I am considering moving my domains to a new webhost and am wondering what I should look for in their LAMP configuration. Is there a short list for optimum settings like memory and file size limits, mysql 1.4.1x, PHP 4.x and so forth. I have gotten the webhosts PHPinfo page but could use some help determining where problems might arise.
One concern that I have is that I don't want to be in a situation where I have to use .htaccess files to modify settings.
The first thing to look for is MySQl 4.1.16+ which is a minimum requirement for Moodle version 1.6. However, most hosting services have not moved up to this level, so you may have to settle for a system that can only handle Moodle 1.5.
I don't know of a way to increase file upload settings (default seems to always be 2mb on hosting services) other than with a .htaccess or php.ini files copied throughout moodle folders. But it is worth asking the services if they have a more automatic way.
A colleague of mine reported that although the published features of the LAMP hosting service, bluehost.com, were exceptional, when he had 30 students online at the same time in his computer, bluehost halted his service, citing "overload of CPU resources". As with all inexpensive hosting plans, you share a single server's CPU(s) with tens of other users, and the hosting company must block any user who monopolizes the CPU resources. Therefore, it worth asking how many other users are on the server, do they have an upper limit on users, and how what conditions they stop service due to overuse of CPU resources.
Not quite accurate as far as I'm aware. MySQL 4.1.16 is the minimum for Moodle 1.6 if you want to take full advantage of the move to UTF8 but 1.6 will still run on lower versions of MySQL.
It's not as hard as it may seem at first. I have posted a link on a few occasions to a script that will do it for you via php.ini. Also, if using PHP5 you only need the one php.ini file rather than all over the place.
As Don said, it does come down to resource usage on shared hosting rather than the set up. Depending on what sort of usage you think your site will get (i.e. concurrent users, lots of people in chat etc.) you might want to think about a dedicated server.
For support with set up and understanding of Moodle a Moodle partner is the way to go if you have the money.
On the other hand, if you can handle the basics I reccommend my host, Site5. I've never had any problems (although the jury is out on upgrading to MySQL 4.1.16 at the moment), if I need help they respond quickly (e.g. giving me shell access, explaining things to me - new to this php sql side of things), very good value for money and if your site starts using too many resources, rather than close you down as some hosts do, they will transfer your site to another server and if the resource usage continues, discuss what plan is best for you. Also very good value for money.
>> requirement for Moodle version 1.6. However, most hosting
>> services have not moved up to this level, so you may have to
>> settle for a system that can only handle Moodle 1.5.
> Not quite accurate as far as I'm aware. MySQL 4.1.16 is the
> minimum for Moodle 1.6 if you want to take full advantage of the
> move to UTF8 but 1.6 will still run on lower versions of MySQL.
Not true. As the requirement has been bumped there is an increasing amount of sql in moodle that makes use of (in particular) JOIN syntax that is not supported in mysql (eg) 3.23
Now I am even more confused . . . things are moving so fast
My answer was based on this post from Martin:
I was misleading above, actually, as you don't actually NEED to migrate to Unicode, you can stay using the existing language packs and leave the content of your databases as they are. But you will then have the same problems that Moodle 1.5 has (caused by language-specific encodings), and your management of your Moodle will require a little more work.
Wait until the beta is released and we get into some decent testing in more environments.
Which seemed to imply what I answered . . . soooooooo I'm guesing things have changed since that post.
Is that a definitive answer Penny (i.e. for i.6 you WILL need MySQL 4.1.16), because I'm trying to get my ISP to upgrade but not looking too good at the moment
Thanks all for the input, I ended up going with site5 as sugested above. They have MySQL 4.1.14 and unlike my last host Aspell worked. I installed 1.6dev and all seems well except I'm getting the following error:
Notice: Only variable references should be returned by reference in /home/xxxxx/public_html/projects/lib/adodb/drivers/adodb-mysql.inc.php on line 74
I'm going to wait till the beta comes out before trying to track it down.
