Installing Moodle Using Softaculous

Moodle, an acronym for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is an open source suite of software tools that is designed for those who wish to create educational courses or web pages that have a more natural and organic method of learning and teaching. Appropriate for use on Windows, Apple and Linux operating systems, Moodle software allows for complete customization and changing of base code to meet the exact needs of the programmer and educator.

Moodle can be easily installed via the cPanel with the program Softaculous.

First, sign into your cPanel and get Softaculous up and running.

softaculous cpanel

Once you have the program running, locate the Educational tab in the left-hand sidebar and select Moodle.


A window that has the option to install Moodle
should appear.

Once installation is selected a window with a series of question prompts will appear. Fill these boxes in, choosing the name you want for your main file directory.

In Directory:
The directory is relative to your domain and should not exist. e.g. To install at http://mydomain/dir/ just type dir. To install only in http://mydomain/ leave this empty.


This is also where you will set the parameters for your site. Here you choose the type of encryption and security you want. This is also where you will set up an administrative log in that provides access to all elements of the program. You will need to select a user name and a very strong password.


You can choose to have a copy of successful installation confirmation emailed to you, if you wish to have additional copies of this information, at this point in the process.

Once this information has been filled in, select Install at the bottom of the window.

Common Errors

Hopefully the installation should run smoothly. But Moodle is a dynamic platform that requires some up-to-date features of the latest PHP server software. If you get a message like this:


The following errors were found :

  • The PHP Version is less than the required 5.3.2

howtocheckyourphpversionSimply check with your host provider that your server is running the required version of PHP to get Moodle up and running. You can check this in cPanel yourself by looking at the left-hand sidebar. If you have a VPS or dedicated server, this is something you can upgrade quite easily for yourself to fix the problem.


When the installation is complete, you should receive a confirmation message. If you chose to have one emailed, you should also receive that shortly after the completion of your installation.

With Softaculous, installing Moodle is as easy as a few simple clicks and providing a few pieces of basic information. That is all it takes to install a powerful suite of software tools that allows programmers, developers and educators to work together to create new types of learning and educational modules that use a revolutionary way of teaching.

Moodle Back-end


Moodle provides a powerful suite of tools that allows for complete customization to meet the exact needs of the developers and educators. Free, open source software tools such as Moodle allow for easy access to powerful technologies that can be tailored to meet individual needs. Moodle works across the main operating systems and is free to use and manipulate to the needs of one’s site or educational program.

Consumer Driven Web Trends, Predictions for 2013

In a previous post on “Online Research Methods” I demonstrated some of the research techniques available to SEOs, writers, marketing experts and big data analysts. During my own research on web trends I have made some interesting discoveries that can help you learn about upcoming web search behavior related to your own niche.

I’d initially like to expand on use of the research methods I use from the original research method infographic. I have a personal interest in finding out what our own audience would love for me to write about, either through feedback, or understanding our audience demographic better. Taking a refreshing new look at where your audience comes from once in a while is a great exercise once in a while from a marketing standpoint.

First off I’d like to show you the “Google Trends” tool. There is a similar tool in Adwords that shows you a volume of search against certain keywords. The Adwords Keywords tool is insufficient for projecting trends for as there is no historical data. To ascertain what trends are breaking out, what is current, and relevancy to other behaviors that are following the same rate of change and seasonal behaviors, you’ll need the Google Trends tool.

Adwords Keywords tool is a great tool for scraping together a bucket list and finding which keywords present current opportunity for optimizing your site or advertising campaign. If you want to get down to the real nitty-gritty and find out why the opportunity exists, you need to find which opportunities are growing, plateauing, or falling.

Below is a graph I screenshot from the Google Trends tool. It has it’s own forecasting tool in it, and a bunch of related terms suggested for you to plug in and test out. I simply used search terms relevant to our audience taken from our popular posts and after a few permutations of related keywords. I found something that stood out as a rising trend that warranted further investigation. I’ve overlaid the trend graph with a the rough projection so you can see what caught my attention:

Out of all the interest in online web applications and and developer tools, the term “web apps” seems to show a distinct seasonal activity on top of a steadily increasing trend.

Clicking on the “web apps” tab gives us further segmented information on this activity. Google shows us not only is the term rapidly increasing in frequency of search but alongside it are many new breakout terms related to mobile devices. Note the mention of “android web apps”, and “web apps iphone“.

