In week 2 of Domain Camp we are creating subdomains, installing apps/sites into subdomains vs directories, setting up a camp blog with WordPress, using web redirects, and how to password protect a site.
This is the second week of our Domain Camp, where you can learn, practice, and share about managing an internet domain of your own. There is no being “behind” as all of this can be done at your own schedule. To get started, see Getting Ready for Domain Camp and check out what happened in week 1.
Here’s what’s on tap around camp for week 2:
- Welcome / Demo Video (Tuesday, 1pm EST) a live streamed walk through of this week’s activities.
- Drop in Camp Headquarters (Wednesday, 4pm EST) Use Zoom to visit camp headquarters, ask questions, register complaints etc.
- Community Space (ongoing) Gather and say hello to each other in Newbies Corner Community or our Slack Channel
Welcome / Demo Video
Again this week Domain Camp will live stream a welcome video via Google Hangout and a screen share demo of the things we are doing this week. This takes place at Tuesday June 18, 1:00 PM EST (check for your local time).
This video from Camp in 2018 provides a more detailed overview at the activities for this week, with screen shared demos of the steps.
Understanding and Creating Subdomains
Think of your domain as empty land of potential, where eventually you can build as many different structures as you need or like. If I am making a new site to brainstorm my crazy ideas, I can locate them at addresses like:
http://domain.me/crazyideas(installed into a directory of my main site)
http://crazyideas.domain.me/(installed as a subdmain, which we explain below)
It makes no technical difference which route your choose, and if you count, they are the same numbers of characters. To us, subdomains make it a bit more clear that “Crazy Ideas” is a really separate site.
And you can mix and match. I have a subdomain on my own domain as lab.cogdogblog.com which is a place holder for various experiments line lab.cogdogblog.com/cvi/, lab.cogdogblog.com/moz/photoshoot/ and lab.cogdogblog.com/magicbox/.
In one of last week’s activities we learned to create a directory for a new site within our
This week we learn how to set up subdomains as location holders on your land map. Let’s step back first and review the concept of domains.
Domains appear in web addresses, emails, but what are they really?
Your web site content actually exists at a specific numerical address on the web, like
126.96.36.199. It the street address of your domain. But people would never remember numerical addresses (almost how we rely on our contacts apps to access telephone numbers), so there is a system of domain names that direct visitors to that street address on the internet.
The structure of domains reads from right to left, getting more specific as you go. The rightmost part is the Top Level Domain (TLD) and is managed by issuing authorities (e.g.
.ca etc). The next name to the left is the one you or an organization owns (or technically rents). As an owner of a domain of your own, then you can decide if you have even more specific addresses farther to the left , create the names, and manage what goes there.
Adam Croom from the University of Oklahoma (who has a great domain of his own) describes this anatomy of domains:
I don’t think domains are the only answer, but they are good starting point because they give an infrastructure that affords multiple identities. This is because domains, of course, can become subdomains. A new wrinkle I added to this specific discussion was domain anatomy, which gave me a way to frame out the the complexity and flexibility of a simple address:
In publishing your domain’s front entrance you built a welcome gate to your land right at the front door to your domain (if you are experienced with domains you might have something else there, that’s fine).
Let’s learn how to put more sites in subdomains.
Activity 1: Creating Subdomains With Cpanel
Subdomains are a clear way to indicate that your sites created after your landing page are really different. They act as an independent web site. We create them ahead of time as places to install applications from our cpanel or to upload content.
In this activity you will brainstorm some possible subdomains you might use in your domain.
Activity 2: Redirecting with Subdomains
Subdomains typically hold content you create on your domain. But they are also handy to use as redirection links to other web sites.
Mostly we will create content on our own servers for our subdomains, but they also are handy for being an easy to remember short cut link to content elsewhere on the web. We can use a subdomain as a way to seamlessly send a site visitor to a link we have chosen.
Activity 3: Installing a WordPress Blog in Your Domain
Put on your tool belt as you learn to use cpanel to install software for your first site, a blog to be used perhaps for blogging your Camp Experience. This is to help you understand the installation process from your cpanel, not as much about figuring out WordPress.
For this first blog you will install WordPress the software that is estimated to run more than
27% 29% 31% 34% of the world’s web sites.
Keep in mind that in your Reclaim Hosting account you have access to install a number of other blog software packages, we will explore more in week 4.
Make some decisions where in your domain to install a first WordPress blog, maybe it will be about your summer at Domain Camp; we recommend using one of the subdomains you created in Activity 1, or you can go back and create another subdomain.
We hope to not focus too much on using WordPress here, that will come next week. Just go through the process so you know how to do a WordPress installation via your cpanel.
Activity 4: Adding Password Protection to Part of Your Domain
Having a domain means you can share many things with the world. But sometimes you don’t want the world to see everything. Your cpanel provides a tool that can put a username/password lock on any directory in your site files.
Drop In Hours at Camp Headquarters
We’ll have the office door open on Wednesdays at 4:00PM EST for anyone who wants to get some help of ask question or just want to bother the counselors. Join us then in our Zoom office:
- Getting Ready for Domain Camp
- Week 1: Meeting Cpanel, Landing Pages, Files
- Week 2: Subdomains, Installing Blogs, Redirects
- Week 3: Better Landing Pages, SPLOTS, Email, and SSL Sites
- Catch Up Week
- Week 4: Exploring Other Apps To Add to Your Domain
- Week 5: WordPress Retreat with Settings, Categories vs Tags
- Week 6: Cooking Over the WordPress Campfire, Permalinks, Menus, Plugins
- Week 7: Theme Picking and Syndication Hubs