Hosting for moodle admins
Note: You are currently viewing documentation for Moodle 3.2. Up-to-date documentation for the latest stable version of Moodle is probably available here: Hosting for moodle admins.
Administering Moodle, in the limited sense, has to do with everything you can do within the moodle interface to manage your instance. This generally includes setting up the default values for modules, course settings, gradebook options, quiz options, etc. It also includes managing roles, user accounts, and language settings.
The limited Moodle administrator does not manage email or authentication (other than ensuring that the right settings are entered into the appropriate places in the moodle administration forms), does not create the database or set up cron. He or she does not patch code or add 3rd-party modules and plugins to the instance.
Many people are confused about Moodle "flexibility". Moodle can be certainly be hacked by someone knowledgeable in php (or even someone who can follow directions well). Moodle can also be extended via the installation of additional modules. However, both of these activities are outside the scope of the limited Moodle administrator.
Our definition of the the "limited Moodle administrator" role assumes gui access only. Code alteration would require additional tools and shell or ftp access. With respect to modules, while the Moodle admin can manage installed modules to the extent that the module itself provides for control from inside the moodle GUI, the limited Moodle administrator can't add modules, filters or other extensions as the role as defined here does not include the additional access necessary.
Many hosting packages provide for the limited moodle administrator, even full service hosts or Moodle Partners. One or more persons from your institution will be given administrator rights, and those individuals will be responsible for managing the moodle instance. They will not be able to install additional software and may not even have FTP access to the server. Your Moodle instance will be either the standard packages available for download here at moodle.org or include some negotiated extras, such as selected 3rd-party modules and plugins and custom themes.
You will be responsible for notifying the host if there is a problem, whether the problem is related to the moodle instance itself (such as a database problem) or if it relates to security or spam. The host is not likely, for example, to periodically check every profile for spam entries if you have decided to use email authentication on your moodle instance.
You may not find the limited Moodle admin role to be satisfactory. After all, what if your instructors want more themes? What if you have a course archive or course materials that are too large to upload through the moodle interface? What if there is a small hack that you would like to apply or a 3rd party plugin you would like to install? All of these things require the ability to login directly to your server and upload or edit files. Once you reach this point, then I would invite you to take a look at the next section as you are moving into the "advanced moodle administrator" category. Hosting_for_moodle_admins_advanced