1.Coventry.Domains Guide

 

Coventry.Domains is a project at the Coventry University managed by the Disruptive Media Learning Lab (DMLL).

 

Coventry.Domains offers students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to register a domain and create a digital presence through various mediums such as blogs, portfolios, and wikis. Students can easily install popular open source applications such as WordPress, MediaWiki, Drupal, and Omeka onto their space giving them an unlimited amount of ways to creatively express and create their digital identity.

 

1.1.What Can You Do?

 

Your ability to do things on coventry.domains is dictated to a large degree by the limits of your imagination. That said, there are some technical requirements and limitations that you should be aware of and might want to review.

To spark your imagination, here are some ideas that might help you get started:

 

Install a Web Application in Your Space

Coventry.domains makes it very simple to install certain Web applications in your Web space. Web applications are just special software that runs on a Web server. Usually, they allow you to build and manage a Web site. The kind of site you can build depends on the type of application you install. Here are some examples of applications that you can easily install within the coventry.domains Web hosting interface:

 

WordPress: Probably the most popular application among coventry.domains users, WordPress is a blogging application. While it allows you to quickly and easily set up a blog, it also comes with a set of features that really make it possible to set up any kind of basic Web site without much difficulty. We have resources available that are focused on installing and using WordPress.

 

Mediawiki: If you’ve ever browsed or edited Wikipedia, you’ve already used Mediawiki. It is the open-source wiki software that runs the online encyclopedia, and you can install it on your Web space. It’s a good choice if you’re interested in publishing documents and then collaborating with others on them. We have instructions for installing Mediawiki.

 

ZenPhoto: This application is a good choice if you’re looking for a way to share images in your Web space. It’s also a quick install through Installatron in cPanel onto your coventry.domains Web space.

 

 

OwnCloud: If you’ve used DropBox, the concept of OwnCloud will be familiar. It allows you to upload and access files from anywhere with Web access. You can also share those files and sync them to your devices. This Web application is another quick install through Installatron in cPanel.

 

These are just a FEW of the open-source applications that are available to you in yourcoventry.domains Web space; you can find a list of all of the applications you can install automatically here.  We encourage you to read more about what Web applications are and which ones are available to you through this project.

 

Set up an Email Address

Through your coventry.domains Account, you can set up an email address (or several) of your own. Addresses can be linked to complete inboxes (which you can then access through a Webmail client or by setting up another email client) or they can just be forwarding addresses which you point to an existing email you already have. We have instructions available about how to set up your own email address.

 

 

Organize Your Site with Subdomains and Folders

Through this project, you’ve received a domain name that you can actually subdivide and organize any way you like. One easy way to organize your domain is to create subdomains, in which you can then install other applications. In addition, you can just set up subfolders for your site (which can also have their own applications installed in them). Here’s an example of how you might organize your site (using the subdomain vs. the subfolder approach)

 

Subdomain Approach Subfolder Approach
yourdomain.com (“root”) Install WordPress as your “main site” yourdomain.com (“root”)
course1.yourdomain.com Install a second WordPress instance for a course you’re taking yourdomain.com/course1
photos.yourdomain.com Install ZenPhoto for a public photo gallery of your photos yourdomain.com/photos
docs.yourdomain.com Install MediaWiki for a club you belong to that wants to collaboratively edit its bylaws yourdomain.com/docs
files.yourdomain.com Install OwnCloud so you can access your files on your laptop and at work yourdomain.com/files

 

This is just an EXAMPLE of a way to organize your site and then use different sections to do different things. There is no one solution to this challenge, and what you do should be driven by what makes sense to you. To start, you may just want to install one thing at the “root” of your domain, and then let the rest evolve as you get to know more about what’s possible.

 

Map Your Domain (or a Subdomain)

If you already have a digital presence that you’d like to pull into your coventry.domains space, domain mapping is an option you may wish to explore. This allows you to assign your domain (or a subdomain) to another service. Some services that work with domain mapping are:

 

When you map a domain, users who visit your URL will automatically see your space on one of these services. It’s a great way to incorporate your activity elsewhere into your domain, and it might be a good first step if you’ve already established a presence somewhere else and just want to point your new domain to that space.

1.2.Privacy and Coventry.Domains

 

What you publish in your Coventry.Domains space rests entirely with you. You can choose not to pick a domain that reveals your name. You can use a pseudonym on your actual site. However, when you sign up through the default process, your name does get published as part of the public record about your domain name. Anyone can find it by looking up details about the ownership of that domain name through a public “Whois” request. We can hide that information, but to do this, we need you to work with us directly. If you’d like to request an entirely PRIVATE domain, please contact us at dooo@coventry.ac.uk, and we will be in touch shortly.

This is not an issue if you are already planning on using your name openly on your site (in your domain name or elsewhere). This option is aimed, specifically, at those who, for whatever reason, feel they want to take every precaution to hide their identity on their site.

1.3.Accounts and Passwords

 

One aspect of coventry.domains that users may find a bit complicated at first is understanding the different accounts (and associated passwords) that you can manage as part of your participation in the project. This article outlines the types of accounts that you are likely to have, what they are for, and how you go about resetting passwords on each of them.

 

Your CU E-mail Account

 

Before you can even sign-up on coventry.domains, you must have Coventry University user and e-mail account. This account is used by you initially for only one purpose: signing up for your domain and hosting. In addition, at some point in the future (usually upon graduating or leaving CU), you may need to login to this account again in order to transfer your domain so that you take over ownership of it.

The first time you access your Coventry University email Account, you will set a password for it. On subsequent logins, you can use that same password. If you forget your password, you can go to coventry.ac.uk and click the Reset Password link.

 

 

Bottom Line: You MUST use this account at least once before signing-up for coventry.domains.

 

Your cPanel Account

 

When you first sign-up for your domain and hosting, a cPanel account will be generated that provides you with access to your slice of the coventry.domains Web server. Your cPanel account is automatically associated with your CU account. Therefore, your CU account credentials will grant you access to your cPanel account.

 

Your Application Administrator Accounts

 

Every time you install a new application in cPanel, an Administrator Account for that application will be created. You will likely use these accounts very often – every time you need to login to your application to manage the associated Web site, you will use this account.

For example, if you install WordPress to manage your Web site, every time you need to add content to WordPress, change your theme, approve comments, etc. you will use this account to login.

Usually, you will be given the opportunity to choose the user id and password for that account. We recommend choosing something that you are likely to remember but that is strong and secure.

Upon installation, you will likely receive an email confirming the user id/password combination you chose. It will also have information about how to access the login page for that application. You may wish to make sure you don’t delete this message.

Depending on the application you’re working with, managing and resetting the password for this account will vary. If you’ve used Installatron (in cPanel) to install the application, however, you can always review the account credentials:

  • Login to cPanel through https://coventry.domains.
  • Click the Installatron icon in the Software/Services section.
  • Find the application you installed under My Applications.
  • Click the Edit button (this looks like a blue wrench).
  • Scroll down to find the Administrator Username and Password.

 

In addition, most applications should have some kind of password reset link on the login page.

 

Other Types of Accounts

 

In addition to the three account types outlined above, there are a few other kinds of accounts you may have as part of coventry.domains:

  • Email: If you set up an email address for your domain, you will have an account associated with this.
  • FTP: If you set up FTP on your account, you will need to set up an account.
  • Application User Accounts: In addition to the Administrator Account that you set up when installing an application, most applications will also let you set up user accounts.

1.4.Signing Up


Getting started on coventry.domains is a straightforward process. The following sections will guide you so that you can get started on DoOO.

 

Requesting a DoOO Account

The first step is requesting your own account. *Please keep in mind that DoOO accounts will only be created for CU email users for personal or academic purposes.

 

Request an Account

 

The Login Process

Once you’ve reviewed the guidelines, you can proceed to the login page.

Click on the right-hand side where it says “Login”.

 

You will be redirected to log in for verification. You will use your CU account and password to log in.

 

 

 

Registering Your own DoOO Subdomain

If you wish to create a free DoOO subdomain of Coventry.domains, leave this default option selected and enter in the subdomain you want for your DoOO website. When you’ve found an available DoOO subdomain, click the button labeled Click to Continue.

 

Tips for Choosing a Good Name

Before you get started, we recommend that you review our information about Choosing a Domain Name.

 

After you click on the blue button, a question will appear at the bottom of the screen. If you are a faculty or staff member at CU and you have an existing website with a faculty-staff.coventry.ac.uk address, you can get assistance in migrating your files from your old site into your new domain.  Simply check this option box, click Sign Up, and we will take care of the rest. If you are not a faculty or staff member or do not have a site with a faculty-staff.coventry.ac.uk address, just ignore this option and click Sign Up.

 

You will be brought to the checkout page. Since you selected the subdomain option, you should see that it is available for free.

 

Scroll down the page to find and read the Terms of Service. To continue, you will need to agree to the Terms of Service and select Submit.

 

After the next page loads, in the top right of the screen, click your CU account to be prompted to sign out of DoOO.

 

After you have signed out and back into DoOO, you will be brought to the cPanel and are on your way to creating your own DoOO space.

 

4_1 Dashboard DoOO

2.The Dashboard

In your Dashboard, you will find 2 main sections: cPanel and User Management. You can use the icons on the top left side of your dashboard to toggle between them.

 

 

  • cPanel: where you will control your DoOO space.

  • User Manager: where you will control the user settings and add new users.

