Open edX is the industry-leading open source online learning management platform, but how much does it cost to setup and operate? The good news is that Open edX is a platform that can fit into most budgets, even while you’re trying to figure out your needs and requirements. Lets take a closer look at the fundamental elements and key drivers that you should consider while developing your project and operating budgets.


Open edX is a free and open source software project, but that only regards the cost of the software itself. You still have to develop courses, and procure a server and system support, plus you’ll need someone with the expertise to configure and potentially modify the source code so that the platform meets your project’s requirements. So, how much does it all cost? How much do other, similar project teams typically spend? These are tricky questions. And it’s hard to get started if you don’t yet know what to ask.

Fortunately from a budgeting perspective at least, many projects can squeeze into a one-size-fits-all box. If the cost of the project is a key factor for you and you can confidently state that your installation of Open edX will be *a LOT smaller* than that of say, HarvardX, and you can also state that your requirements are somewhat flexible, then it becomes possible for us to generalize budgeting assumptions, which is exactly what I’ve done in this article. Otherwise, you probably should not rely on the material in this article.

DISCLAIMER: Now, having said that, you must take everything that follows with a grain of salt. THE FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE SHOULD BE INTERPRETED AS SANE DEFAULTS GIVEN THAT YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE SO FAR TO GUIDE YOU.  While all of these figures are grounded by my own real-world experiences, you have to recognize that every project is unique and that it’s ultimately up to you to rigorously analyze your project’s economic requirements.

How To Interpret The Figures In This Article

Open edX is both modularized and parameterized. In all cases below, without exception, I assume that you are choosing from the range of available options that come prepackaged in the general release of the software.