IMPORTANT: Moodle 3.9 to 4.1 – why you need to upgrade and what to expect.

14 November 2023 by Catalyst

Is your organisation currently using Moodle LMS version 3.9 (LTS) , 3.10, 3.11 or 4.0 ?

If yes, this important message is for you.

The current security support for Moodle versions 3.9 – 4.0 ends on 11 December 2023.

Running an unsupported version of software increases the risk of cyber-security attacks and dealing with various bugs, as well as limits your access to latest features that are designed to improve your Moodle LMS performance and your user experience.

Upgrading your Moodle software is important for a number of reasons including:


Software upgrades include new patches for known vulnerabilities and are a part of the Essential 8 security requirements.

Globally, cyber attacks have increased by 38% in 2022, with the top three most attacked industries being Education / Research, Government and Healthcare.To protect your data and your users, you must regularly update your software.

Bug fixes and performance improvements

Upgrades also include bug fixes and performance optimisations that will improve the speed and efficiency of your LMS applications, making your LMS site more reliable and user friendly.

Upgrading will also ensure seamless integration with the latest versions of other tools in your software ecosystem – WCAG, LTI, SCORM, etc.

Reduced costs

While upgrading requires some initial investment, it saves you money over time by preventing costly security breaches and reducing downtime due to software issues. The cost of support for your site will only increase over time if you are running an unsupported version, as you will need to backport security updates from newer versions.

User experience improvements

Improved performance will translate into better experience for your users. In addition, newer versions come with various design improvements and new features. Check out this blog on why we (and our clients who already upgraded) love Moodle 4.1.

New features / innovations

If innovation is one of your company’s strategic priorities, you must upgrade your software regularly to take advantage of the new cutting edge integrations, improvements and experimental features.

What is the process of upgrading a Moodle LMS site and what to expect?

A typical upgrade process for an LMS site includes:

  • Backing up your existing data
  • Reviewing your system requirements
  • Setting up and testing the upgrade to your new Moodle version in a staging environment, to identify and address any issues
  • Upgrading your Moodle Core
  • Checking compatibility with existing plugins and themes
  • Testing functionality, user data and course content
  • Applying themes and customisations
  • Gradual roll out and user communications as required
  • Monitoring
  • Documentation, training and ongoing maintenance

How long does it take to upgrade a Moodle LMS?

For a small to medium site, expect 4-8 weeks to complete the upgrade.

For large sites, it’s usually 8+ weeks.

Testing alone takes at least 3-5 days and requires engagement of 1-2 full time specialists.

For a personalised advice and a quote on your Moodle LMS upgrade, reach out to our team today.

Don’t have the time to upgrade your Moodle LMS before Christmas?

We have some good news for you! Catalyst is offering Extended Security Support for Moodle LMS version 3.9 for Moodle clients who need a bit more time to upgrade their site. Click here to learn more and contact us if you’d like to take advantage of this offer.

You may also like:

LTS to LTS Considerations (why choose long-term support software).