2.1.Introduction to cPanel

Your Web hosting account on coventry.domainsis managed through a control panel interface called cPanel. cPanel is an industry-standard tool for managing your domain and hosting. Using this tool, you can do all kind of thing with your Web space including the following:

 

Accessing cPanel has become even easier now! All you need to do is log in at the top right of the page at coventry.domains (with CU account and password) and your website’s cPanel will automatically be displayed upon login.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the cPanel interface. It is divided into sections, making it easy to locate the different tools and services available to you.

Many of the tutorials on this site walk you through particular tasks in cPanel, but we encourage you to explore on your own, as well.

 

2.2.What is a Web Application?

 

 

In the most general terms, a Web application is a piece of software that runs on a Web server. A Web server is a just a specialized computer designed to host Web pages.

Most Web applications are comprised of two components: files and a database. When you install a Web application, you will need to make sure all of the files are copied over into the appropriate location and that a database (and database user) has been set up to connect to those files. Often, you will have to do some configuration to make sure the application knows how to access the database.

The system we use for coventry.domains uses a special script installer called Installatron (in cPanel) that allows you to automatically install dozens of open source applications. When you use Installatron, you don’t need to worry about moving files, creating databases, or doing the initial configuration. It’s all taken care of for you. You can find out more about Installatron here.

In order to run on the coventry.domains server, Web applications must be able to run on a LAMP server, which is the particular kind of Web server that we use. Occasionally, a Web application may require additional components or modules that need to be installed on the server.

2.3.Applications Available in Installatron


Installatron, the script installer that is part of the coventry.domains cPanel, allows you to easily install Web Applications to your Web space.

Your applications will be displayed in groups depending on their function. These functions are:

  • Community Building
  • Content Management
  • eCommerce and Business
  • Photos and Files
  • Surveys and Statistics
  • Miscellaneous

 

Once in your cPanel, they will look like this:

 

 

 

 

2.4.Installing Applications with Installatron

Installatron is a script installer that allows you to quickly and easily install Web applications to on the Web space. By default, when you use Installatron, the application you add will be automatically upgraded whenever a new version is available (and a backup will be kept, just in case).

 

Installing Applications Using Installatron

 

 

 

  • Once logged in you will be on the homepage of your control panel. You will need to scroll down until you see a section of the Control Panel labeled “Software/Services.” Within this section, you will see an icon for Installatron which you should click.

 

 

  • When Installatron opens, you will see a list of any applications you’ve already installed. To install something new, click on the Applications Browser button (labeled with a large star).

 

  • A listing of all of the applications you can install be default in Installatron will appear. Browse to the one you want to install and click the icon.

  • After clicking the icon, a page will appear with information about the application, links to resources, and a link to install it.

 

  • Click “Install this application” when you are ready.

  • A page will appear with a number of settings you can choose/change. The image below shows these settings; here is a rundown of them:

 

  • Location: You’ll need to choose where to install your new application. You can install it at the root of your domain or in a subdomain (which you need to set up first). In addition, you can place your application in a folder (in either your root domain or a subdomain).

  • Version Information: You can choose a version of the application. Generally, we recommend choosing the default version. It is likely to be the most recent, stable release.

  • Updates & Database Management: By default, the system is set up to automatically upgrade (and create backups upon upgrading) all applications. In addition, by default, the database will be set up for you automatically. We recommend NOT changing these options.

  • Username/Password: An username/password will be automatically generated for you. You can choose to change this if you like.

  • Website Title: Pick a title for the site that will be created when you install your application. You should change this from the default title! After installation, you’ll be taken back to the main Installatron page, with details about the application you just installed. At anytime you can come back here to review the application details, back it up manually, or uninstall it.

 

To get to your new site, you can click the “website” link. What’s more, with certain applications you can use this space to log in to the admin area.

In addition, you’ll have received an email with your username/password and a link to your new site.

3.WordPress

 Applications, such as WordPress, are pieces of software that act as frameworks that allow you to create and use your web space. In Installatron, your will find various applications to choose from. Each one is designed to aid in a specific way such as personal portfolio, e-commerce and, education.

3.1.WordPress


WordPress is an open source blog application. WordPress forked from b2/cafelog in 2003, and WordPress multiple website functionalities have been integrated since 2010. Today WordPress is the most used blog application powering millions of blogs and being used by tens of millions of people every day.

 

Installing WordPress

WordPress is an open-source publishing platform that can be used for setting up a blog or website easily. In fact, it’s one of the most popular publishing platforms on the web. Setting up a WordPress install on your own domain can be done by following this video tutorial and/or these simple steps:

 

 

Once logged in at http://coventry.domains you will be on the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Let’s use it now to search for WordPress.

 

4_1 Dashboard DoOO

 

 

As you can see when you search a term, the corresponding section is shown. Click the WordPress button.

 

 

This page gives you more information about the WordPress software. To begin the install click Install this Application in the upper-righthand corner.

 

 

On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. For the purposes of this workshop, you will need to create WordPress in the sub-domain you created. You can select it from the drop-down menu. You also have the option of installing WordPress in a sub-folder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about sub-domains and sub-folders.

 

 

By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details. Finally, you’ll need to create an initial username and password for the WordPress install. Enter that information in the final section and click Install.

 

 

The installer will take just a few moments to install WordPress and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new WordPress site as well as a link to the back-end administrative section for your WordPress site.

 

 

 

Congratulations, you’ve now installed WordPress! Now start customizing WordPress with themes, plugins, and more.

3.2.Basic Privacy

WordPress is a platform intended to allow you to share your thoughts and ideas freely and easily with the world. However, there are options to publish to a more limited audience.

The first way is to limit who can find your website. That is done by keeping search engines, like Google, from seeing (known as indexing) your site.

To do this, we’ll start at the Dashboard.

 

Navigate to Settings > Reading.

 

Normally the box next to Search Engine Visibility is unchecked. If you decide to check the box, it will “Discourage search engines from indexing this site.” It will depend on the search engine to honor your “request”. Some search engines will simply ignore it. Obviously, this is not a sure-fire way of keeping your blog private.

You also have options on individual posts to keep them private, so that only people who are logged into your site can view a given post. You can also password protect posts with a password you supply. Choose the Private radio button to keep a post hidden behind the login, or choose the Password protected button and then type in the password you wish to use. Click OK when you are finished. Then be sure you click the Update button to save your post with the new settings.

 

There is a plugin called More Privacy Options that allows you to fine-tune privacy settings on your site.

 

 

 

3.3.Settings

In this section, you will find options to control how your site is displayed, who can post on it, how the links are inside it and more. Here we have explained the main settings:

 

Settings – General: Title and Tagline

 

 

Now that you have your WordPress installed and running, it’s time to look at some basic settings for your site. The place that you will access the settings for your site is called the Dashboard, and it provides the starting point for accessing all of your sites dials and knobs.

 

The setting we will look at here is your blog “title” and “tag line”. It is located under Settings > General. Once you’re on the General Settings page, you can give your blog any title you want. You can also give your blog a tagline, which can be a short description of the blog.

When you change the Blog title and tagline, they will show up at the top of your site. Depending on what theme you use, the title and tag lines will show up in various places. In the case of some themes, they might not show up at all depending on whether they allow custom configurations. We won’t worry about that for now. If you use the default theme (currently “Twenty Thirteen”), the blog title and tagline are both in the center left of what’s called the header of the site.

 

There are more settings on the General Settings page, such as setting the administrative email account, time zone, date format, etc. Change those to whatever is appropriate for your site and geographical location.

Reading Settings – Front Page

 

 

WordPress is a very flexible platform for creating full-blown websites, not just blogging sites. This page will show you how to change the “front page” of your website.

As we have said before, WordPress provides two primary content types for you to work with posts and pages. Posts, as in blog posts, are a somewhat complex form of web page. Each blog post gets published in reverse chronological order, on the front page of a WordPress site. You write a new post, and it gets published at the top of the front page. Pages are a more static form of content. They are additional areas to put information that doesn’t change much. So what if you would like to make the front page of your WordPress site based on a page instead of your blog posts?

Start at the Dashboard.

 

Navigate to Settings > Reading.

 

Normally, the front page displays your latest blog posts. What we want to do instead is select a Page from the website. Obviously, this page has to exist before you can select it. Select the “A static page” radio button and choose the About page from the Front page drop-down menu (an About page was created for you when you installed WordPress).

 

OK, great. Click the Save Changes button and now you will have the About page as your Front page. Edit it as you see fit and provide a good welcoming page for your visitors. But wait. What will happen to your blog posts? Most people will want them as the “dynamic” part of your site.

First, create a new Page and title it Blog (you can title it whatever you want but Blog is common and descriptive). Leave the page blank (don’t type any text in the edit box) and Publish it. Now go back to Settings > Reading. Under the static page area choose Blog from the Posts page drop-down.

 

Click the Save Changes button. Now your “home” page will actually display the About page. You will also have a Blog item in your menu (depending on your theme, you may have to customize your page display to see pages).

 

If you click on the Blog menu item, you will then see your blog posts. Notice the /blog added to the web address.

What makes WordPress a powerful platform is that not only can you create a dynamic website, but you can also allow dynamic discussions about the content with your visitors. Having said that, the Discussion part of the site needs to be managed. Comments can add to the overhead of your website management. Comments also can come, unfortunately, in the form of Spam (unsolicited promotional content).

We will give you some additional information about dealing with Spam in another section. For now, let’s have an overview of the Discussion Settings for a WordPress site.

Start at the Dashboard.

Settings – Discussion

The two main forms of discussion on a website are enclosed – “Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)” and “Allow people to post comments on new articles”.

Comments are self-explanatory. People come to your website, read an article, and as long as you allow comments, people can write whatever is on their mind. Commenters must leave their name and email address (if you leave that setting checked). You can also require users to be registered to your site to comment. They would then need to be logged in to submit any comments. By default, you will get an email sent to the admin account of the WordPress site when someone posts a comment, or when a comment is held in moderation. You can uncheck those boxes if you do not wish to receive those emails.

