Moodle Pricing: Open Source Costs and Cloud Options

For a pricing comparison of popular vendors, check out our 2020 LMS Pricing Guide.

Moodle is a learning management solution built for schools, but it’s also used by companies for training programs.


How Much is Moodle?

Moodle is an open source solution, which means organizations are free to download it. Pricing plans are also available for additional services and features, as well as cloud hosting.

Moodle for Free—While Moodle is free to download, hosting the solution comes with additional expenses separate from the product itself. These costs can quickly add up and are tough to estimate from the start.

Schools or businesses that decide to use Moodle for free can add up to 50 users. Other features that come for free include:

  • A dedicated mobile application
  • 200 Mb of storage
  • Unlimited activities
  • Personalized branding
  • Video and screen sharing
  • Immediate product upgrades

The costs of implementing and hosting the solution on your own include:

  • The hardware costs of a server (an estimated $4,000 up front cost)
  • The pay for IT employees, including their overtime hours for the project and daily hours for maintaining a server
  • Any implementation, training or other ongoing services required through a third-party consultant or other contracted specialists
Compare Moodle Pricing vs Competitors: Download our free LMS Comparison Guide with pricing info for more than 40 top vendors – Download Here

Moodle Starter – Moodle Starter is intended for a single class, and costs $80 Australian dollars (AUD) or $55 in American dollars (USD) per year. It includes inactive site retention, custom certificates, document converter and automated backups.

Moodle for School—Moodle offers three pricing options that increase the number of users and available storage in increments. These pricing options are offered through MoodleCloud, and the vendor maintains your data so you don’t have to host it.

All three premium plans have the same basic features as the free version, as well as an advanced website theme and an extra plugin pack.

  1. Mini: $190 USD ($250 AUD)/school/year with up to 100 users and 200 Mb of storage.
  2. Small: $380 USD ($500 AUD)/school/year with up to 200 users and 200Mb of storage.
  3. Medium: $760 USD ($1,000 AUD)/school/year with up to 500 users and 1000Mb of storage.

How to Reduce the Costs

Using an open source solution doesn’t always mean you’re choosing the least expensive option.

When an organization first downloads Moodle, an in-house IT team must take charge. This IT team will use materials from Moodle’s website to get the solution running. Your employees can request consultation from Moodle, but will likely be charged for any services.

Depending on the tech environment of the business, IT teams will either want to host Moodle on an existing on-premise server or a cloud server. Moodle’s pricing plan includes the costs of cloud storage, but businesses aren’t limited to cloud hosting with Moodle and can compare prices with third-party cloud hosting services as well.

The costs of these options differ. Some businesses may not have an existing server to use, so the upfront cost is much higher. Instead, Moodle’s premium accounts host the data for you in the cloud. This adds to the monthly charge, but also decreases the costs of buying and maintaining a server.

What you need to know: If your business has an IT team to take charge, Moodle open source could be the least expensive option. Your team will decide if hosting the solution on-premise is worthwhile. Otherwise, Moodle’s cloud services are convenient for those who choose premium accounts, and businesses can seek third-party cloud hosting services to compare prices as well.

Alternative solutions could be cheaper than Moodle with similar features that still satisfy your needs.

Edmodo also offers a free solution with unlimited data storage and users, and it specializes in K-12 learning and higher education.

Edsby is another LMS that focuses on schools. It costs $5/user/year, but is free for parent accounts. The base price doesn’t include all features of Edsby, and the price per user rises as more features are added.

Bottom Line

Open source solutions allow businesses to download them for free, but they also require in-house specialists and the funds to maintain company data on a server.

Moodle’s Mini, Small and Medium pricing plans are available to host client data in the cloud. Clients are also able to increase the amount of data storage and the number of users with each offering.

If you need a starting point to learn about other LMS solutions, check out The Definitive Guide to Learning Management Systems. It discusses all the features and benefits of LMS software, and has a buyer’s guide for identifying the right fit for your school.

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