Where Is This Online Trend Behavior Coming From

Head on over to Google Correlate, which finds search patterns which correspond with real-world trends. Here we can see what consumer driving forces are behind online trends by matching search volume patterns. Search terms may not be related, but by comparing seasonal behaviors you can tie-in the effect of the real world events.

In the case of the search term of “web apps”, Google suggests that the behavior for “iphone web” closely matches all the smaller seasonal peaks and possibly sale periods. Google has in it’s algorithms a correlation coefficient called “r”. The closer the correlation coefficient is to 1, the less variance there is between two trending behaviors.

I will certainly be paying closer attention to iPhone developments and releases now, with a view to how they impact our mobile app behavior.

How To Install Prestashop Using Softaculous In cPanel

In a previous article, I introduced you to what Softaculous was all about: A utility software in your control panel which automates the installation of website applications. Today I’m going to demonstrate how to install Prestashop, an eCommerce Content Management System. Below is a screenshot of the user view of the Prestashop shopping channel installed without any modification. You can see there is plenty of opportunity to optimize the template to your liking, and I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of documentation available through the back-end to help you.

So don’t be afraid! Not only is Prestashop an easy install made especially fast through Softaculous, but I’m glad to see a plethora of supporting documentation and templates to continue optimizing to your heart’s content.

I will guide you through my firsthand experience of installing Prestashop, including some little errors to be aware of and what they mean.

Preparation To Install Prestashop:

Make sure you have enough allocated MySQL databases. Depending on your hosting package, if you already have a CMS website like WordPress installed, you may need to check your available allocation. One install of Prestashop will take up one additional database if you have that in your allowance. You can check this under your cPanel left-hand sidebar for Database allowances.

Add a subdomain if you want to separate your shopping area from your main URL. For example, You can do this through cPanel in the Domains Module; select Subdomains, and complete the form prompts in the frame when you click through.

How To Install Prestashop:

In your cPanel, open Softaculous, which you’ll find in the Software/Services module near the bottom.

In Softaculous, select the Prestashop application. Prestashop is one of the more popular applications, so it will likely appear in the homepage of your Softaculous. In case you don’t recognize their logo, it should also be filed from the left-hand sidebar of categories under eCommerce.

Once you click Install, you’ll be prompted with a single page input form. Check each form field. Make sure you check where you want Prestashop installed; it will give you subdomain or folder options. You do not need to create a folder, Softaculous will create one for you if you choose. Make sure you update your Admin Account settings to your correct email.

Now Let The Self-Install Commence:

If you tried and failed once, Softaculous will prompt you with a list of existing files that are duplicated with the following error message:

“Installation cannot proceed because the following files already exist in the target folder :”

Simply scroll to the end of the list of files, and check the box that says “Overwrite Files.”

It is likely that your first attempt to install may have failed if you didn’t have any remaining MySQL database allocation. If this is the case, you will see “The MySQL databases could not be selected” come up as an error message.

Hopefully the installation should go smoothly and all within 4 minutes. Softaculous will display a completion message and send you an email of your installation notes.

How To Administrate Prestashop:

To access your “Back Office,” go to as prompted by your Softaculous installation notes. Upon your first visit to the back-end, Prestashop will prompt you to change folder names for security reasons. To do this, leave the Softaculous application and return to cPanel Home; then go to your File Manager in your cPanel, which is located under the File module.

Once in the File Manager, finding the correct file is easy under the visual folder tree. Renaming a folder is as simple as right-clicking to bring up a drop down menu.

Your new Prestashop install should now give you “Back Office” access with these momentary security precautions in place. Simply go to, and upon completing the password prompts you will now have access to the Prestashop admin:

That’s it! You’re done. The back-end access is full of intuitive modules to add and navigate around. Honestly speaking, it probably would have taken you longer to read this article than complete the install itself! I managed to run through this install myself in just about 10 minutes with Softaculous and cPanel running. It’s more likely that you’ll manage a smooth install without bumping into any database errors as long as you follow the checkpoints I made at the beginning.

#SpotTheShuttle InMotion Hosting’s Marketing Field Trip

We’re honored to have space shuttle Endeavour making it’s final stay here in Los Angeles. Here at our west coast office situated overlooking the airport, it’s just a walk to see the shuttle situated at one of it’s stops on it’s 12 mile trip to the LA museum. Our building is situated fairly close to the shuttle’s route, which means the commute into our office, as experienced by a number of us here, was spotty with road closure preparations. A small price to pay to feel the awesome presence in person – and “awesome” is a much overused word, but the only one that really suits seeing the shuttle up close.