Navigate to Settings > Discussion.

 

A comment will appear in the article (post or page) only after you approve it. If you have approved a comment author once, they will be automatically approved the next time they leave a comment on your site. Unless you uncheck the box labeled “Comment author must have a previously approved comment”. All comments will appear automatically. We do not recommend this setting.

You also have some control over comment moderation regarding how many links a comment contains (spammers like to put links in their “comments”). You also can filter out words, URLs, email addresses, to hold them in moderation. You can then approve them, spam them, or trash them.

There are also forms of discussion called link notifications. Spammers like these too. Here is an article on the What, Why, and How-To of Trackbacks and Pingbacks in WordPress.

Sometimes it’s nice to have visual representations of the people who are commenting on your blog. Enter Avatars (still under Settings > Discussion).

 

Avatars are visual representations, pictures, graphics, etc., of users of the web. A common universal system that is used is called Gravatars (Globally Recognized Avatars). The system requires you to sign up with your email address. You can upload a graphical representation of yourself (again a picture or other graphic). From then on you are identified with your Gravatar on any blog that you use that email address with.

In the WordPress Discussion Settings, you have a few options. Whether to show Avatars at all, the “rating” allowed to be shown, and what the default Avatar will be if a user does not have a Gravatar.

Part of the popularity of WordPress is how easily it makes a website functional and yet attractive. One of the smaller details that you might want to adjust is how the addresses to your blog posts are structured. Permalink is the name given to the address of an individual blog post because they are “permanent links”. For example, the web address for our sample blog is http://coventrytestdomain.com. The link to the first post, titled “Hello World” may be structured in many ways. The screenshot below shows one way.

 

So http://coventrytestdomain.com/?p=1 may get you to that blog post, but it’s not a very informative link. With WordPress, you have many options to form the links to posts, and you can change them to make more sense than question marks and numbers. To change the permalink structure, start by going to the Dashboard.

 

Next, go to Settings > Permalinks.

As you can see, there are several choices under Common Settings. The Default setting gives us that uninformative “?p=123”. A popular choice is to use the Post name choice, which is a bit more informative. So our post titled “Hello World” will have an address of http://coventrytestdomain.com/hello-world.

 

If you want to have the date as part of the address, you can choose Day and name or Month and name. You can also change the structure of category and tag names under the Optional section.

Finally, when you write a blog post, you have the option of editing the permalink for an individual post. Just click the Edit button (underneath the Title field).

 

Then type in whatever is appropriate (and hasn’t been used yet). Generally, you want to make it as simple and short as possible or use a few words that make sense. In the example below, we just added some more words.

3.4.Appearance


WordPress gives you several way to alter the appearance of your DoOO space to meet your needs. The main options are:

  • Themes
  • Widgets
  • Menu

 

WordPress Themes

When it comes to WordPress, customizing the look of your site is simple and straightforward. When you install WordPress, the default (or pre-set) theme is called Twenty Fourteen (as of WordPress version 3.8). It is a very customizable theme. For example, while the default install doesn’t include a header, you have the option of adding one of your own images. You can also easily modify the colors of the different fonts and backgrounds used in the theme.

 

 

Twenty Fourteen also provides you with the option of choosing a slider or “grid layout” for your site’s homepage and to use a custom tag to determine which posts show up on your homepage.

You can find out more about customizing the homepage layout here. You can find out more general information about Twenty Fourteen here.

In addition to Twenty Fourteen, you’ll have other themes available to you. (What themes you have depends upon if you did a default WordPress installation, or if you installed a special package.) If Twenty Fourteen doesn’t meet your needs, you can activate another theme on your site or install a completely new one.

Activating Themes

  • Start at your site’s Dashboard.

 

  • Navigate to Appearance > Themes.

 

  • You will see thumbnail images representing each of the themes that you currently have available on your site. Simply mouse over any one of them, and click the Activate link.

 

That’s all you need to do to change the look of your site with a new theme.

Installing Themes

If none of the themes that were provided when you installed WordPress are what you’re looking for, you can always search for and install other themes from the WordPress Theme Repository.

  • Navigate to Appearance > Themes.

 

  • Installing new themes is quite simple. You start by going to the Add New Button.

 

  • The initial page is the Search Theme page, and it’s not all that helpful (or visual). You can check a few “filter” boxes to see what comes up, but there is a more visual way. Click the Featured link at the top and you’ll get visual (screenshot) examples of other themes you can install. You can also click “Newest” or “Recently Updated”.

 

  • Under the thumbnail picture of each theme (when you hover your mouse over the theme) are three choices – Install, Preview, and Details & Preview. Those choices should be pretty self-explanatory so click Install to add a new theme to your site.

 

  • After you install the theme, it is still not active on your site. You will need to Activate it to use it.

 

  • Once activated, your site will be using the new theme. Visit your site’s homepage to view your new theme.

 

 

Customize a Theme

 

 

WordPress Widgets

Widgets are a more advanced feature of WordPress that allow you, even more, control over the content on your site. In essence, widgets are small containers of content that can be placed in various areas of your site. Where you can place widgets depends entirely on the theme you are using. Many (most) themes include at least one “sidebar” into which you can place widgets. Some themes include additional widget areas.

The best way to find out what areas are available to you is to go to Appearance > Widgets and take a look at the areas listed on the right. Each widget area will appear as a box on the right. In the example shown below, the theme contains three widget areas: Primary Sidebar, Content Sidebar, and Footer Widget Area.

On the right, you will see a number of widgets available to you. WordPress comes with some default widgets. Other widgets might become available when you have a particular theme activated. Finally, some plugins provide additional widgets to you.

Widgets can present all different kinds of information. The simplest widgets allow you to add text to your site. But you’ll also find widgets with many options that you can set to display dynamic content or to interact with other services. Below is a list of the default widgets available in WordPress.

When you’re ready to start using widgets, all you need to do is drag them from the right-hand side of the Widgets interface into the boxes on the left. WordPress will immediately save them, but you may need to set some options.

Default Widgets

  • Archives: Shows a monthly listing of your posts.

    • Calendar: Shows a calendar view of your posts.
    • Categories: Shows a list of all of the categories on your site.
    • Custom Menu: Shows a custom menu that you’ve set up with WordPress’ Custom Menu interface.
    • Links: Shows your links.
    • Meta: Shows links to your RSS feed and your login.
    • Pages: Shows a menu of all of your pages.
    • Recent Comments: Shows the most recent comments on your posts.
    • Recent Posts: Shows your most recent posts.
    • RSS: Allows you to show content from an RSS feed.
    • Search: Provides your users with a search box.
    • Tag Cloud: Shows a “cloud” of the tags/categories on your site.
    • Text: Shows whatever text you enter.

     

 

Building Your Custom Menu

 

 

Start at your site’s Dashboard and choose Appearance the Menus.

 

In the Custom Menus interface that appears, type a name for your menu. This can be anything you want. It doesn’t get displayed anywhere; it’s used by WordPress to identify and place your menu. Once you’ve typed the name, click Create Menu.

You’ll now be presented with a screen that includes a section titled Menu Settings. This is where you’ll indicate where you want your menu to appear in your theme. The number of locations available depends entirely on the theme you choose. In the example shown below, there are two areas available; we’ve chosen to place the menu in the Top primary menu area which we know corresponds to the header menu. You may need to experiment a bit in order to find out where your menu will appear in your theme. You can always change this location later by coming back here and clicking the Manage Locations tab.

Now that you’ve set up your menu and assigned it to a location, you can begin to add links to it. On the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll see what content is available to add. On the right-hand side of the screen, in the Menu Structure area, you can arrange and organize your links.

By default, you may not see everything that is available to you to add to your menu. For example, posts can be added to menus, but they’re not usually displayed by default. To make more content available, click the Screen Options tab at the top of your WordPress screen, and then click off the check boxes that correspond to the additional content.

 

To add content to your menu, simply check it off on the left, and click the Add to Menu button.

 

Your new content will appear on the right, and you can drag items in the order you want them to appear. Drag items to the right to indent them under other items. This will usually make them appear as drop-down items in your menu.

 

You can add custom links to your menu by clicking the Links section on the left. In the short form that appears, enter your link’s URL, and a text for the link. Click Add to Menu to move it to the left.

 

Note that you can change the link text of any item you add to your menu. This can be helpful if you have a page with a long title, and you’d like the link to not take up so much space. You can abbreviate the title in the Navigation Label section, and that shorter text will become the actual menu link.

 

When you are done, make sure you click Save Menu.

Other Notes about Menus

When you add a Category or Tag to a menu, the link will take your readers to an archive of all the posts on your site that use that category or tag. This can be a very useful feature for organizing your content when you’re using posts to share your work.

In addition to assigning Custom Menus to theme areas, there is a default Custom Menu widget that you can put in the sidebar of your site. This is useful for creating smaller, customized navigation for your site.

If you forget to click Save Menu after making changes to your menu location or content, you will lose your work!

3.5.Publishing Content


The primary activity that you’re likely to be doing on your WordPress site is publishing content. The content could be the text you write, pictures you take, videos or audios (which may be hosted on another site), or other media that you’ve found elsewhere on the Web. WordPress makes it very easy to publish media content of all types, whether hosted on your actual Web server or elsewhere.

 

 

Posts vs Pages

Out of the box, WordPress provides two primary content types for you to work with posts and pages. If you read blogs or have ever written for a blog before, the concept of a post is probably a bit familiar.

