large numbers of students.
- MoodleCloud offers free Moodle hosting and is designed by the creators of Moodle.
Remember, Moodle is used to coordinate digital learning for groups sizes that vary from dozens of high-school students up to hundreds of business professionals. The best host for your Moodle hosting will depend significantly on how many learners you intend to give access to your Moodle site.
Think I missed an awesome Moodle host? Let me know by commenting below!
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