Welcome aboard Site5
I've got a 1.6 test install running on Site5 at the moment and don't get that error? Sadly I wouldn't have a clue what the problem is either.
Might be a long shot, but maybe try renamimg your adodb-mysql.inc.php and dropping a copy of mine in its place.
Feel free to ask on Site5 about the possibility of them upgrading to MySQL 4.1.16 too . . . the more people that ask the better chance they will get the hint
There seem to be quite a few Site5 users here. I am included there as well but due to different reason. For moodle hosting I have found Liquidweb to be a better choice as they have fewer restrictions. Site5 has restrictions on number of emails that can be sent per hour (they allow only 200-300). My site has 2400+ users currently and news forum postings may have lot of problems with Site5. Site5 also have MySQL concurrent connections limitations - around 200 max. at a time - though they are not too low. Liquidweb has none of the theses restrictions. Currently, I am in the process of moving my moodle site to a moodle partner, but am finding Liquidweb too good to leave. But I guess I have no choice due to some inevitable issues with shared hosting environment.
Some of Liquidweb servers seem to be running the latest version of cPanel which supports 4.1.14 version of MySQL. It was told to me by their support. It gives me the impression that on request they can place a customer on one of those servers. A direct communication with them may clarify this issue.
When I talked to Rackspace a few days ago, they told me they did not offer shared hosting. So, I presume you are referring to dedicated managed hosting. If you have dedicated server or VPS, it is entirely your choice which version of software you want. If you wish you can ask for MySQL 5.x.x as well!
Yes, we use dedicated hosting. I've not checked out recently whether they offered shared, but I thought they did at one time.
We're staying away from 5.x.x releases of both MySQL and PHP for now, since we don't know how those may negatively impact other applications running on our server.
Check them out!
Very good points you make and things that people looking for a host need to keep in mind based on their expected Moodle membership.
My site has only around 240 members at the moment as it is still a pilot program. I believe shared hosting at Site5 to be a very good solution for smaller Moodle installs in the 100s but for people looking at the sort of members you have and above I think they should be looking at dedicated servers.
I haven't looked at the email/concurrent user limits on Site5 dedicated servers (I'm assuming there wouldnt be any as it is "your" server?) as my site will hopefully move to internal hosting when we go official. But, I like the fact I could move to a dedicated server with Site5 and keep the excellent tech support, customer service and reliability without the hassle of moving to a new host.
Based on my pre-sales discussions with Site5, there is no provision to upgrade to VPS/dedicated options at this point of time. Please correct me if I am wrong.
On the basis of my work to search for Moodle hosting, I have this much to say about, "Selecting a webhost for Moodle":
- Exploring Moodle/Newbie: Any reliable host offering cPanel. Site5 fits here.
- You have decided to stay with Moodle and you are growing: Liquidweb.
- You are reaching saturation level with shared hosting environment: (a) moodle partner (b) host specialising in application hosting - may be expensive - like cartikahosting (c) VPS.
- You have got a huge site: dedicated hosting.
PS: Siteground may have good google ranking if you search for keywords, "Moodle hosting", but has got restrictions on the lines I have mentioned in my previous post. It may fit into the first option (Exploring Moodle/Newbie) as well.
Rather dissapointing, there is still references to dedicated servers on Site5 which is what I was basing my post on (as mentioned, I'm not anywhere near requiring one so haven't looked into it in detail).
Just posted in Site5 to ask what the deal is and seemingly they had dedicated servers in 2004 but dropped them due to manpower issues in supporting them to the standard they wished
Have suggested they have their documentation team go through with a fine tooth comb and delete all references to dedicated servers - or better yet, bring them back
Do they have moodle pre-installed, or would I have to install it myself? Is this easily done for an individual (freelance) teacher/educator of, say, 3-5 courses?