  • Posts often are content that appears on your blog in some kind of scheduled way. They usually are presented on your site in reverse-chronological order. Posts might be what you use to share your regular thoughts, reflections, or ideas about a topic. Posts make up a kind of “river” of content that you’re producing as part of your blogging activity.
  • Pages usually correspond to our more traditional concept of what makes up a Web site. Pages are presented outside of the “river” of content that are posts. They are more likely to stand alone and be organized according to a traditional hierarchy. Pages might be content that is less frequently updated or changed.

If you were using WordPress to build a business Web site with a lot of information content, you would probably use Pages. If you added a feature to that site where you started to advertise special events or news, you would probably use Posts.

A few other things to know about Pages vs Posts:

  • If you want your content to be accessible to your users via RSS/syndication, you’ll need to use Posts. By default, Pages do not appear in a site’s RSS feed.
  • Categories and Tags (which are used in WordPress to help you organize your content) are ONLY available on Posts. Page organization is done through customizing your site’s menus.
  • Okay, this get’s a little tricky: WordPress, by default, also creates “Category Pages” and “Tag Pages” that display all the Posts in a category or tag. These are NOT related to the regular Page type.

Post Formats

Recent versions of WordPress have built out a new “post format” feature which, if you are using a theme with the feature enabled, will style post formats differently depending on what they are. The formats that are built-in to WordPress (and are available for theme developers to use) are the following:

  • aside – Similar to a Facebook note update.
  • gallery – A gallery of images.
  • link – A link to another site.
  • image – A single image.
  • quote – A quotation.
  • status – A short status update, similar to a Twitter status update.
  • video – A single video.
  • audio – An audio file.
  • chat – A chat transcript.

Those of you familiar with Tumblr may recognize this approach to post formats.

For the most part, post formats are designed as a way to style a site (and customize styling depending on the kind of content that is being displayed). They have no special functionality, and their use depends entirely on the theme you are using. Many older themes, for example, do not recognize post formats.

3.6.Media


 

Adding Media: Photos, Videos, and Others

 

Upon occasion, you may want to include media (images, audio, video) in your site’s posts and pages. There are generally two approaches to handling media in WordPress:

Uploading: You can upload the files to your site’s Media Gallery and then link to them in your posts/pages. This works very well for images, and when you take this approach for images you have the added benefit of being able to make use of WordPress’ built-in (albeit rudimentary) editing tools.

Also, when you upload images to WordPress, it automatically creates different sizes that you can use, as needed. This approach works less well for audio and video. In order to have your media files actually show up in a “player” (with controls for stopping, pausing, etc.) you’ll need to install a plugin. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to include links to the files. How people view/listen to them will depend on the setup on their own computer and in their own browser. They may, for example, have to download the media file and then open it in another program on their computer.

 

Embedding: You can embed media from other sites easily in WordPress. Embedding an image just means providing a URL to its location elsewhere on the Web. Instead of uploading it to the server, WordPress grabs that image from the external source and displays it on your post/page. However, with this approach, you lose your editing capabilities as well as the resizing feature. Embedding audio and video from external sources becomes easier with every version of WordPress it seems.

These days, you can embed video and audio from many external services (YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc) by simply placing the full URL of the audio/video location on its own line in your post/page. There is a complete list of supported external services, and you can learn more about embedding from external sources at the WordPress site.

 

Our general advice is to use externally hosted media whenever it makes sense and works. This is usually the case when you need to use audio or video; without plugins, well-presented audio and video in WordPress is tricky. For images, if you need to do basic editing and/or require different sizes of images, upload them to your site. Otherwise, consider referencing them from another location (your Flickr account, for example).

3.7.Plugins

WordPress gives you the ability to add “pluging” or “special services to your site. Please follow the instructions below to do so.

 

WordPress Plugins

WordPress has a lot of functionality built-in, but occasionally you might find a specific need that isn’t a part of the default software. To accomplish this, WordPress has a plugin architecture where developers can create plugins that add additional functionality to your site. From simple photo galleries to site statistics, to automatic Twitter and Facebook sharing of posts, there is practically a plugin for whatever you need for your blog (over 23,000 at the time of this writing). To start using and installing plugins just follow these simple instructions:

  1. Log in to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. From the left side menu, locate and click on plugins.

 

  • You will be given a list of all your currently installed plugins.

    1. From this menu, you are able to activate and disable specified plugins by using either the single plugin options located under each plugin name.– Or you may use the bulk action drop down menu to simultaneously activate/disable multiple plugins by checking desired plugins

      – Additionally, you may also sort through installed plugins using the sorting options above the bulk action menu.

    2. To install a new plugin click “add new” either from the plugin sidebar or the main plugin menu, you will then be redirected to a search engine where you can search using general or specific terms to find plugins. – For example searching “photo gallery” brings up various plugins from different developers.
    3. Once you find your desired plugin to install it hit “install now”, which will automatically install the plugin and prompt you if you would like to activate it now or return to the menu.

     

After installing your plugin be sure to visit the developers’ website if you have any additional questions about how the plugin works, as some plugins may require certain codes or other actions to be used properly.

Some plugins will have their own settings page located under the 'Settings‘, other plugins will break out their own menu item on the left-hand side of the Dashboard. The best way to understand how to use a plugin is to make sure you’ve read the documentation available on the plugin’s website as every plugin behaves differently and sometimes it won’t be explicit how the plugin interacts with your website.

3.8.Spam Management

Managing Comment Spam with Akismet

SPAM! Everyone hates it in their email. If you’re new to WordPress and blogging platforms, spam exists in the form of comment spam – people (or vermin) leave comments promoting their services or schemes, on a post or page.

So how do you deal with comment spam when it can come in even more often than email spam? Do you have to delete every comment that comes in? Well, the answer to the second question is “no”, and the answer to the first question is, with a plugin called Akismet.

To get started we need to install a plugin. To do this, we’ll start at the Dashboard.

 

Navigate to Plugins > Installed Plugins.

 

At or near the top of the list of plugins that are automatically installed in a new WordPress installation, is Akismet. It is not activated, so part of the process of getting Akismet is Activating the plugin. Before you activate it, however, you need to get something that will be somewhat strange for most people. It’s called an API key. API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it’s a way for programs and services to “talk” to each other. The Akismet plugin requires you to get an Akismet API Key, which is simply a “code” that you supply when activating the plugin. The key is free if you use it on a personal WordPress installation, and it is available on the Akismet website.

 

Once you arrive on the Akismet for WordPress site, click the Get an Akismet API key button.

 

If you have an account at WordPress.com you can sign in with that login and get your key. Otherwise, fill in an email address, a username, and a password to use for a new account. Click the Sign-up button to proceed.

 

Type in the URL of the site you’ll use Akismet on and click on the Sign-Up button under the Personal plan (that is if you want it to be the free version). When you get to the next page, the recommended contribution is around £22. You can adjust the slider down to £0. The smiley face will begin to frown, but at least your key will be free.

 

Also, fill in your name and click Continue.

 

You are finished with the sign-up process for your key, and it will be displayed on the page for you (we’ve blurred ours out). Now follow the steps that they show you for using your new key. You will enter the key in either the Akismet area under Plugins or JetPack (if you have that installed).

An additional note: If you installed WordPress through coventry.domains using Installatron you will also have another spam plugin “Cookies for Comments” activated automatically which helps to catch spam that Akismet might not.

 

 

 

3.9.iOS and Android App

You can download the WordPress app from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store for your mobile device.

 

— —

Screenshot Setup Tutorial:

When you open the WordPress app, tap on Add Self-Hosted Site:

 

Then, you will be able to enter your WordPress site credentials:

 

These credentials come from your Installatron page of WordPress. To access these credentials, first, open Installatron:

 

Next, click on your installed instance of WordPress:

From here, you can access your WordPress site credentials. You may consider making these your CU account login and password to easily remember this information:

With these credentials, enter them into the WordPress App along with the URL for your WordPress website and select Add Site:

 

On the next page, you will see all of the WordPress websites you have added to the WordPress App. Select the site you just added:

 

On this page, you can navigate your post, pages, comments, and more! To start a new post, tap on the Pencil Icon:

 

On this page, add your Title and Content:

 

 

You can also edit the properties of text by selecting the text and the different Text Property Buttons:

 

 

To view the progress of your post, select the Preview Icon:

 

 

When finished, select Publish:

 

Now when you visit your WordPress web page, you will see your new blog post!

