MATRIX vs. Moodle
This is a detailed comparison between MATRIX and Moodle, taking into consideration the features, functionality, and cost of each platform.
MATRIX is a learning management system (LMS) for use by small and medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporations. MATRIX helps companies manage all training activities, such as creating and delivering training content, evaluating employee performance, training clients and partners, and selling online courses. MATRIX is a product of CYPHER LEARNING, a company that specializes in providing learning platforms for organizations around the world.
Moodle is an open source LMS that allows users to download the source code for free or host it on their own servers. Even though Moodle has been adopted widely throughout the world, the system no longer represents a viable solution for modern training activities. Self-hosted LMSs cannot keep up with the advancements in e-learning technology, and more companies are starting to move towards cloud-hosted solutions.
MATRIX Business portal
Companies are no longer adopting Moodle
Moodle adoption peaked in 2010 with 41% of new LMS implementations, but dropped to only 2% in 2016. The data shows that in the first quarter of 2017 the adoption rate was 0%.
The adoption rate of Moodle in other regions of the world has started to decrease significantly, from 60% new implementations in 2015 to 49% in 2016, and only 3% in the first quarter of 2017.
Some of the reasons why companies are moving away from Moodle
Expensive self-hosted option: The significant decrease in Moodle’s popularity can be attributed mainly to the large costs related to self-hosting and the amount of resources needed for maintenance.
Long implementation process: Installing the software may be simple but configuring and fitting it to the companies needs can be a time-consuming process that can last up to 18 – 24 months.
Outdated design: The Moodle interface is somewhat old-fashioned and clunky compared with what is expected of modern web applications. Although the Moodle UI can be customized, most Moodle sites tend to be dry, text-heavy, and uninspiring.
Ease of use: Many businesses that use Moodle have to run training courses for their staff to use it effectively. Because of the extended learning curve, users won’t be able to fully enjoy the benefits of the system right from its implementation which can decrease the product's perceived usefulness among early adopters.
Why cloud-hosted is better than self-hosted
Studies show that companies are moving away from self-hosted solutions, because they require substantial investments to cover server costs, storage, and maintenance.
It is a far better solution to get an LMS that looks good right out of the box, has integration with variety of tools, is easy to implement, easy to use, and comes with low initial costs. Here are a few reasons why cloud-hosted is better than self-hosted solutions:
Cloud hosted solutions offer a predictable cost over time, they have a smaller upfront investment, and they don’t require additional hardware investments.
Self-hosted solutions may have a reduced initial price, but the institution must also pay for associated hardware, maintenance, and more.
In the case of cloud-hosted solutions, data security is in the hands of the vendor. Cloud-hosted solutions have strict data security standards to protect your data.
In the case of self-hosted solutions, the institution is in charge of protecting their own data. This might cause issues if companies are not up to date with data security protocols.
Cloud-hosted solutions are flexible and allow users to easily make customizations and adapt the solution to their needs.
Self-hosted solutions might offer customization options, but these can significantly increase the implementation time and custom features can cause problems when the core software needs to be updated.
A Cloud-based solution takes less time to implement compared to self-hosted solutions. Implementing self-hosted solutions requires more organizational tasks, responsibilities, and additional time for hardware and infrastructure setup.
The real cost of Moodle
Moodle can be downloaded for free, it can be self-hosted or hosted by a 3rd party company such as Moodlerooms. Here is an analysis of the cost of each option:
Self-hosted for small businesses
You can run a few hundred learners on a single server and single database if you don't mind the possibility of outages if the server fails or occurs outside of normal business hours. A small-business configuration can often be installed and administered by an IT enthusiast, so the running cost won’t be that high considering that just one FTE is needed to keep the system running.
The estimated cost of servers, storage, and operating system is somewhere between $4,000 and $7,000 but if you want to have a backup server that will double the costs. If you want your servers to run at all times, you may need to invest in some UPSs, which adds another $1,000 - $2,000 depending on their performance. Add the cost of auxiliary server equipment and the estimated initial cost is between $10,000 - $20,000.
You will also need to provide training to employees and trainers, which will probably cost another $3,000 or more depending on the number of users trained.
There is also the IT administrator’s salary which can differ from country to country. In the USA for example, the salary can range between $40,000 and $86,000.
There can be many additional recurring costs, for example if the business wants integrations with 3rd party tools such as reporting tools, web conferencing tools, etc.
Self-hosted for large businesses
In the case of large businesses the cost structure is similar, but costs are multiplied because of the need for high-performance servers and large storage capacity.
To run Moodle reliably (99.9% uptime) for a lot of learners, you need a more sophisticated setup than just a single server. Specifically, we recommend:
- 1 hardware load balancer
- 2 servers or more, depending on the number of learners
- 2 copies of your SQL database in a master/slave setup with failover
- 2 memcached servers for fault-tolerant caching
- 1 high capacity RAID disk system for file storage and backups
- 1 search engine
- Professional monitoring software
For example, for a large business of almost 100,000 learners and thousands of courses, only the hardware and supporting equipment would cost over $350,000.
