We are currently using an accredited provider to Moodle to host our site and provide the main site administration support. I have been administering my programs on Moodle for some time and am wondering at what stage I should consider not using the external provider. I have fair knowledge of the site but is the site administration role very complex and how will I know if I will cope with taking this over? I need to make the most cost effective decision so has anyone been in this position or can you give me any advice?
Some Moodle Partners offer training programs (which can be online if you can't get to face to face ones) specifically for administrators. Perhaps it might be worth your while enrolling on one of those?
I think this would depend on the size and scope of the site that needs admining and whether you are thinking of just admining the front end or want to get your hands on the back end web server and database setup.
I run a Moodle with 4-5000 FE & HE students across a wide curriculum of subjects. I have quite modest support requests from staff but then our Moodle has been allowed to languish for several years and expectations here could be higher.
If you already feel comfortable with running a course, pure front end admin is actually quite easy and should feel familiar after you've oriented yourself but you will still need back end technical support and at least someone who can lead you if you feel out of your depth - these forums are very useful for those times.
Unless you already have the skill set, you will need someone to handle the backend stuff for you. After 2 years of doing this I still need that technical back up myself. Most of the problems we have as an institution are not with Moodle but with the supporting infrastructure.
I'd recommend starting by asking for an admin account from your host and familiarise yourself with the new menus and options it gives you.
Hope that helps, Sam.
We were on a hosted site for another open-source LMS as part of a consortium. The cost was increasing every year, we knew we had to make a change.
I setup test servers with both LMSs installed. My OS of choice is Ubuntu. The reason why we went with Moodle over the other was the ease of management, features, and support community found here.
If you are not familiar with Linux, I would not go this route. i cannot say anything about the Windows version, since I am not familiar with it.
If you are, setup a test server while you still have the hosted version, so you can see the "inner workings"
To this day I have our working Moodle server, a test server with the same version I run on the working, and another test server with the latest version of Moodle. I do not upgrade until I am comfortable with the latest version, and I know it is functioning.
If I understand you correctly its just admin, not maintenance of the code / upgrades, you are going to stay with the same host I take it?
If so, admin is not too bad as long as you stay away from some of the server settings, and in later versions of Moodle dont go installing / upgrading random plugins you have not tested before hand.
The best approach is probably to take it a step at a time, ask for access if you dont have it and try to deal with some of the issues that arise.
Another option would be to get some cheap hosting with a "one click install" of Moodle where you can experiment without making a mess of your production system!