4.Other Web Applications

In this section, we will cover other web applications found on the Installatron. Please keep in mind that the number of applications avaliable is not limited to the ones described in this section.  As a reminder, below is a list of all of the applications currently available to you through Installatron:

Community BuildingContent ManagementeCommerce and BusinessPhotos and FilesSurveys and StatisticsMiscellaneous
  • Vanilla Forums
  • MediaWiki
  • ExtCalendar
  • phpScheduler
  • WebCalendar
  • phpFreeChat
  • phpMyChat
  • Dada Mail
  • PHPlist
  • Site Recommender
  • FluxBB
  • MyBB
  • phpBB
  • Simple Machines
  • XMB Forum
  • Elgg
  • Oxwall
  • Pligg
  • GBook
  • Lazarus Guestbook
  • DokuWiki
  • PmWiki
  • WikkaWiki
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Omeka
  • b2evolution
  • Geeklog
  • PivotX
  • Serendipity
  • Textpattern
  • CMS Made Simple
  • concrete5
  • Contao
  • ImpressPages
  • liveSite
  • Nucleus CMS
  • phpwcms
  • PyroCMS
  • SilverStripe
  • Soholaunch
  • TYPO3
  • WebsiteBaker
  • Chamilo
  • Moodle
  • phpMyFAQ
  • Code Igniter
  • Coranto
  • MODx
  • e107
  • Joomla
  • Mahara
  • Mambo
  • ocPortal
  • PHP-Fusion
  • PHP-Nuke
  • Tiki Wiki CMS Groupware
  • Xoops
  • Zikula
  • OpenX
  • OSClass
  • Quicksell Classifieds
  • FrontAccounting
  • OrangeHRM
  • Feng Office
  • SugarCRM
  • Vtiger
  • Zurmo
  • CubeCart
  • Magento
  • OpenCart
  • osCommerce
  • PrestaShop
  • TomatoCart
  • Zen Cart
  • BoxBilling
  • phpCOIN
  • Simple Invoices
  • WHMCS
  • Collabtive
  • Mantis
  • PHProjekt
  • Crafty Syntax Live Help
  • Help Center Live
  • HESK
  • osTicket
  • ownCloud
  • Gallery
  • GQ File Manager
  • OpenDocMan
  • Power File Manager
  • ProjectSend
  • Coppermine
  • Piwigo
  • TinyWebGallery
  • ZenPhoto

  • Aardvark Topsites
  • Advanced Poll
  • LimeSurvey
  • phpESP
  • Simple Poll
  • phpMyCounter
  • Piwiki
  • Seo Panel
  • YOURLS
  • Tiny Tiny RSS
  • PHPLinks
  • SiteBar
  • iTron Clock
  • WebCards
  • Contact Form
  • Form Tools
  • phpFormGenerator
  • Webtrees
  • Feed on Feeds
  • Selfoss
  • Search Engine Project

4.1.MediaWiki

MediaWiki is an open-source publishing platform that can be used for creating a collaborative document repository. It’s the software that drives the Wikipedia website. Setting up a MediaWiki install on your own domain can be done by following these steps:

  1. To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (coventry.domains) using your CU account and password.

     

  2. Once logged in you will be on the homepage of your control panel. Navigate the Web Applications section of the cPanel and click View All for the All Applications. Then find and select MediaWiki.


     

  3. The next page gives you more information about the MediaWiki software. To begin the install, click install this application in the upper right-hand corner.

     

  4. On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. If you’re wanting to install MediaWiki on your main (the root) domain, you can leave the directory area empty. If you created a subdomain, you can select it from the drop-down menu.

    You also have the option of installing MediaWiki in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. In this instance, we have opted to install it in a subdomain called mediawiki.coventrytestdomain.com. Click here for more information about subdomains and subfolders.

     

    (By default the installer will automatically backup your MediaWiki website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details.)

  5. Finally, you’ll need to create an initial username and password for the WordPress install. Enter that information in the final section and click Install (Note: A default username and password are provided for you.

The installer will take just a few moments to install WordPress and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new MediaWiki site as well as a link to the back-end administrative section for your MediaWiki site.

 

Congratulations, you have now completed the installation of MediaWiki! You can now start to create collaborative documents on your own domain.

Managing Permissions

The default MediaWiki installed has been customized to make it a bit harder for spammers to overwhelm wikis with illegitimate content and comments. This is done by modifying the LocalSettings.php file (a file that is included in every install in which it is possible to provide configurations details).

By default, MediaWiki allows anonymous users to create pages and edit pages in the wiki. The modifications change this in the following ways:

  • Anonymous users cannot edit existing pages
  • Anonymous users cannot create pages
  • Registered users must click the confirmation link in the registration email in order to edit or create pages

This approach should drastically reduce unsolicited content and comments on MediaWiki installations. One further step that administrator might take is to turn registration off after a predetermined amount of time. Users must create accounts by this date; after that, the settings are changed so that registrations are no longer open.

To add this setting, you must edit LocalSettings.php in your MediaWiki install:

  1. Login to cPanel and browse to your File Manager.
  2. In the File Manager, browse to the folder within Public Html that contains your MediaWiki install. If you installed the wiki at the root of your domain, you won’t need to go any further than Public Html. If you installed the wiki in a subdomain or subdirectory, you’ll need to find the directory that is associated with that space.

  3. Locate LocalSettings.php and click the Edit or Code Editor icon at the top of the File Manager.

  4. Browse to the bottom of the document, and locate the custom settings that were added during the MediaWiki install and the line “$wgGroupPermissions[‘*’][‘createaccount’] = false;”

4.2.Omeka

Omeka is an open-source web application that can be used to create and display online digital collections. Developed by programmers at George Mason University, Omeka was designed to be user-friendly, both during installation and setup and during daily usage. To install Omeka, use these simple steps:

  1. To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel (coventry.domains) using your CU account and password.

     

  2. Once logged in you will be on the homepage of your control panel. Navigate the Web Applications section of the cPanel and click View More for the All Applications. Then find and select Omeka

     

  3. This page gives you more information about the Omeka software. To begin the install click install this application in the upper-righthand corner.

     

  4. On the next page, the installer will ask for some information about this install. The first thing you’ll want to do is decide where to install it. If you’re wanting to install Omeka on your main domain, you can leave the directory area empty. If you created a subdomain, you can select it from the drop-down menu. You also have the option of installing Omeka in a subfolder by typing in the folder name in the Directory field. Click here for more information about subdomains and subfolders.

  5. By default the installer will automatically backup your website and update it anytime a new version comes out. While we recommend you keep this option, it is possible to only do minor updates, or turn them off completely. The installer will also create a database for you automatically, but if you’ve already created one for this website you can choose Let me manage the database settings and enter the details. Click Install to continue.

     

  6. The installer will take just a few moments to install Omeka and a progress bar will keep you updated. When it is complete you will see a link to your new Omeka site as well as a link to the backend administrative section for your Omeka site. Click the website link to configure your new Omeka installation.

     

  7. When you visit your new Omeka installation for the first time, you will be taken to the site configuration page. Enter a Username, Password, and Email for the administrative superuser (i.e. yourself).

     

  8. Under “Site Settings,” enter an Administrator Email and a Site Title. The Administrator email is the address that messages from the system (e.g. forgot password email reminder) will appear to come from. You might want to create a custom email address using these instructions, for example, webmaster@yourdomain.com or omeka-admin@yourdomain.com, to use for this purpose. The Site Title will appear at the top of your visitors’ browser windows.

     

  9. Further down the Site Settings page are several numerical settings; you may leave these at the defaults if you are new to Omeka. When you are done making changes, click the Install button to submit the configuration page and proceed.

     

  10. Congratulations! Omeka is now installed. Use the buttons to either proceed to the Public Site or to begin adding content, go to the Admin Dashboard.

5.Social Media

 

As you begin to build out your digital presence you’ll probably start to think about social media in some form. In fact, it’s likely that you already have at least one, if not more, social media accounts (Facebook being the most popular to date). Everyone uses social media in different ways, and although it’s often interesting to see people break the boundaries of the “social norms” of a specific online community, this article will focus more on the accepted use cases for specific social networks and how they can help you build your digital presence. This is by no means a comprehensive “How To” of Twitter or Facebook, but a good starting guide to thinking about where you best fit into these online communities.

 

Facebook

 

The majority of folks that will read this likely have a Facebook account. With over 1 billion active users it’s by far one of the more popular social networks. Many treat Facebook as a semi-personal space, one reserved for family and friends to share photos and highlights of what’s happening in their lives. Facebook also supports “Groups” for sharing among a smaller set of individuals regularly, and “Pages” which are less personal and more public-facing profiles meant for organizations and businesses. There are plenty of applications that make it easy to publish a link to the work you do on your blog and your participation in other networks back into your Facebook profile.

 

In general, it’s a good practice and can often lead to interesting conversations with different groups of folks. This practice of publishing elsewhere and then feeding into Facebook is desired over the alternative, using Facebook for all content and then pushing it out to other communities. The main reason for this is that privacy concerns over how different people can view content on Facebook have changed often enough to leave users concerned. There’s also never any certainty of sustainability with any of these social networks (remember MySpace or Friendster?) no matter how popular, so publishing in your own space and then pushing out to others makes a lot of sense. The key takeaway is that Facebook is a great personal network and can also be the starting point for some of these larger professional discussions should you decide to use it that way.

 

Twitter

 

While no longer the new kid on the block, Twitter has only relatively recently started to gain momentum. It doesn’t have nearly the same user base as Facebook (though there are about 500 million accounts to date) and the way people use it is very different. Twitter has focused on the short status message from the start before Facebook even integrated the idea into their platform. Users are limited to 140 characters. It’s a conversational platform for interacting with people. It’s used heavily at conferences and many choose this as a social network for really networking with peers and others in their community as well as people they might not ever meet in real life.

 

You can follow as many people as you want and it’s a great way of having a stream of information about “what’s happening” with people and groups you’re interested in. One powerful development of Twitter is that celebrities have begun to embrace it as a way to speak directly to their fans without having the message interpreted through other media and journalism with a slant. The ability to search various topics or hashtags (keywords) and see a running stream of what people are saying about that topic is also a very powerful way of gauging reaction to ideas and events. It’s a great idea to experiment with a Twitter account by signing up, adding a profile picture and information about yourself, following a group of people, and interacting with it daily. While the gratification may not be immediate, it’s one of those social networks where the more you put into it the more you will get out of it.

 

LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn is the professional resume of social networks. It mixes the ability to keep an updated resume of where you work and what your accomplishments are with a social aspect of having people recommend you and comment on your work. Most users find LinkedIn helpful not as a day-to-day network they use, but rather when they’re searching for a new job and want to find people they know that might have connections. The old saying “It’s who you know” when finding a job or making a connection is particularly relevant here where those connections can be exposed to you (“You know this person who works for the company of one of Bill Gates sons, and the VP went to high school with you).