With the large and complex equipment also comes a higher number of FTEs for maintaining a system, configuring software, adding different integrations, classes, and resources. It requires an IT specialist with knowledge of how to set up, configure, and maintain a complex cluster environment who is available 24/7 to deal with performance issues and outages.
If we calculate with one FTE for IT administration and 2 FTEs for software management then the cost will hit $200,000. Adding to this 2 - 4 support FTEs who will instruct users and staff will cost another $100,000 - $200,000.
Businesses can choose to host their LMS using hosting services, which can be an independent hosting service, or an official Moodle partner such Moodlerooms.
The price of a hosting service can vary significantly based on the needs of the business. Hosting companies may offer plans and packages that cover different needs. Pricing is based on the number of the learners, resources, and courses. High performance hosting with considerable disk space may start around $1000/month but the fee can increase with the needs of the organization.
Official Moodle partners such as Moodlerooms are usually more expensive than cloud-hosted LMS solutions.
Why MATRIX is a better option than Moodle
MATRIX is a cloud-hosted modern learning platform that helps companies manage all training activities, such as creating and delivering training content, evaluating employee performance, training clients and partners, and selling online courses.
MATRIX is a better alternative to Moodle because it provides a complete solution for supporting efficient training and learning.
The MATRIX interface has a modern, responsive design that looks sharp and automatically adjusts based on the type of device. It provides attractive tile-based dashboards for learners, instructors, and administrators, a graphical course catalog, as well as simple pop-out navigation. It provides rich content authoring as well as a visually attractive way to create and organize module material. MATRIX also has a unique “activity display” feature that indicates the level of activity within courses and groups using a pulsing indicator on their tiles together with real-time widgets that scroll through the latest activities.
Many features can be enabled and disabled to suit your company’s needs. MATRIX offers native mobile apps for iOS and Android.
MATRIX Learner dashboard
Ease of use
MATRIX is very intuitive and easy to use. In addition, it includes an online help center with videos, getting started guides, and searchable help content. MATRIX also has a rapid response support forum where staff members typically respond to questions within 15-30 minutes during business hours 24/5.
MATRIX Help center
MATRIX provides the range of functionality you’d expect in a modern LMS, such as support for courses (instructor led, blended, self-paced, and micro learning), content authoring, integrated e-commerce functionality, graphical course catalog, beautiful module layouts, gamification, automation, learning paths, drip content, adaptive learning, compliance, ad-hoc reporting, a customizable portal, web conferencing, collaboration tools, mastery and learning outcomes, resources catalog, and more.
MATRIX integrates with a wide variety of systems, including Google Workspace, Google Drive, Calendars (iCal), PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, Salesforce, Zapier, xAPI, Office 365, OneDrive, GoToMeeting, GoToTraining, Zoom, WebEx, and more.
Here is a list of the features included with MATRIX that are not supported by Moodle:
- Customizable visitor portal
- Graphical dashboards
- Graphical course catalog
- Automatic language translation of messages and forum posts
- Graphical resources catalog
- Customizable terminology
- Activity display
- Content sync
- Prerequisite certificates
- Drip content
- Micro learning
- Adaptive learning
- Course ratings and reviews
- Seating charts
Assessment and analytics
- Personalized assessments
- Scheduled reports
- Report widgets
- Social networking
- Public profiles
- Integration with your own email server
- MS Immersive Reader
- Clever integration
Web conferencing tools
- PayU Latam
- Monitor and teaching assistant account type
- Learner help desk
- Terms and conditions
- SEO features
MATRIX Course catalog
MATRIX LMS plans range from $279/month (monthly billing) for 50 active learners, to $3,299/month for 3,500 active learners. There is a discount for yearly billing. There are no setup fees, cancellation fees, storage fees, bandwidth fees, support fees, or other hidden costs.
MATRIX Course page
This was a comparison of the most important feature differences between MATRIX and Moodle.
MATRIX is an LMS for managing all e-learning activities such as delivering training, tracking employee performance, and selling online courses. MATRIX is more attractive, easier to use, and has a bigger feature set than Moodle.
If you require additional information on MATRIX, please contact us.
This comparison paper was written in August 2020 based on publicly available documentation on both vendors' sites. It was prepared as a guide and is not intended to be exhaustive. The comparison information is for guidance only and does not constitute any contractual representation, warranty or obligation on our part. Liability for errors, omissions or consequential loss is expressly disclaimed.
Since pricing and features can change rapidly, we do not represent that this information is up-to-date, and we encourage you to get the latest information directly from the vendor's web site. If you find any information in this comparison guide to be inaccurate, please contact us with details and we will correct the information within 72hrs.