They have Fantastic so you can install Moodle with a couple of clicks (and numerous other scripts) but . . . I wouldn't recommend using Fantastico (tends to be out of date and can be a pain).
Another "but" . . . on a positive note . . . you just have to ask and they will give you shell access therefore, if starting from scratch, you can install via CVS - best way to install and for ease of future updating IMHO.
this sounds excellent. Thank you very much for your help, I will try.
After briefly installing MOODLE a couple of years ago, I have taken it on again and will be doing it in a big way. I do a lot of training for non-profits and other organizations and want to do more of it online. I have acquired about 10 domains, such as LearnToAchieveOnline.com. I want to setup separate MOODLE sites for each of the domains. I'm at godaddy.com right now and their support is lacking. I have managed to install 1.5.x into 2 1/2 directories and have gotten it configured for two of them but I cannot access them on separate domain names w/o showing the directories on the site where they are actually installed. When copying the MOODLE files from my windows desktop using FTP it takes hours to copy the directory structures and files because the FTP program times out (I've used three different FTP programs, same results).
I have checked out Site5 and am ready to jump ship but I still need to figure out if I can manage multiple MOODLE sites from one shared hosting account.
Eventually I would like to become a MOODLE partner and do my hosting through a one of these web host companies but I have a way to go before I do that.
To be honest I retracted my recommendation of Site5 in another thread.
My gut feeling is still that they are an excellent host fighting hard to get over their growing pains, but due to restrictions in their terms of service getting tighter and tighter, for a medium to large Moodle install I don't think their shared servers are the best option.
For a start up operation I think you could do a lot worse. They are bringing back VPS soon and hopefully soon after that dedicated servers. Unfortunately, I can't wait much longer and will have to move to another host for a dedicated server (as stated in the other thread, if they had dedicated servers I would definitely stay there).
They have recently brought back their Multisite plans which are excellent (basically reseller account functionality i.e. you can set up sites as you want to do so that for all intents and purposes they are unique sites rather than domain pointers) with the Multisite Dynamite plan being amazing value.
Although they are now limited in the quantity of sites you can set up this way (they used to be unlimited which is why I am still on my original plan ) you can still use domain pointers within those sites too. So, say you go with the Multisite Dynamite plan you could set up 5 sites and have multiple domain pointers within those sites. I think that may be a cost affective way of getting started for you (US$99 for a year or US$149 for two years hosting).
Just ensure you read and understand their TOS and decide if you will be able to operate within them in the short-medium term while you get established. Hopefully they will get the tech support ramped up again and start offering VPS and dedicated sooner rather than later.
Bottom line is that I still think they are an excellent host but not necessarily suitable for medium to large Moodle installs.
Good luck with your plans
Harry & Peter
Are you familiar with www.siteground.com? They promote themselves as MOODLE specialists and identify their servers as being optimized for MOODLE and LMS type systems.
They have a price of $5 per month if you pay a year in advance. I've seen a few references to them doing a search in the forums but two thirds are positive and one third of the comments are negative.
Since I am interested in doing many small sites I may start off with four at different hosting companies and decide after I build up the number of students.
Thanks again for your assistance.
I am considering a webhost for a Moodle install, and based on recommendations here, Site5 is one of the hosts I am considering.
To their credit, they post very clearly their resource limitations (unlike Bluehost, which I use for a few personal sites but am not sure of for Moodle because of such limitations).
However, I have a hard time visualizing/translating these limitations into Moodle limitations (limitations on how many students, students to a class, etc).
Can someone with more experience help me parse this text and see what it means in terms of Moodle usage?
Processes invoked by the web server, cron, shell or any other method should not exceed the following limitations:
- Consume more than 16 MBs of RAM.
- Utilize in excess of 15 seconds of CPU time.
- Number of open files should not exceed 64.
- Number of simultaneous processes should not exceed 5.
- Core dump files should not be created by scripts.
- Execute a script/binary that forks in a way to create a fork bomb.
