[Part I] How to Understand and Improve Your Moodle LMS Performance

How to improve Moodle LMS performance

[Part I] How to Understand and Improve Your Moodle LMS Performance

Moodle is undoubtedly the best open-source learning platform, with 248, 250, 478 users (and counting) in 251 countries around the world. And 196, 000+ sites use Moodle for their online learning and development. Those numbers for an open-source technology are overwhelmingly incredible!

Your Moodle LMS’s performance will be mainly a point of concern as you grow your user-base. There are several things that play a key role in your Moodle Learning Management System’s (simply Moodle) performance.

In this blog, we would like to address the common Moodle performance issues, software and hardware stuff, and above all, it means Moodle performance to you in the first place.

What is (Your) Moodle Performance?

Well, here we’re not getting into the technical definition of a system’s performance. But let me put the concept in simple layman terms. Your Moodle LMS consists of both hardware and software, doesn’t it? Apart from that, there will be your network (or bandwidth) and the user requests.

How your Moodle – combining your Moodle LMS & network – responses to users’ requests in a scenario or setting defines its performance. To put it more specifically, you examine the following aspects of your learning system:

  • The latency (or, in our words, the response time of the system to the user’s request)
  • Is the network bandwidth play a role?
  • The effect of software and hardware (this is a part of your server) on Moodle performance
  • The concurrent user load
  • The use of different Operating System (this is a part of your server)

And so on.

Take a look at the Moodle platform architecture image given here below. It gives a clear picture of what we’re going to explain the later paragraphs.

Moodle platform architecture

Now let’s look at the one by one and see how they affect your Moodle performance and how you can effectively improve the Moodle performance.

The Responsiveness of Moodle System

“Hey, my Moodle is very slow?” is the question either you or your users shouted, desperately punching your (or their) keyboard. That slowness or fastness of your Moodle is called the responsiveness.

The responsiveness of your Moodle site results into the User Experience (UX), good or bad one. It takes place when a user sends a request through HTTP/HTTPS to the system.

In the context of Moodle, how quickly the system responds to a client’s (or clients’) request (s). That is, the responsiveness here is directly proportional to the performance of your Moodle.

If you closely look at the issue, the responsiveness of your Moodle is indirectly linked to many other aspects of Moodle performance. Hence, we can’t fix it directly. We have to figure out other things to address it.

Therefore, this is what we conclude: if your system’s response is slow means your Moodle’s performance is low. That simple it is!

Then what is the way out? How to improve it? You have to go to the roots of the system (software, hardware, network, etc.) to improve the performance of Moodle so that you may effectively improve the system’s response.

Other than that, there is no way out. Now let’s shed some light on the roots of the Moodle system to address the issue.

Network Bandwidth & Allied Issues

Networking issues play their fair in slowing the Moodle performance. Before we know what contributes to performance of Moodle, let’s understand network bandwidth in relation to Moodle performance.

Firstly, if your network bandwidth is in low range but you have the latest software and hardware, it will be of little use. Or the old networking with the latest system will not improve the responsiveness and the speed of the system.

Secondly, the network issues such as DNS, networking files, firewalls, etc. will lower the performance of your Moodle.  When your network throws the DNS errors, you won’t find the Moodle site page at all.  And finally, the firewalls and security tools have to be in sync with the software and the hardware to run the system smoothly.

You can man the issues when the number of learners is a small group. What if the number of courses and the learners is in tens of hundreds? The System sucks. That simple!

Therefore, for optimum performance of your Moodle, you have to use the correct network bandwidth. And see that your security tools are updated time to time and are smoothly running.

Moodle Performance from the Software Side

Now we have to root-level of the Moodle system, the software. Here we are going to discuss a lot of things which directly impact the performance of Moodle. Let’s look at the list here below for our further discussion:

  • Moodle
  • Scripting Language
  • Database
  • Webserver
  • Server OS

Let’s go discussing with one by one software. [To be continued in part II…]

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