 

Summary

 

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, talking about social media is an ever-changing and moving target and this article can never be truly comprehensive. The goal of coventry.domains is to have you thinking more critically about where you put your content, not that you don’t participate in these networks which still have a lot of value, but rather that you own the work you create. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others all have different audiences and the more places you push your content to, the more opportunities for discussion and feedback you’ll receive.

 

The ability to network with an increased amount of people that isn’t reliant on face-to-face meetings is a powerful change in how we interact on the web and the value of it. As you begin to explore social media the best recommendation would be to choose a space you want to explore and really dive in. Follow as many people as possible, talk to them, respond to their work, and you’re more likely to get responses in return that start to build that sense of community for you.

6.About Web Spaces

6.1.Technical Requirements

 

Coventry.domains uses a kind of Web server known as a LAMP server. “LAMP” is an acronym for the technology stack that is installed on the server:

  • Linux: This is the open-source operating system that is used on the server.
  • Apache: This is the Web server software that the server uses.
  • MySQL: This is the database software that the server uses.
  • Php/Perl/Python: These are the three programming languages that the server can interpret.

 

 

Generally, if you are using applications available to install by default through the coventry.domains server, you shouldn’t need to worry about these technical details. All of the software that is available for installation (in cPanel) meets the technical requirements.

If you’re interested in finding/installing another application (that isn’t available through our automatic installer tool), then you’ll have to be sure that the server can support it. To start with, you’ll want to be sure that the Web application can run on a LAMP server. Check the technical requirements for the application to determine this. You’ll also need to do some research about whether there are any additional services or modules required on the server. Some software may require components that aren’t included in the default installation of the LAMP stack. In that case, contact us with details about what you need, and we’ll see what we can do.

6.2.Lamp Environments

When you sign up for coventry.domains, you get space on a Web host that is associated with the project. There are a few things you need to know about the Web host that will make it easier to understand what you can do with your new space.

 

The Web Server

The Web server is the main computer that is associated with the coventry.domains hosting account. It’s literally a computer, but it’s a computer that has special software on it that allows it to be accessible via the Web. The files that run your applications, images or video you upload or any other files you upload into your Web space are stored on this server.

(For comparison’s sake, your desktop or laptop computer, by default, doesn’t allow this; I can’t access files on your computer through a Web browser by default. You CAN actually install Web server software on your own computer, essentially making your files accessible over the Web.)

In order to run, a Web server has an operating system installed and some kind of Web server software. The coventry.domains server runs the ‘LINUX‘ operating system and an ‘APACHE‘ Web server.

 

The Database Server

In addition to the Web server, there is also an associated database server. This is another computer, but it is configured with software that allows it to host databases. It is also connected to your Web server so that your applications (hosted on the Web server) can retrieve data (from databases hosted on the database server).

Databases come in LOTS of varieties. The kind of database you can use for a Web application depends on the kind of software that’s installed on the database server. The coventry.domains server can run ‘MYSQL‘ databases.

 

The Programming Language

When you install open-source software on your Web account, it’s going to be written in some programming language. Your Web server has the software installed on it that allows it to understand different languages. If you install software that’s written in a language that your Web server doesn’t read, it won’t work.

The coventry.domains server has the software installed on it that allows it to understand ‘PHP’, ‘PERL’, and ‘PYTHON’.

 

Add it Together: LAMP

If you take a look at all the descriptions above, you can determine that we are running what is known as a LAMP server for coventry.domains:

  • Linux (operating system)
  • Apache (web server)
  • MySQL (database server)
  • PHP/PERL/PYTHON (programming language)

Applications that are written for LAMP environments will, presumably, run on the server. However, some applications do require additional extensions or libraries that aren’t included, by default, in a LAMP environment. The applications you can install via Installatron (in cPanel) should work just fine.

What makes LAMP environments special is that all of the component parts are open-source. Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP, PERL, and PYTHON are all open-source programs or systems. Anyone can download them (for free) and install them. Anyone can also modify them and redistribute them. As a result, there are lots of online resources for using these systems that have been built by their communities of users. But, also as a result, since you’re not paying for these systems, you can’t just call up a company and ask them to fix a problem.

 

Video Resource

You may find this video, which explains how the LAMP technology stack works, useful in further understanding LAMP Web environments.

6.3.Static and Dynamic Websites

Static Web Sites

In the early days of the Web, almost all Web sites were what is known as ‘static sites’. Content (text, images, video, audio, etc), was placed or embedded in a file in which HTML tags were used to format it. If you looked at the actual contents of the file, you might see something like this:

 

The content and the tags lived side-by-side. To edit the page, you’d open up the file (on your own computer) in a program capable of editing HTML files and make changes to either the content or the presentation. Every page had to be edited individually, even if the edits you were making were for common elements that appeared on many pages (like menu bars).

From a technical perspective, accessing a static Web site is fairly straightforward. When your computer is connected to the Internet, you can use a Web browser to access files on a Web server (as long as you know the address). The Web server delivers the contents of those files to your browser, and your browser displays them.

 

Dynamic Websites

Over time, as the Web became more sophisticated, new systems emerged for creating and managing Web sites. These moved beyond the model of having content and HTML tags live in a simple HTML page which your browser accessed and displayed. Instead, these systems were Web applications – software that literally runs on the Web server and makes it possible to manage a Web site, often with very sophisticated features. One feature of these applications is that they separate content and presentation by storing most content (your text, images, etc) and data about the site (the title, options, etc) in a database.

On the Web server, the Web application installs files that are written in some kind of programming language. The server reads this code and obeys any requests in it to access data in the database (which lives on a separate server) and displays it according to the instructions in the code.

 

Essentially, the data for the site (living in a series of tables in a database on the database server) is entirely separate from the actual presentation of the site (living in the code of the programmed files on the Web server). Special software on both the Web server and the Database server enable the two to speak to each other and work together.

One of the benefits of using a Web application is that you usually don’t need to touch (or even look at!) the code in order to make changes to your content. In addition, editing the site usually involves accessing some kind of control panel through your Web browser and filling out a form, instead of having to download and access files in software on your own computer.

Dynamic vs Static Content

Sometimes when we talk about the difference between dynamic and static content we get bogged down in the idea of whether or not the content is “fresh” (dynamic, regularly updated) or “old” (static, never updated). How frequently you update your content has nothing to do with what kind of system you are using to manage your site. You can manage a static Web site (as described above) and update the content every day. You can also have a dynamic Web site (running something like WordPress) and never change the content after you create it.

Generally speaking, it is easier to regularly update content on a dynamic Web site because the Web application just makes it easier. Sometimes, even when you just want a very basic page or placeholder, it’s easier to install a Web application (and only put up a single page) then to manually create an HTML page and upload it.

A Side Note about Separating Content from Presentation: Style Sheets

Another aspect of separating content from presentation involves the use of ‘Cascading Style Sheets’ (CSS). These are special files that live on your Web server and are linked to your Web pages. They contain information (written in a special markup language) about how to make elements on your site look. They allow you, for example, to define in a single location what all Level 1 Headings look like on your site. They are an important aspect of understanding how to separate content from presentation, but they’re not really an aspect of the difference between static and dynamic sites. Both static and dynamic sites can use style sheets.

7.Advanced cPanel Functions

 

In the cPanel you will find other sections that will help you develop further your web space in DoOO. 

7.1.Creating an Email Address

Creating an email address in the control panel creates a mailbox on the server for mail to be delivered to. In some cases this might be desired if you want to maintain full control of the email you receive, however, in many cases, users may wish to simply create an Email Forwarder that sets up a custom email address and sends all mail sent to it on to the address of your choice. This article will show you how to setup both methods.

 

  • On the homepage of the Control Panel, you will see a section titled Mail that contains several tools for setting up email addresses. To get started let’s go to the Email Accounts page.

 

This screen will allow us to setup an email address that uses a mailbox stored on the server. You will be able to access mail sent to this email address either through a webmail client or a desktop/mobile client directly. Enter the desired email address as well as a password to associate with that email address. You can choose to set a quota for how large of a mailbox you need or set this to unlimited (keep in mind your quota will still be dictated by the limits of the hosting account). Once you’re done click Create Account.

 

 

 

Your email address is created and it’s ready to be used. You have the choice of accessing it via the webmail options built into your Control Panel or setting up a mail client directly from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device. To access these options you can click on the More button.

 

If you already have an email address you want to use like a Gmail or Hotmail account, you may wish to create an Email Forwarder instead of a mailbox. Setting up a forwarder is very simple. Start by clicking on instead of a mailbox. Setting up a forwarder is very simple. Start by clicking on Forwarders from the Mail section of your control panel home page.

 

 

The first screen will show you any existing forwarders that you have created. To setup a new forwarding account, click Add Forwarder.

 

To create a new forwarding account, simply type in the desired email address as well as the email address you’d like all mail to be forwarded to. When you are done click Add Forwarder.

 

You have now successfully created an Email Forwarder and all email sent to your custom email address will be forwarded on to the address you entered.

 

Video Tutorials

Create a Self-Hosted Email Account:


Access your Self-Hosted Email Account:

7.2.File Structures and the File Manager


Web hosting is, at its basic core, files, and folders on a computer that is connected to the Internet and setup to distribute them. How that computer (typically a server) is setup to do that is covered more in LAMP Environments but this article will explain the idea of the file structure and how it relates to what you view on your domain.

When you signed up for your domain a web hosting account was created. Although you typically will interact mostly with the web interface to create subdomains, install applications, and other common tasks, you might occasionally also need to work directly with the files in your account. The File Manager in your cPanel is one way to see these files. You can also create an FTP account in cPanel and use an FTP program to interact with these files (FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol, and it’s a way of using a desktop client to transfer files to and from your Web server space).