To recap with the whole journey, the shuttle carrier aircraft took off just over two weeks ago on September 17th, piggy-backing Endeavour on it’s last flight across the United States. Since 1981, space shuttles have been landing at Edwards Air Force Base and have been transported across America to their takeoff site at Kennedy Space Center. Very few people have had the privilege to come close to a shuttle, nor has there been any effort to make an extra show of low flying pass-overs. The focus is merely to get the job done.

Endeavour’s final journey however, was a real mission to say goodbye. It was to spend two days traveling across America with low-flying tours at below 1500ft from the space coast, New Orleans, a stop-over in Houston, and then Edward’s Air Force Base before coming to Los Angeles and beginning two weeks of detaching from the aircraft carrier and processing.

The project is huge, but only to match the majesty of this feat of combined human efforts in engineering. If you follow the hashtag #SpotTheShuttle on Twitter and on Google Plus, you’ll see the incredible montage of people’s snapshots documenting Endeavour’s journey. Endeavour will be assembled in an upright launch position and rebuilt with her rocket boosters in position as testament to her memory.

And The Apple Craze Continues…

Here at the Los Angeles InMotion office, we’ve got quite a few Apple fanboys that were eager to get their hands on Apple’s new release, the iPhone 5.  Here’s a firsthand review from Andrew, an IMH web designer and excited new iPhone 5 owner.

Andrew & His New iPhone 5

“I’ve been using Apple’s latest iPhone since Friday afternoon. The iPhone 5 is unquestionably the most iconic smartphone, and every new release is met with much hype. Is the iPhone 5 a worthy new addition to the Apple lineup or does it fall short of expectations? Read my quick review to find out.

The iPhone 5 is super lightweight, especially compared to the beefy iPhone 4/4S. It’s only .07 inches thinner than its predecessors, but it’s noticeable while holding it. This thing is made out of the glass and textured aluminum on the back. I like the new backplate, though aluminum can (and will) scratch and dent (better than shattering glass I suppose). The new colored metal rim on the black/slate version really brings the whole design together.

The new iPhone boasts an all around spec bump compared to its predecessors. The size of the high-res display was increased to 4” and is slightly improved. Coming from an iPhone 4, I was mainly looking forward to increased speed that the new processor, better RAM, and new 4G connectivity bring. Everything feels snappier, from installing/launching new apps to streaming music from Spotify, to using graphics intensive apps like games. The already top-notch camera from previous generations sees a slight spec increase as well. Oh, and the headphone jack is on the bottom now. It’s next to a smaller adapter… and it’s not micro USB…

Some notable new features include Facetime over 3G, Panorama camera mode, Passbook, and new Maps. Apple has been trying to distance itself from all things Google and subsequently it ditched the Google Maps powered app for an all new Apple created app with a great look and feel. Much has been made of the strange and comical issues that have been found in the app, but it’s not a software issue as much as a data issue. Google has tons of it. Apple doesn’t. Many POIs are missing or incorrect. I have little doubt that Apple and its partners will improve their pool of map data, but it will take time. I think Apple let the cat out of the bag a bit too early on this one.

Which leads me to my second point. iOS seems stagnant. It’s now catching up to the rest of the field with features. If Apple’s decision was to invest engineering time and money, replacing a Map app that just worked on its devices with something just barely good enough, then it’s a sad day for iFans. Apple has enormous software talent and iOS is still a great product. I’d just like to see it shine.

My opinion (having used several Android and RIM phones) is that Apple’s phone industrial design is second to none. The iPhone 5 is an all around improvement on an already great product. iOS is still pleasant to use, but I worry about how it will evolve (or fail to evolve) with the times.

If you have an iPhone 4 then this upgrade is a no brainer. If you have a 4S and are happy with your device, then save some money and wait until the inevitable iPhone 5S. Not like any of my fellow office iGeeks will heed my advice…”

Apple Fanboys

#IMHhangout | Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity?

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

With the talk of the release of the new iPhone 5, we decided to make our topic ‘Do Mobile Devices Really Increase Productivity’. We hope that our audience of web pros, gadget geeks and those that postulate working on the run will share with us their experience working while away.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. What mobile devices do you own? #iPhone #iPad #netbook
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. Do you use your device for work or personal organization?
  4. Lets see which apps you use for each group: #personal #office
    1. PicSay for Androids, for remote desktop, Host CPanel iPhone/Android App
  5. How many hours daily do you spend on your mobile device? #texting #sharing
  6. Who or what is really doing the driving?
    1. I threw this sophomoric question in for debate!

