Third: Any PHP programmer could help me in developing Moodle for the elearning courses I intend to do?
Moodle is reasonably easy to install and configure, so if you have some experience in setting up web applications (or are prepared to gain the knowledge) you won't need a specialist. However, you might *want* to have the security of specialist support. There are a number of options of which Moodle Partners are one.
I would want to be very clear what you mean by 250 concurrent users - that's 250 people all logged in doing work on Moodle at (almost) exactly the same time. That's actually quite a lot and might indicate a medium sized server for your exclusive use.
You definitely don't need a PHP programmer. Moodle is designed so that people skilled in the subject they are teaching (not Moodle) can develop courses.
>However, the monthly administration fee they are asking is quite expensive in my opinion.
It is important to not compare Moodle hosting with standard web hosting. Moodle is a "Web Application", and not just a website, with a significant real-time software component. The comparison is better made with companies that offer "SAAS" - software as a service.
The support issues are also different. With Moodle ( at least on our servers running over 180 moodle instances ) we experience more activity out of business hours, requiring implementation on HA ( high availability ) cluster platforms ( many servers in a redundant configuration ) , and the provisioning of support staff for after hours callouts should they be required. ( Luckily we have few such calls. )
The support also requires staff with an understanding of the application as well as the technical platform.
That said, the market price for Moodle hosting worldwide is value for money. Thanks to Martin D, LMS technology worldwide has been put in the reach of the masses. Else we'd all be paying ~$60k annual licence fees to BB and others.
>Someone said to me that a hosting with 1GB will be enough for my requirements. Is that all right?
Your requirements will determine what is right, and without knowing what they are, one cannot make comment.
To scope your requirements, you need to identify a number of parameters, including, but not limited to:
# students overall
Type of materials ( eg. are there large multi-media files? etc )
amount of stored data
frequency of delivery ( traffic use )
anticipated concurrent users
peak use ( at a particular time of day, such as 9am )
and last but not least, service level required
In your list of parameters you don't mention the number of modules/plugins installed. We're expecting to install some nonstandard plugins: Questionnaire, Feedback, QuizPort, OUwiki, the Course Content bloc and maybe two or three more. Would they have a significant effect on cost, speed and/or the stability of the site? We're thinking of not very expensive hosting around $20 a month. It'll be an experimental site, for teachers wanting to collaborate to share and develop courses so not many users or high traffic, at least not at first. We know about avoiding large multi-media files but we're not sure we're aware of other things that can affect cost/performance. Are we being unrealistic?
You don't want to pay a monthly support fee but you want monthly support......
The amount of disk space you need depends (mostly) on how much material (files!) you intend to upload into Moodle. I don't know that. Hopefully, you have some sort of idea.
Don't forget backups too. Is your (cheap) host going to back it all up for you every night?
If you have the ressources, you don't need anybody. If not, you need a "hoster". As others have pointed out "any web hosting" is not a good idea. On the other hand, "only oriented to host Moodle" is also not a must.
> If I am planning to have 250 concurrent users what hosting requirement and services should I look up in my search for hosting services?
Unfortunately the capacity of the server and network connection is determined by the _peak_ load. It may idle for 99% of time, the 1% dictates the size. Type "concurrent users" in the search box on top left. You can later limit the search to this forum.
> Any PHP programmer could help me in developing Moodle for the elearning courses I intend to do?
Moodle can do hell of a lot without changing any code. In that case for course development you need teachers.
Read the docs first http://docs.moodle.org/