Boosting Moodle Performance – Tips to Speed up Your Moodle Install

PHP & PHP Apps March 21, 2013 1 Comments
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Moodle, an acronym for Modular Object -Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is an opensource platform which offers educators to create interactive, collaborative content and online courses vis-à-vis Learning Management System (LMS) or Virtual Learning Environment(VLE).

Boost Moodle Performance

 

Deploying a Moodle website can be a very profitable prospect for entrepreneurs. They can engage qualified instructors as well as students on their website in a social constructive approach to education which emphasizes that not only teachers but students too can contribute to the educational experience. Moodle owners can get the most out its Modular architecture and employ plethora of functional modules or extensions on their websites to make their educational interface more alluring, interesting and engaging.

However, as the size of your Moodle increases so as its visitors from every alcove, you might discover a decrease in your website’s load time and performance. Having varied extensions installed on your Moodle website, or being on a curtailed Moodle Hosting plan, can also cause your Moodle website to give the users a hard time. As you know that nothing spoils the reputation of a website better, than its low speed and functionality, so what can YOU do to replenish the performance of your Moodle website. Read on below as we tell you, some tips and tricks to optimize your Moodle website and boost its performance.

The Basics

Before you undertake and further optimization techniques, it is important that you should first consider some of the basic things that may be the only cause of your website to run slow.

Don’t doodle with your Moodle Hosting:  You should be able to decipher whether the existing hosting plan that you are on, suits your website. If it’s a shared hosting that you are on, clearly that can be the root cause for your website to run slow, plus it’s more vulnerable to security threats as well. Try investing in a Moodle hosting plan that lets your website acquire adequate resources and is secure to. Hint: Moodle Cloud hosting, even better; Managed Moodle Cloud hosting.

Moodle Cloud Hosting

Baseline Monitoring: If you are using in-house servers try monitoring the components of the systems that are the baseline of running Moodle. If it’s a Linux operating system your server holds try LBS or use performance monitor for windows operating system. Once you get to gather the quantitative data about how your systems are performing, you can improve the performance of your Moodle website by making adjustments in system components such as RAM, Caching, and Disk Space etc.

Operating System: Moodle can run on most of the operating systems such as Windows, Linux, Mac OS and Unix. However, for best performance, experts recommend Linux to be the core Operating system on the servers that run your Moodle website. You need to address your hosting provider if their systems are providing the recommended configuration to Moodle. If they are not, its time you change your hosting. However, servers than run high number of processors, use a highly tuned OS such as Solaris. So if this is the operational OS of your hosting provider then too you have nothing to worry about.

Additional Performance Monitoring Tweaks For Pcs: if you have Firefox installed, try integrating the firebug and then YSlow extension into it. These advance tools will tell you the time it takes to load each page of your Moodle Website. Secondly, the YSlow tools also evaluates your pages in contrast with Yahoo’s 14 rules for fast loading websites and provides you with metrics of the prevalent issues on your website.

Use PHP Accelerators To Ease CPU Load:  it is recommended for both in-house servers hosting providers to use PHP accelerators which should be in accordance with your version of PHP. The PHP accelerator will ease up the load your servers garner in processing PHP queries.

Check Memory Limit:  The newer versions of Moodle require large memory. You need to check the memory_limit in php.ini. If you are running a Moodle version that is earlier than ver1.7, reduce your memory to 16M and for versions 1.7 and above increase the memory limit to 40M.

Optimize The Performance Of Apache

If you are using a windows server which has Apache installed, we suggest you to use the Apache Lounge build version. It is reported that this build of Apache has better performance and stability metrics than the official one. However, note that with this version, you will not be able to keep up with the official patches and releases of apache.

Increase MaxClients Memory Limit

Increasing the memory limit of MaxClients directive correctly leaves 80% of the available memory for spare. Apache generally uses memory for its processes up to 10 MB but it can increase 100 MB per process. This would also let your Moodle website to render pages fast. See the code below to get a more accurate estimate.

MaxClients = Total available memory * 80% / Max memory usage of apache process

Note: don’t be tempted to increase the MaxClients value above 256 or your available RAM, this would allow your server to consume more memory and swap to disk.

Tweaking MySQL Performance

You can also tweak MySQL settings for better performance of your Moodle Website. However, be sure to make backups of your database before you attempt to change any configuration of MySQL. For added assistance the MySQL tuner tool can also be a great help to calculate the configuration for MySQL settings. Here is a complete documentation for adjusting MySQL settings on your web server.

Bonus Tools For Adjusting Performance Of Moodle

There are a lot of other techniques with which you can increase the load time of your Moodle website. Moodle owners can also acquire CDNs (Content Delivery networks) that can make their Moodle website easily accessible all over the world.

Secondly, users can also acquire secondary caching systems like Memcached which allows a quick rendering of web pages to visitors. However, keep in mind that Memcached has less security features which may increase your internet vulnerabilities.


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