Talk:Finding and Selecting A Web Host

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Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 2.0. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version is available here: Finding and Selecting A Web Host.

NOTE: This page has been re-arranged into chronological order.

All text was preserved.  Please add new comments at the bottom of the relevant section (or make a new section at the bottom of the page).
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Using the + tab will add comments at the second
level. I have added an initial level.  We can then add an additional
second levek for additional comment once things are rather more 
stable..... 

Initial Comment on Construction

Marc Grober 18:28, 3 November 2008 (CST)

OK, AT, this is is what I see serving as a node in the structure we were talking about. There would be a link from here to a page with the web host experience matrix (from my web_hosting page)

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atw 05:31, 21 November 2008 (CST)

I have started adding to the "who are you" section. Might be duplicating your work a bit, but I see mine as less technical. Feel free to rearrange. Or we can do it later. ____

Marc Grober 19:22, 25 November 2008 (CST)

AWESOME! LOL. I like the way this is coming together. Almost any reader will find themselves in here somewhere.... Need some intrapage links and perhaps some footnotes. As you see thing that really should be moved to another page, stick a couple of carats around it and note it here....

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atw 15:32, 26 November 2008 (CST)

Maybe you should do one, and then I will do the others? Not 100% sure I am visualizing the same thing you are.

I think the outline is looking very good.

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Marc Grober 15:04, 26 November 2008 (CST)

I like the "Who are you?" approach AT, but I think that it should parallel and reference the section below on roles. So the who are you bit will include teachers, developers, etc and each one will be linked then to the sections down below that.... but there wold be a caveat that a reader might want to read about all the roles before jumping to any specific....

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Marc Grober 14:21, 28 November 2008 (CST)

While I reserve judgment on any conclusions, these do provide a basis for some reflection that I think meshes well with what you are trying to do and we might want to add this discussion under "Who are you?", pointing out that who you are will likely change over time..... http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=111202&parent=488121 http://eteachingpd.wikispaces.com/The+PD+Plan

regarding your note below... I think we will have to be online together to chat that out....

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--Helen Foster 03:26, 6 January 2009 (CST)

Changing Page title

Marc and atw, thanks for writing documentation on finding and selecting a web host - it looks great! How about changing the title to remove the word "experimental"?

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Marc Grober 12:05, 12 January 2009 (CST)

AT, I responded to Helen's comments on her talk page. What do you think about adding Moodle stages discussion per the comment below?

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--Howard Miller 04:54, 18 January 2009 (CST)

I would also change all the "This Section" links to their real names for the avoidance of confusion

--Howard Miller 04:53, 18 January 2009 (CST) I don't think terms like "Full Service" or indeed "Full Hosting" are helpful without qualification. It's exactly "buzzword bingo" like this that causes confusion.

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Brainstorming as per request

--Sharon Goodson 01:26, 18 January 2009 (CST)

This is looking great! Thanks for the invite! Here goes...


Types of Hosts

Full Service Moodle Partners

This was a bit of a stumbling block for our group when trying to decide where our Moodle should reside. Very little collected information is available regarding exactly what a Moodle Partner is, what encompasses their certification and what users should expect (and not expect) from them. Because this information can be difficult to find, users may end up selecting a MP over a non-MP simply because they believe the endorsed host must be better, when of course, it is far more complex than that.

A single resource providing collected details would be very beneficial to users and hosts (MP and non-MP) alike.

Users could make more intelligent decisions, Moodle Partners would likely reach more users, and non-Partners might become more aware of the needs and requirements of users, and possibly consider a partnership.

Some important and/or relevant points to present might be:

- What exactly does ‘full hosting’ mean?
- What process is used to vet potential MPs?
- Is there an official certification process?
- What minimum standards must be met (technology, service record, etc.) ? 
- What other factors are considered essential? 
- Are there certain levels/areas of expertise that must be present?
- Is the annual 10% contribution to Moodle voluntary or required?
- Are partners required to contribute to Moodle in other ways?
- Is the partnership reviewed/renewed on a regular basis?
- What would constitute a denial or revocation of a partnership?  
- Is there an advocacy group/resource for MP clients?

Non-Partners Hosts

For hosts promoting services related specifically to Moodle hosting and Moodle expertise, some of these same questions could be asked. While Moodle.org can not answer these questions, a consumer checklist would go a long way in helping users better define their own needs, and give them more control over contract negotiations. Again such an instrument might also raise awareness (and possibly standards) among all hosts.

Another tool that might prove beneficial is a survey of sorts recapping hosting services, similar to the matrix, but taking it a step further. This could provide users an at-a-glance, side by side comparison of hosts, and would use many of the same items on the checklist. Such a survey/recap should include Partners and Non-Partners. Host names could be linked to their website or to a client comment/review page. The survey could be could be populated several ways to create several different presentations.