So! Whether you’re a traditionalist who prefers doing things in person or keeping work to a focused time-frame rather than jumping to every alert that comes in, here’s an opportunity to find out if those that are really ‘connected online’ fare any better at productivity.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. We do want you to showcase your tech savvy reviews of mobile gadgets, to help the rest of us decide what we really want. Please interact using here, and we’ll keep an eye on the live twitter stream to mention your name, and find out what products you root for.

How to Find the #IMHhangout

  • Look for our Custum URL [or click here]: / +inmotionhosting
  • Type ‘InMotion Hosting‘ into google plus search to find our brand profile page. On your mobile device you have to do this through ‘people‘ [not circles] profile search to view our page profile.
  • Do a hard refresh [hold down shift + refresh] near broadcast time to make sure our google plus page refreshes and shows you the invitation to ‘join hangout

We received a comment on one of our hangouts that one viewer couldn’t jump in. So I decided to test it out and sure enough Google hangouts do work through iPhones and mobile devices. Unfortunately we cannot explain why some of you get messages like this:

“This hangout is not currently supported on this device” – So we are aware difficulties like this do happen, as this is what I saw on my iPhone. I’m looking forward to suggestions from other mobile people on how they overcome this. In the mean time the only suggestion I have is to leave the G+ app, and restart it if you see this message come up. Even so, please don’t let this hold you back! We value your input through the TweetChat hashtag, make sure you tag your conversation with #IMHhangout so that everyone in the community can see your voice!

Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! We are looking forward to giving you all a spot here in the live broadcast – so make sure you jump in

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – Our in-house Graphic Designer, will be scanning our Tweetchat

@IMH_Affiliate – Our Affiliate Manager, will be keeping a deft eye on G+ and hopefully making sure you can jump in.

@Maria_InMotion – Our SEO and Partner Specialist will be watching out for people on Facebook to make sure you get a mention.

Here’s this week’s Hashtracking report which shows that we had over 127,000 impressions on this hangout! Thanks this week to @Brianna5mith who was our top contributor on Twitter from the Business Branding world.

#IMHhangout | Working from the Office vs Telecommute

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

Our weekly webmasters live Q+A is a broadcast via Google Hangouts supported with a live twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

This weeks coming topic is ‘Working from the Office vs the Telecommuter’ which is aimed at getting web pros and freelancers together to share their experience on finding the perfect workspace for your digital day.

Questions to follow a round of introductions:

  1. Have you ever worked from home?
  2. What form of work do you do? #Webmasters, #Designers #Sysadmin
  3. What type of office do you think supports your type of work?
  4. Have you ever made use of CoWorking locations?
  5. Pros and Cons of Telecommute?
  6. Pros and Cons of Freelancing?

This hangout is not just for those starting from scratch, but also those who are willing to share their great experience to others that might be looking for some webmaster help, or even webpro employment opportunities! Simply Hover over the event at the bottom of this post and add it to your calendar.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can lurk without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. Bear in mind this is an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and availability for hire. We’ll push on with the show and you can still interact using here. We keep an eye on the live  twitter stream to highlight your say, as well as review every person’s input after the video broadcast.

Don’t forget to hard refresh our Google Plus Page to make sure you see or simply listen in on the hangout! Near the 2pm EST spot, you will have to re-open the page to check if the broadcast is live once everyone is onboard. Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in! As a special treat this week we are having our HR team join us so we’ll have some useful insight to present on who they look for!

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – our in-house Graphic Designer,

@IMH_Affiliate – our Affiliate Manager

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hastracking report which shows that we had over 95,000 impressions on our first hangout! Check out our previous Hangout on Blogging Here.

#IMHhangout | Webmasters live Q&A: How to build your blog

Click this Image to Circle us and join our hangout! Wednesdays 2pm-3pm PST Western Time.

September sees the launch of our weekly webmasters live Q+A broadcast via Google Hangouts supported by the twitter chat stream #IMHhangout.

This weeks coming topic is ‘How to Build Your Blog’ which is aimed at getting webmasters together to share advice, tips and opinions on how to launch and develop an audience for your blog.

