For the online learning world


Moodle is irrelevant (how wrong can you be?)

I love it when people write about how Moodle is declining / irrelevant / finished… lol

A couple of days ago I came across a post titled “Why Moodle is becoming irrelevant”.  I had to read that right?

Why Moodle Is Becoming Irrelevant

The author attempts to justify the title of the article by citing two keys points:

  • Moodle is ugly
  • Moodle is not user friendly

Let’s deal with the first point shall we?

Moodle IS plain when first installed, and it’s supposed to be.  It’s up the administrator, and wider organisation in many cases, to setup the look and feel, which includes the main Theme (a very similar approach to how WordPress for example uses Themes).

The author suggests “We have long progressed past the boxed look” when referring to the initial Moodle appearance.  But of course an administrator can remove all side boxes (Blocks) if they wish.  So can a Teacher at course level.  Even learners can collapse and dock Blocks usually (if the site allows it).  And of Course there is the newer standard Boost Theme, which doesn’t use Blocks.  The authors point is therefore misleading, and inaccurate.

Sadly the article gets even worse…

understand that the themes do little to bolster the appearance” – er really?  Themes control every aspect of the appearance! lol. And they dramatically change the appearance.

And then towards the close there is another misleading and/or ill informed statement:

“At the very least this [a Moodle Theme] will set you back a few thousand dollars.”

I just counted up about 150 completely FREE Themes available on the Moodle plugins directory:


Of course some organisations will be willing to invest in a customised Theme.  And yes, as a Moodle Partner we do this for clients.  But far from the authors suggestion that it will cost upwards of $2,000-$3,000 dollars (!) most themes we create for clients, would be a long way under $1,000.

Oh, hold on, I just read about the author:

“Justin Ferriman is the co-founder and CEO of LearnDash, the WordPress LMS”

Ahhhhh, now it all makes sense.  This isn’t a balanced and objective article at all.  It’s just another competitor trying to convince people to use their LMS, and not Moodle.  By the way, Moodle is free, and even the basic LearnDash system is $159, plus your actual WordPress costs and plugins.

Well, WordPress is great!  We are using it right here for ElearningWorld! lol. And for some use cases using WordPress as a type of LMS could be appropriate, for sure.  But trying to justify an LMS product by criticising the market leader, and not even using correct information, well, that’s put me off ever recommending LearnDash to people who ask us what to use for a basic LMS in WordPress.

Stuart Mealor
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Stuart Mealor

Stuart is interested in all things e-learning, with specific interests in Moodle, e-learning strategy, and business development. His experience in education over 30 years, MBA in International Business, and knowledge of e-learning systems implementation, together with graphic design background, give him a unique skill set for e-learning projects.

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