Host compare mockup.jpg

1) Host clients (Moodle users) could be invited to submit data by editing a doc page or submitting to a database module (or to a form to populate the database). This would be useful in giving a client’s perspective of services, but could get complicated and messy since you have numerous users to one host.

2) Web hosts could be invited to submit in same manner. This would be useful in giving potential clients information provided directly from the host. It would be easier to maintain and presumably more accurate. This might also generate some healthy competition among hosts, improve customer service practices and encourage more accountability for host that don’t quite rise to standards in some areas.

In General:

Different Moodle user checklists and/or user/host surveys would be useful tools for everyone. Users would gain a better understanding of what is needed and required, of what they can expect, and what is expected of them. Hosts would get a better understanding of what users needs are, what is most important to different types of users, how they measure up to other hosts. These tools could include:

- A user checklist of questions specific to MP
- A checklist of 'research' items specific to MP (are they present on the forums, what they say, etc.)
- A user checklist of questions appropriate for any host
- A checklist of 'research' items appropriate for any host
- A user checklist to help define an organizations’ needs and priorities (Who are You)
- A user checklist of ‘warning signs’ (messy sites, broken links, ‘unlimited resources,’ ridiculously cheap, etc.)
- A comparison table/resource of various hosts (whether submitted by hosts or collect by users/doc writers). 
- A summary/list of needs for different categories of user (K-1, small school, business, etc.)
- A  summary of host services best suited for various users and their needs
- A listing of minimum/optimal hardware/software configurations for development/production Moodle sites.
- A comparison of general ‘personal’ web hosts ($5 for everything!) and hosts suited for Moodle productions
- (in terms of typical hardware, software, etc., might help users appreciate the cost differences)

More discussion

atw 13:37, 24 January 2009 (CST)

Hmm, well I had links on the titles but that looked horrible. So I changed it. I guess I could just repeat the title in the text somewhere.

Also, I would be happy to change "full service" to something else, but I couldn't think of anything else. Ideas??

Instead, I added an introductory paragraph to try to describe it better.


Marc Grober 15:57, 24 January 2009 (CST)

I fiddled the links again to see if I thought Howard has a good idea.... then I changed them to something approximating the page names but textual; I don't care either way really - if you don't like it this way just change them back AT....

While Howard is right about buzzwords, we also have to be able to let people use buzzwords to find what they are looking for, so I think the fact that we spend a good deal of time trying to break down buzzword syndrome in the text make the thing fine by me.

I think we should move Sharon's matrix info to the Web Host page that has my matrix....

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--Richard Enison 17:01, 24 January 2009 (CST)

Just a brief note to say

1. I have accumulated a list of links on this subject over the centuries. See http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=53087#p459052

Marc Grober 14:19, 13 February 2009 (CST)Included in article.

2. A client of mine and I have been searching for a host for a small Moodle site. The biggest problem seems to be that shared web hosts are afraid to allow the use of MySQL with strict mode off, "for security reasons". In some cases they don't allow PHP with safe mode off either. So we have given up on shared hosting and are looking for a virtual private server.

Marc Grober 14:19, 13 February 2009 (CST)Added to Google Spreadsheet, but not wiki matrix

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atw 07:12, 25 January 2009 (CST)

add this Reference this information somewhere: http://moodle.org/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=114699#p503377

Marc Grober 14:19, 13 February 2009 (CST)Ahhhhh, branding, fair use and trademark. I know I am much more aggressive than some on this topic and I am sensitive to the need to be even-handed. I think a separate page addressing this would be the most appropriate way to address this and I think I would want to see an "official" statement from Moodle HQ before as a kernel.....

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--Richard Enison 18:40, 25 January 2009 (CST)

ATW:

I don't think so. That post is not really for or against any particular host, at least not by itself. It is primarily about my question regarding the Moodle trademark. True, my question was about a particular host, but without giving the resolution from moodle.com (if there is any), it cannot be classified as either pro or con NTC. It doesn't even mention NTC by name, so referring Moodlers researching various hosts to that post could confuse them.

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atw 10:52, 3 February 2009 (CST) Richard, I don't think that was what I had in mind! There was something else that sparked something else in my mind, so the link was really just a bookmark. I will consider your comments carefully.

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--Richard Enison 06:19, 5 February 2009 (CST)

ATW:

Sorry. When you put "add this" right under my reference to an old post of mine that lists links to posts about various web hosts, I thought you meant that your link should be added to that list.

Anyway, I don't see a row in any of the tables for "allows strict mode off and safe mode off". If anyone knows of a shared hosting service (other than a Moodle Partner) that allows both, I would very much like to know about it.