Let’s take a look at the File Manager built into your cPanel to get a better understanding of the file structure that makes up your website(s).

  • Login to cPanel with your username and password provided to you as part of the workshop.

 

 

  • On the homepage of your control panel, you will have all the various tools listed. You can easily find the File Manager by using the search tool in the upper right-hand corner and typing File Manager. When it comes up, go ahead and click on it.

 

 

  • When you click File Manager a popup will ask you where you want to start. For now, go ahead and choose Home Directory which is probably selected by default, and click Go.

 

  • You are now sent to the File Manager and can navigate the folder structure there.

You’ll notice when the File Manager opens up that this looks very much like a folder on your computer. There are a few folders in it as well as files, and you can navigate down into those folders and see what’s inside of them. At the top level of the File Manager, you also have the option of interacting with files and folders you select by moving them around or removing them.

 

There is a larger article all about how to use the file manager at Accessing Your Files through the File Manager so we won’t talk much about how the interface works, rather we’ll cover what those folders and files actually mean and how they relate to what someone sees when they visit your website.

By default, you have a variety of folders at the root of your web space (the first screen you see when you open up the file manager). Some of them are created automatically to store information about the panel and setup of certain sites. These folders are things like access logs, etc, SSL, and TMP. You can safely ignore most of those folders because they don’t correspond to actual websites. Let’s look at which folders do and how it all works.

Your main domain, mydomain.com, corresponds with a folder called “public HTML.” Whatever files and folders are inside of this folder are available in that domain. If you installed WordPress here you’ll likely see a lot of WordPress-related files within it (which were probably helpfully put there by the automated installer).

Let’s say we uploaded an image called mypicture.jpg into the Public HTML folder. That image would now be available at mydomain.com/mypicture.jpg. The slash after your domain implies “this file is inside this folder”. But what if we had a folder inside the Public HTML folder? How does that appear? This is typically called a subfolder so let’s put a folder in Public HTML called “images” and put our image, mypicture.jpg, inside of that folder. What would you type in a browser to get to that file now? The location would be mydomain.com/images/mypicture.jpg. So subfolders are also indicated by a forward slash after a domain.

 

What about subdomains?

You can have completely separate sites called subdomains that appear as nameofsubdomain.mydomain.com. But where are they in the file structure? When you created your subdomain the control panel asked you to give the folder a name. If I had a subdomain called photos.mydomain.com for example, I might want to name the folder “photos” (by default your control panel will call the folder by the name of the subdomain). Folders for subdomains are located inside the Public HTML folder. So when you go to the File Manager and navigate to Public HTML you’ll see folders listed for all of your subdomains and once you navigate inside one of those folders you’ll see files and folders specifically for that subdomain that appear on the web at that subdomain’s address.

The File Manager in your control panel is great to view these files and folders, but it can be limiting if you want to upload an entire folder of information to your website. If you find yourself wanting to do more with the files and folders on your web space you can download an FTP program like Filezilla and connect to your website by creating an FTP account in your control panel (also located in the Websites and Domains tab). An FTP program will allow you to upload and download an unlimited number of files and folders quickly.

7.3.Accessing Your Files through the File Manager

Your coventry.domains cPanel include a File Manager that allows you to interact directly with the files stored in your web-hosting account. This can be useful if you want to upload software that cannot be automatically installed via the Web Applications section of your cPanel, if you need to change the name or permissions of a file or group or files, or if you want to edit a plain text file. To access your files via the File Manager, use these steps:

Login to coventry.domains with your CU account and password.

 

 

 

Once logged in you will be on the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “File Manager” (without the quotes). As you type, the cPanel page will begin to narrow down results, and soon the only visible options will be the File Manager.

 

 

In the File Manager Directory Selection window, choose the Webroot (/public_html/www) option. This will take you directly to the folder that contains the files associated with your website(s). To proceed, click “Go”.

 

On the left side of the “File Manager” window, you’ll see a navigation menu containing the file structure of your web-hosting account. More information about the contents of these files and folders can be found in the “File Structures and the File Manager” documentation in this knowledge-base. You will notice your current location (the public_html folder) is bolded and highlighted in this menu. Click the [+] (expand) icon next to a folder to see what sub-folders it contains, or click on the name of the folder to view all of its contents in the file browser on the right side of the page. You can also navigate through the folders in your account by double-clicking on them in the file browser on the right side of the “File Manager” page.

 

 

To select an item, click once on its icon in the file browser. You can also use the “Select All” button above the file browser, or your computer’s keyboard shortcuts (Shift, Command, Control, etc), to select multiple items from this list.

 

Depending on what you have selected, different options will be available to you in the action menu across the top of the “File Manager” page. If you have selected a folder, for example, you can “Rename” it or “Change Permissions” on it, but do not edit it using the Code Editor or HTML Editor.

 

 

If you know exactly what location you want to skip to within your web-hosting account, you can type it into the box directly above the navigation menu and click Go.

 

 

Alternatively, if you know the exact name of the file or folder you are looking for, but not its location, you can use the Search box to find it.

 

7.4.FTP Setup

There may be times when you need to place files onto your space on your Web server. There are a number of scenarios when this might be necessary:

  • You’re working with an application that allows you to install plugins/extensions, but the files need to be manually moved to the server in order to add them. (Note: This is not required with WordPress which allows you to install plugins through the back-end in your browser.)
  • You have developed a custom site/pages using a Web design program, and you need to upload the files you created to the server
  • You’re installing an application that isn’t part of the applications in Installatron.

 

One way to upload files is by using the File Manager that is part of cPanel. However, sometimes you’ll find it easier/necessary to use FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, to move files to the server. This can be particularly useful if you’re working with a Web space where you’re not the owner (so you don’t have access to the File Manager in cPanel) or if you need to provide file access to someone else to your space on the Web server.

 

What exactly is FTP?

File Transfer Protocol is a method that allows you to remotely move files to a Web server from another location – usually your local/personal computer. Using a predefined FTP account (with a username and password), you can configure an FTP client (a program you run on your computer that allows you to transfer files via FTP.

There are lots of FTP clients that you can use; some are free and some are not. A few free ones you might consider:

 

For the purpose of this tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up FTP in FileZilla, but you should be able to generalize these instructions to use in any FTP client.

 

Get Information about Your FTP Account

If you are FTPing to your own space on the Web server, or if you’re setting up an FTP account for someone else to use to FTP to your space, you’ll need to start by getting information about the FTP credentials from cPanel:

  1. Login to coventry.domains.

  2. In the Search Box at the top of the page, search for “FTP”, and click the FTP Accounts icon that appears.

     

     

  3. You’ll have the option to create a new FTP account, or you can scroll down the page to find the credentials for the default FTP account. If you want to create an account, fill out the Add FTP Account form with a username and password. By default, the new FTP account will be limited to a directory with the same name as the account you’re creating. You can change this to a different directory if you want to grant this account access to a different location. NOTE: Make sure you know/remember the password you enter. When you’re done, click Create FTP Account.

  4. Once you’ve created the new account, you’ll see it appear in the list at the bottom of the FTP Accounts page. In addition to any accounts you’ve created, in the Special FTP Accounts section, you’ll see the default FTP Account. You’ll know this account because the username corresponds to your cPanel username. This FTP account has full privileges to access any space on your Web server.

     

  5. For whichever account you need credentials for, click the Configure FTP Client link.

     

  6. Write down the username, server, and port information that appears. You will need to use this (or you will need to provide this to the person you are giving FTP access) along with the password you created in Step 3 in order to configure your FTP client.

     

Configure FTP in Your FTP Client

Below are links to tutorials for setting up both FileZilla and CyberDuck to connect to your FTP account.

7.5.Setting Up Subdomains

A subdomain is one way of organizing and separating content on your site. To create a subdomain, use the following steps: Login to coventry.domains with your CU account and password to access your cPanel.

 

 

Once logged in you’ll be on the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “subdomains” (without the quotes). As you type, the cPanel page will begin to narrow down results, and soon the only visible option will be Subdomains. Click the Subdomains button to continue.

 

 

Choose a name for your subdomain and type it into the Subdomain box. Just like top-level domains (e.g. cutestdomain.com), subdomains can only contain numbers, letters, and hyphens, and the best subdomains are simple, short, and descriptive.

 

Once you’ve typed in a name, cPanel will automatically populate the Document root field for you. This will create a folder to contain your subdomain’s files. You’ll usually want this folder to match the name of your subdomain, so it’s easy to identify where different files live in your account. You might want to change the document root if you already have a folder in your account that has the same name as the subdomain you are trying to create, although this should be rare. Once you’re done, click Create.

 

 

Once you’re done, click Create. If everything went well, you should see a message that your subdomain was created successfully. Your subdomain will now be available as an option for automatic installation of various software (WordPress, MediaWiki, etc). If you prefer to install web applications manually, you can do so in the document root (folder) you created in step 5.

 

 

 

Video Tutorial & Ideas

 

7.6.Subdomains vs. Subdirectories


When you’re first getting started with a new space on a new Web host, you might think of yourself as owning a small “territory” of the Web. Everything you place in your public folder on the server becomes available for anyone on the Web to see (assuming they know the address of your site and the files you’ve placed there). If you’re just putting up a handful of static, HTML pages which you want to make available to colleagues, friends, or family by sending them links, then working with this large, unorganized space may work. But as soon as you get to the point where you want to organize your site, you’re going to need a new strategy.