Launch Questions:

  1. Which Blogging Platform do you use and why?
    1. See for installable CMS Platforms
  2. Which Industry are you blogging within?
    1. We have several people from the Technology Vertical, but also creatives blogging from their passion like Filmmaking. Be sure to make note of seasonal trends and weekly differences for your Industry, including down to the popular traffic hours.
  3. Any special tools you can’t live without for your blog?
    1. Jason recommends ‘Ninja Affiliate’ as a WordPress Plugin for affiliates. Here is a link to Special Themes and plugins for different industries.
  4. Favorite resource sites for themes, and design?
    1. Take a look at Anie’s suggestions here. Jason suggested and
  5. Did you auto-install your blog, or set it up from scratch?
    1. I’ve used Auto-Installers Fantastico and Softaculous. If you have to do a manual install or migration then please check out our support center.
  6. How long before you saw good traffic to your blog?
    1. My experience has been 6 months, please tell me your story in the comments!

This hangout is not just for those starting from scratch, but also those who are willing to share their great experience to others that might be looking for some webmaster help.

Simply Hover over the event at the bottom of this post and add it to your calendar.

The event will go live both on Twitter using the #IMHhangout Hashtag and on Google. So you can listen in, join in on twitter even without jumping into the hangout if you’re too shy. We’ll push on ahead and you can interact with the show using either here, we’ll be watching and sharing your voice to the rest of the audience so make sure you introduce yourselves.

Don’t forget to refresh our Google Plus Page to make sure you see or simply listen in on the hangout! Keep an eye on this blog page as details get added to see who’s joining in!

Circle us!

@InMotionHosting #IMHhangout will be hosted by @JulianaPayson.

Our team to welcome you and help you in the live chat are:

@AnieA203 – our in-house Graphic Designer,

@IMH_Affiliate – our Affiliate Manager

Here’s a sneak peak at the Hastracking report which shows that we had over 95,000 impressions on our first hangout!

Color Pallete Generators

There are a number of color palette generators out there, all with their own perks and special features. These are my top ones to go to because to me they’re the simplest ones to experiment with and I get what I want the quickest.


When I need a good palette quickly, I mainly use Kuler to browse through ones created by others. I choose a few color palettes that stand out to me or fit my needs and then I just change them around a bit until I get what I want. You can also create your own color palette by selecting a color off the color wheel, and then choose from a list of categories to select what type of palette you want, like monochromatic or complementary. And if you want to mess with the colors, you can use the color sliders to adjust them.

Color Scheme Designer:

I like Color Scheme Designer because I feel like it gives you more flexibility. You can choose a color, it will give you colors that go well with the one you’ve chosen based on how many you want in your palette, and then you can adjust the hue, saturation, lightness, and darkness of all the colors at once or just pick one to adjust that specific one. It will give you more variations of color too within that palette. And plus, it’ll give you an example of how the color palette would appear on a light or dark website.

Color Blender:

Color Blender is probably the simplest of the three. You choose one color such as maybe one from your logo and it will give you a six color palette that you can tweak to your liking. You get some flexibility with color sliders, and hue, saturation, and value options. They also have blends you can browse through too. It provides a quick and easy color generating experience.

All these color generators provide great usable palettes and they allow you to customize them in their own way. You can play around with them to see which one allows you to have the amount of freedom that you need.


Is there a Mobile App equivalent to Snagit?

After intense searching and testing, I have found one mobile app that reigns above all others to compare with Snagit‘s unbeatable screenshot educational sharing tool. The winning contender is… PicSay! For those of you who like to engage co-workers and audiences with the wonderful tools offered by Snagit, I knew I had a hard task on my hands to find anything remotely comparable.
For those of you who are wondering why I’m raving Snagit here is a montage of just a few of the cool tools I love in this browser application:

As yet, Techsmith have not yet released a mobile app version of their Screengrabbing tool Snagit. So in the mean time, I was forced on the hunt to find the best available solution. And for anyone that’s vaguely involved in writing and explaining technical content, especially whilst on-the-go, I’m sure you’ll agree there’s a gap in the market for this software.

A search for picture editing and screen capture brings up hundreds of apps for your iOS or Android Mobile device, but they are all geared towards picture effects not ‘in-picture’ frame and layering effects.

With a little work around you can compile just the technical explain it material you need from a screen capture on your mobile device using PicSay:

It can layer objects, but unfortunately not additional segments of screenshots which I would say is the major portion missing from this app that would otherwise make this a near perfect competitor to Snagit.

There are all the usual tools such as rotate, cursor effects, re-framing or canvas resizing. I Particularly love the export feature which is more versatile than Snagit; being able to share to virtually any other app loaded on your mobile device is pretty ingenious!

Overall if you’re looking for a technical explain-it bit of sharing software for screen capture and graphics from your mobile device, then until Snagit comes up with a version, PicSay is the closest app I’ve found.