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Sorry, Richard. I am not very confident of my wiki skills, and I should have been more informative! I tried to edit it, but have no idea how to get something to appear in strikeout. Regarding other point, I think you are right and we should add the mode information.

atw 14:55, 5 February 2009 (CST)

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And what a great job of reorganizing!

I moved Eric's addition in this page, based on my review of the video which also spends a good deal of time on web host selection issues (Eric, could I suggest breaking it up into smaller pieces?) as opposed to the web host page and linked to his talk page.

Also deleted the preferred language and am concerned about the representations concerning the quality of work to be expected from MPs.... this opens the piece up to discussions that I thought we didn;t want to get into here? --Marc Grober 13:26, 3 February 2009 (CST)

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I see this page as being informative and factual. I do want to be cautious of making value judgments. We want to enable value judgments, I suppose, but not add them in ourselves. I am willing to follow your lead here. --atw 15:00, 5 February 2009 (CST)

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Hosting without service terminology

Hosting w/o service is a bit misleading, but a change will require Helen's intervention so how about we stew about that a bit??

Marc Grober 16:03, 5 February 2009 (CST)

Should it be hosting without moodle service? This *is* hard to explain. --atw 08:59, 6 February 2009 (CST)
I added this: While full-service packages may include upgrades, installation of approved third-party blocks/modules/question types, database maintenance, phone or email support, and backups, no-frills hosting will assume that you are willing to manage all these aspects of running a moodle instance. The word "no-frills" is a colloquialism. Maybe closer to what we meant. I agree that "without service" should be changed, but I am still having difficulty coming up with an alternative. --atw 09:32, 6 February 2009 (CST)
Words to think about: Hosts Providing Moodle support and maintenance, Hosts Certified to provide the above, Hosts providing web access but without the above. We are trying to differentiate those companies that provide Moodle support and maintenance, those places that are certified to do so and those places that do neither but provide hosting (and may indeed provide utilities for installing and upgrading Moodle) --atw 16:57, 6 February 2009 (CST)
What about: General/General Web Hosts, Standard/Standard Web Hosts (Generic sounds somehow 'substandard'); OpenSource Hosts, LMS Hosts, Advanced Hosts (were applicable); and I guess technically any host providing Moodle support, maintenance, etc. would (or should) be a Moodle Partner. Since not all MPs are created equal, they could be defined in classes or something similar (if necessary). Any non-MP that is otherwise considered to be a known 'Moodle Host' would have to fall under OpenSource Host or something similar, since they can't really be presented as a Moodle service provider. (hope I did the tab thing right.) --Sharon Goodson 01:34, 8 February 2009 (CST)
I have deleted all "full-service" language and substituted "full Moodle management and maintenance services" or something similar. I have also removed the split for "MPs" and "non-MPS", putting all that back into a single section. Truthfully, I am not really aware of very many non-partner full management hosts, so maybe that is a distinction that should be less emphasized. I did not remove the page for "full service hosts" until we are sure this language is an improvement. atw 10:41, 16 February 2009 (CST)
Very deft editing! LOL! Marc Grober 16:19, 16 February 2009 (CST)

Response to ATW on wiki formatting

Since we are supposed to keep this page in chronological order, and this comment is not on the subject of "Hosting without service", whatever that means, I was forced to create a new subsection.

I'm not the world's expert on wiki either. All I know is what it says at the page you get to by following the "Editing help" link. It turns out there is no wiki code for strikeout; however, according to http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:HTML_in_wikitext, the HTML code is permitted. One begins the text with the tag consisting of the word strike (surrounded by angle brackets of course), and ends with the same tag except with a slash inserted before the s. The result looks like this: oops!. Click the edit link at the beginning of this subsection, if necessary, to see what I typed to get that effect. --Richard Enison 16:52, 5 February 2009 (CST)

Cool beans, (yes it is -8f) <strike>oops!</strike> looks like oops!. This offers me entirely too many editing choices. Thanks Richard. BTW This is a very interesting page to read and watch the process Best --chris collman 22:08, 5 February 2009 (CST)
Ha! I like this indenting. I did not know how to do that before either! Well, I think we should get things in chronological order within the sections, but before now we did not HAVE sections! So I believe we might be pushing the envelope a little with respect to turning a talk page into a discussion board. . . It is an adventure, yes? Maybe I will go put that up at the top. Also, I did find this and am going to memorize it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cheatsheet --atw 08:55, 6 February 2009 (CST)

Great stuff!

We've needed something like this for a long time! Martin Dougiamas 22:46, 16 February 2009 (CST)

Free Hosting Services

There are numerous questions and comments in the lounge and elsewhere concerning free hosting services. I have some experience with these and could write something. However, I don't want to start without permission. I have written in Moodle Docs before only to have what I wrote removed without comment! --Don Hinkelman 08:11, 16 June 2011 (WST)