07 October 2009

Diary of Installing Moodle

I've had a website for a few years now that I wasn't doing anything with. I have used Moodle for at least 3 years now and I've been trying to become as proficient as possible with that course management system. I can create courses and use all of the administrator functions and thought it might be time to teach myself a few things about installing it.

I made a webpage in 1999 for a college class I was taking where the directions for the assignment were as follows:

1. Make a webpage; due at the end of the semester.

That was it.

I figured out how to log on to the university server; write a little HTML; and use an FTP client.

How much could things have changed in 10 years?

This is one man's story of how someone with virtually no experience in programming or web design installed his own version of Moodle.

I'm posting directions on how I installed Moodle on a GoDaddy account because I had to try and piece together information from all over and it took me quite a few hours to get it all together. Hopefully this will help someone save some hours.

I have a GoDaddy account that is using Linux, and MySQL 5.1

I went to Moodle.org and downloaded the latest version of Moodle.

I unzipped it into a Moodle folder and opened a number of installation wikis to walk me through the process. (As a little time saver here you may want to download other Moodle Themes and put the folders in the Themes folder of your Moodle package.)

Then I logged into my hosted account and created two sub-domains: moodle.mysitename.com & moodledata.mysitename.com. I also set up a database that would be used later. (I did this by clicking manage account--> databases--> MySQL (the username is the name of your database I chose version 5.1).

I used FireFTP and FileZilla to load the Moodle folder contents into my directory in the Moodle sub-domain. I had problems getting access to my directory with this FireFTP client, but eventually I figured it out. It had to do with getting the right server info and names into the right sections. (It's not as pretty but I much prefer FileZilla and it seems much faster.)

That can take awhile, I think it took me over half an hour to load all of the files.

That's pretty much it for that, now it's a matter of getting it all going:

Go to your Moodle site: http://moodle.sitename.com and Moodle will walk you through the rest of the installation.

Make sure you keep track of your Admin User name & password, and that all of the directories are correct.  Moodle does this itself, but it's good to be aware of where things are going for later (you'll need it).

From here on out it's a lot of clicking and scrolling.  And that's pretty much it.  This whole process took me hours and hours over the last few weeks, but that was because I spent a lot of time on the Moodle forums trying to get help as well as lots of googling and customizing my version of Moodle. I've since deleted and reinstalled for no good reason other than to try it.

In my next post I'll tell you how I changed a few of the default settings in Moodle and added a cron file that is essential if you want your forum posts mailed out.