Moodle Plugins: Evaluating your options

September 10, 2018

There are over 1,500 Moodle plugins available, but if you see one you like, should you use it? Can you be confident that the plugin will work with each new version of Moodle? If you start to use it and find a problem, who will support you?

To be accepted by Moodle a plugin goes through several automated and manual steps including test installs by very experienced people.

Here are some questions you might want to ask to evaluate a new Moodle plugin before adding it to your site.

Is it upgraded regularly?

How long has it been in existence and has it been upgraded for each new version of Moodle. One way to check is to see if it has received “Early Bird” badges that indicate it was upgraded in time with the Moodle upgrade. These have been available since Moodle 3.0:

Is it well documented?

Plugins are typically documented at via wiki pages. Good documentation will include images and examples you can copy and paste. Has the documentation been translated into the languages used by your users, and in particular your teachers?

Who created it?

Plugins created by large organisations are likely to be well supported on a continuing basis. For example The UK Open University is one of the world’s biggest distance learning organisations and has contributed many high quality Moodle plugins.

Moodle Partners like Titus Learning are an excellent source of good plugins as our whole business model is based around developing and supporting Moodle. If you like a plugin but want to extend its features you can contact us for advice on further development.

However, do not be put off using plugins from individual developers. For example, Justin Hunt has been involved with since 2004 and has contributed a wide range of high quality plugins. Developers who work for Moodle HQ are a good source of plugins, and HQ stalwart David Mudrak has contributed some excellent tools. If the plugin is from an individual developer, check if they have an account at, how long have they had it and how often they post.

Does it work on mobile devices?

Very few plugins work directly with the Moodle Mobile app. Here at Titus Learning we have more Moodle plugins adapted to work with the Moodle Mobile app than any other Moodle Partner.

Plugins should work on the browsers in mobile devices like phones and tablets. The key term is ‘responsive’, i.e. they should reformat how they appear to be usable with smaller screens.

Are there any comments from users on the plugin site?

The Moodle plugins database includes an area for users to post comments and feedback. It is reasonable for people to report bugs, the important thing is whether the maintainer responds to them and fixes them. Search the discussion forums to see what questions have been asked or comments made.

Does the code conform to the Moodle code prechecks?

This is a fairly subtle item. These prechecks cover issues such as code indentation and formatting that generally do not affect how well it works from an end user perspective. However a low issue count does suggest good attention to detail on the part of the author.

Is it free?

Perhaps a better question would be ‘how free is it’, because although Moodle plugins can be downloaded without payment, some require payment to get a useful service from them. An example of this is that all current plagiarism plugins require a paid subscription to get value from them. This is not to say you should not consider a subscription based plugin, but be aware of the payments required as part of your decision.

Moodle partners often create plugins for specific clients that are not available from the plugins database. For example Titus Learning have a suite of Moodle plugins including a wall activity that allows students to post images and links to videos. You can see a presentation on these plugins here

Is it widely used?

The Moodle plugins database includes a statistics link for each plugin. This shows the number of registered sites using the plugin. This is generally an underestimate as only around 10% of Moodle sites register, but a larger number does suggest it is widely used.

Automated tests

The presence of Automated tests suggests that the developers are thorough. Find the source code (typically on Github), check that there are files in both the tests folder and the Behat folder under that. You don’t need to understand the testing code, though behat code is similar to ordinary English so it should get an idea of what is being tested.

What testing should you do?

Do not install a new plugin directly on your live site without testing. You can never be completely sure how it will interact with your other plugins. For example an otherwise excellent plugin may not work correctly if you have a customised theme, so my final advice is test, test and test again.

Useful links:

Incubating – List of Moodle plugins which still require improvement to be stable/safe to install:

Moodle’s own plugin review criteria:

To learn more about our work as a Moodle Partner, or to find out how we could help your school or organisation use and develop plugins to extend the functionality of your Moodle platform, book a short online demo with one of our team.

Read more:

Empower your
learners & improve

We specialise in providing innovative eLearning services for workplace learning, education providers and training companies around the world.

Shopping Basket

3 Powerful Lessons From How Google Approaches L&D

Grab a copy of our free ebook

Phuong Nguyen Hong

Digital Marketing Executive

Super talented, unflappable and very funny, Phuong supports the whole marketing team in her role as Digital Marketing Executive. Phuong holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and recently completed a master’s degree in Management and Marketing. Originally from Hanoi in Vietnam, Phuong is now based in the UK and climatising brilliantly to our weather and food.

Phuong owns a food review Instagram page as travelling and food are her passion. She also has a cute little french bulldog.

Ellie Sharkey

Head of Marketing

Ellie was the first woman to join Titus and has paved the way for many more since then. After studying for a degree in Fashion and Marketing, Ellie was lucky to find herself at fashion weeks and photoshoots.

Now she’s switched from talk of the front row to front end design and has brought loads of transferable knowledge to Titus. Ellie has also found a real passion for tech, especially in the learning sector, helping clients create positive change for their organisations.

Callum Barrett

Senior Brand Executive

As one of the youngest people at Titus but at the same time one of the oldest serving members of the team, Callum has graced Titus with his broad smile and positive attitude for over 5 years now. As a key member of the marketing team, Callum works across all areas, both on and offline, to ensure that all Titus brands and communication are on point.

After missing out on the opportunity to go to University the first time around, management encouraged him to enrol in our course alongside his work. He is now studying to achieve his Level 6 Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing.

Dec Connolly

Acquisition Marketing Manager

Always bringing innovation and new ideas, Dec studied a degree in Journalism but found his passion in digital marketing. Dec has also worked in marketing for one of the countries biggest retailers and within the property sector.

Outside work, Dec Co-founded a news publication where he collaborated with global brands like Uber, Amazon, BooHoo and countless SMEs.