- Send outbound mail to more than 25 recipients at any given time.
- All users are restricted to 15 concurrent MySQL connections.
- Each database is restricted to 1,000 MBs of disk space.
- Database queries should not exceed 2,000 per hour.
- Database changes (insert/update/delete) should not exceed 500 queries per hour.
- Database servers should not be used as a hosted solution. Database access should only be used for the web site hosted by Site5.
General misc. restrictions:
- The use/creation of more than 30,000 files within any given account.
- Single directories that contain more than 2,500 files.
- Simultaneous Apache connections in excess of 50.
- Files in excess of 10 MBs should not be sent via email.
- Use the find command recursively on directories more than 2 levels deep.
- All cron jobs must be 'niced' to 15 or greater.
- All cron jobs should not execute more than once every 15 minutes.
- Our servers should not be used as an SSH bounce point to other servers/networks.
The installation and/or execution of a script and/or binary that runs in the background or listens on a given port are strictly prohibited. If you require a bot, service, daemon or similar to run you should consider a dedicated server.
I am actually just moving from Site5 due to some of those restrictions. My site is not that busy (less than 500 "students" and at most maybe 20 or 30 visits a week) but since Site5 tightened its TOS and in particular, brought in the restrictions on cron, every cron backup has failed. Another reason I am moving is that we are hopefully about to promote the site and therefore, want a more secure server (I'm moving to a dedicated server).
That said, all in all I was very happy with Site5 for about two and a half years and if they offered dedicated I'd have stuck with them.
Bottom line IMHO is that for a small site you could do a lot worse but for medium-large I doubt Site5 would work for you (don't think any shared host would).
- Number of open files should not exceed 64.
Hello all, I am in the process of setting up a website using yahoo as my web host. After installing moodle on the site, it turns out that the php.ini script is not recognized in yahoo. Can anyone tell me if there is a way around that problem? Yahoo technical support recommended that I try PHP-Nuke. Would PHP-Nuke power moodle? If so, how would I do this? Do I have other options?Thanks!
I just got an account with siteground.com this evening, it took about 15 minutes to set everything up with Fantastico and they installed version 1.7 of Moodle. Not to sure how happy I am about that yet.
Already it is better than godaddy and everyone else that does not have an easy way to install MOODLE.
I'll report back to this forum as I gain experience here.
I love cpanel.
I have been with site ground for nearly 2 years and have been pleased with the service.
The only issue I had was with the upgrade to 1.7 from 1.62 as for whatever reason I could not run a unicode script remotely which caused some issues. Once I had got to the bottom of this with the help of Synergy Learning Siteground were very helpful. I particularly like the 24/7 service. Where else would you get a service like this for less than 100$ a year.
I originally used them to see how I got on with Moodle. Whilst they are a hosting solution they are not a moodle technical support area and following this other than the excellent body of yourselves I now have taken out a support contract with Synergy (Moodle Partner) - which so far seems well worth it as I havent got the time to get too bogged down with the more technical aspects.
The bottom line with Moodle as far as I am concerned is its use and sometimes due to the nature of the forums this could put of the less technically minded (I dont actually put myself in this group!)so the combination of easy install and support seems a mix we should encourage.
Glad to see you are set up and good to go. Not sure why I decided against siteground way back when I was looking for a host originally, probably due to mixed reviews here and elsewhere.
Would be good to see if they give you shell access. IMHO Fantastico is only good for a quick install of a script to see if it meets your needs then uninstall and install by hand (cvs or svn preferably). The problem with Fantastico as I see it is they don't always upgrade the scripts they install as fast as they should therefore, you may miss out on security updates. Just something to think about
Has anyone tried using Yahoo server to host Moodle? The PHP version of Yahoo is 4.3.11 and MySQL server v.4.1.14. What Moodle version will this work with?
Also, as of the meantime, we're not looking to install any language packs.
Please advise as what to do.
Thanks and hope to get a reply soon!