Consider this scenario: you want to have a personal blog on your new Web space, where you share pictures and short written pieces with family, friends, and colleagues. In addition, you’re working on a large research project that requires you to build a Web-based repository of digital images related to your discipline. You want to use one application (for example, WordPress) to manage your personal blog. For your research project, you’ve settled on another open-source application (let’s say, Omeka). Both of these are applications that need to be installed on your Web host, but you can’t just put them both on your main domain name – if you did, both sites would quickly experience conflicts and errors. You need to cordon off separate spaces for your different Web “properties.”

 

There are two primary strategies for parceling up your Web space. You can create subdomains or subdirectories. But before you can understand the difference, you need to first understand what we mean when we talk about your root domain.

 

Root Domain

Let’s say you’ve registered a new domain for coventry.domains called yourdomain.com. Anything that is stored at this core URL is considered to be at the root of your domain: Nothing comes before the address or after the address. You can certainly decide that you simply want to have a single site on your Web host (say a blog running WordPress), and you can set that blog up at your domain’s root. To get to your site in this scenario, users would simply go to yourdomain.com.

 

Subdomains

When you want to do more than just have a single site at the root of your site, you need to decide now to organize your space. One way to do so is by setting up subdomains.

You’re already familiar with the concept of subdomains, even if you don’t know it. Consider CU’s public Web site at http://coventry.ac.uk. As you browse parts of that site, you’ll notice that the domain changes. When you’re looking at your department Web site, for example the site for the Locate at http://locate.coventry.ac.uk/, the URL is no longer just coventry.ac.uk. Now the root of the URL is locate.coventry.ac.uk, indicating that you’re on the part of the site that is dedicated to the Locate library online system.

 

If you browse to the student pages at students.coventry.ac.uk you will notice that the domain changes again, this time indicating that you’re in the Students Pages of the CU website.

As you can see the domains serve two purposes: they help to organize the site from a technical perspective, but they also serve as indications to the users that they are in a new/different space.

As you work on your site, you’re welcome to create as many subdomains as you like, and in each subdomain, you can actually create a distinct, individual Web site.

 

Subdirectories

The alternative for organizing your space is to simply set up subdirectories. These function much like file folders on your computer. Instead of creating a blog at blog.yourdomain.com you would place it in a subdirectory called “blog” making the address yourdomain.com/blog. Setting up subdirectory is really easy. You can create folders on the fly when installing applications (like WordPress), and you can also manually create them in your file browser.

There is one particular issue you need to be aware of. Let’s say you’ve installed WordPress to be your primary blog at yourdomain.com. Later, you decide you want to create another image gallery site on your site, and you want to place it at yourdomain.com/gallery. But, if for some reason you’ve already created a page on your WordPress site called “Gallery” then the URL yourdomain.com/gallery will already be taken. If you try to create a subdirectory of the same name, you’ll get a conflict and errors.

 

Tips & Review

  • Subdomains are generally a cleaner, more elegant solution to organizing your site. You’re less likely to get conflicts or errors. However, when using subdomains the process is slightly more complicated: You must create subdomains first before you can install anything in them. are generally a cleaner, more elegant solution to organizing your site. You’re less likely to get conflicts or errors. However, when using subdomains the process is slightly more complicated: You must create subdomains first before you can install anything in them.

  • Subdirectories don’t create as pretty URLs as subdomains, but they’re easier to set up. They can, however, result in conflicts with existing Web pages.

  • As soon as you create subdomains or subdirectories to organize your site, you need to consider how people are going to find them. If you’ve created a new primary blog at blog.yourdomain.com, and someone goes to just yourdomain.com, they won’t see that new site. It is possible to set up redirects to avoid this issue. You can also always create links from pages on one subdomain of your site to another.

  • If you really just need one site, sometimes installing at the root of your domain is the easiest thing to do, at least as you’re getting started. You can always add more pieces to your territory later with either subdomains or subdirectories.

Tutorials

7.7.Choosing a Domain Name

Choosing your domain name is the first step in getting started with staking your claim on the web. Your domain name is really just a unique Web address that can be used to build out your own digital presence. As you make your choice, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

Your Domain Name Must Be Available: Domain names must be unique, which means in order for you to claim your own, you need to be sure that it is currently available (and not being used by anyone else or any company or organization). There are lots of tools to check on domain availability, and when you sign up on coventry.domains, we’ll actually check the availability of your choice for you. If you’d like to spend some time thinking about your choice and checking availability before you actually sign-up, we recommend using whois.net.

 

Check a Domain’s Avaliability

 

You Must Choose a “Top Level Domain” or TLD: The TLD is the suffix (or ending part) of your domain name. On coventry.domains, we only allow you to choose from 5 TLDs: .com, .net, .org., .info., .us, .uk.co and .uk.

 

You must choose which one you want to use (and the availability of your domain may depend upon the TLD you choose). Historically, .com domains were meant for businesses and commercial entities. On the other hand, .org domains were usually used by non-profit organizations. The .net domain was meant to be used by internet service providers. All of that said, the “historic” uses of these TLDs means very little anymore. You may find that .com domains are easier for people to remember, or you may like the “non-commercial” message of using a .org. The bottom line is that your choice of a TLD is entirely personal: just make sure that you choose one of the TLDs allowed by coventry.domains.

 

Choose a Domain You Can Live With: You should choose a domain name that you feel you can live with for quite some time. You should pick something that you won’t find embarrassing in the future. A good rule of thumb is to pick a domain that you would be comfortable putting on a future job application.

 

You May Wish to Include Your Name in Your Domain: There is no requirement that your domain reflects your specific identity in the form of your first and last name. However, choosing a domain name that includes your name may make it easier for you to achieve higher rankings in search engines when someone queries your real name.

 

Pick a Domain you Like: At the end of the day, your domain should reflect you. Pick a domain you like and are proud of. It can reflect your interests, sports you play, or your hobby. Or it could just be your name. The “right” domain for you is the one you’re comfortable with.

8.Domain Management

8.1.What is DNS?


Remember back before everyone had computers that fit in their pocket, how companies would ship a book full of phone numbers to your doorstep? We might have known who we were looking for, but we needed to look up phone numbers unless they were your crazy relatives that you learned to memorize. When you get your own domain name, by default it’s nothing more than a shortcut, an address, or (to fit this imperfect analogy) a phone number. When you type a domain name into the address bar of your browser, someone has to identify it and tell it what to display. That’s where a name server comes in.

A name server is a computer, running as a server, that keeps a record of all the domain names that are associated with it and keeps track of where those domains should go. In the case of coventry.domains the name server is the same computer that runs the hosting. You can peek behind the hood and see this in action by going to the 'Websites and Domains‘ tab of your panel account and clicking on 'DNS Settings‘. You see, DNS stands for Domain Name System and the name server on coventry.domains gives control to it to identify what should be displayed when someone types in your domain. Consider the fact that you might have one or more subdomains in your account. The name server and DNS are able to identify those subdomains and let the world wide web know that they exist and point to some files/folders on a computer somewhere.

When you signed up for a domain through the coventry.domains system your name servers were chosen for you. So when people type in your address, the server responds with information about your account. When you migrate an account away from one hosting platform like coventry.domains and onto a new service, it will require you to change the name servers so that your domain name points to a new server with its own files and structure. It’s also possible to have subdomains that point to entirely different servers than coventry.domains. For example, you could have a subdomain that looks to Tumblr for files.

8.2.What is a Subdomain?

A subdomain is one way of organizing and separating content on your site. You’re already familiar with the concept of subdomains, even if you don’t know it. Consider CU’s public Web site at http://coventry.ac.uk.

 

 

As you browse parts of that site, you’ll notice that the domain changes. When you’re looking at the Library system Web site, say the site for the Locate at http://locate.coventry.ac.uk/, the URL is no longer just coventry.ac.uk. Now the root of the URL is locate.coventry.ac.uk, indicating that you’re on the part of the site that is dedicated to the Locate library online system.

 

 

If you browse to the student pages at share.coventry.ac.uk you’ll notice that the domain changes again, this time indicating that you’re in the Students Pages of the CU website.

 

 

As you can see the domains serve two purposes: they help to organize the site from a technical perspective, but they also serve as indications to the users that they are in a new/different space. As you work on your site, you’re welcome to create as many subdomains as you like, and in each subdomain, you can actually create a distinct, individual Web site.

Additionally, we have resources that demonstrate setting up subdomains and illustrate the difference between subdomains and subdirectories.

 

Video Tutorial & Ideas

8.3.What is Domain Mapping?

Domain mapping, simply put, is deciding where visitors should be directed when they visit various pieces of your website. Domains and subdomains can be mapped directly to folders located within your web-hosting account, where you may have installed WordPress, Omeka, MediaWiki, or other web applications. Domains and subdomains can also be mapped to some third-party providers. Because the purpose of this workshop is for you to learn about owning and hosting your own domain and web presence, including content hosted by third-party companies, we encourage experimenting with mapping domains and subdomains to third-party services as needed.

We have created a series of instructions documenting how to map your subdomains to popular third-party services:

8.4.Map Your Domain to Tumblr


Mapping your domain is an important part of coventry.domains; it reinforces the idea that you don’t necessary need to host all your own applications. You should, however, be mindful of making your web presences part of a domain you control. If you would like to map a subdomain and have not yet created it, use this tutorial on creating subdomains before proceeding. To map your domain, or a subdomain, to Tumblr, use these steps:

  1. To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel by going to the coventry.domains homepage and logging in.

  2. Here you will log in with you CU account and password.

     

     

  3. Once logged in you’ll be on the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “DNS” (without the quotes). As you type, the cPanel page will begin to narrow down results. Find and click on Advanced DNS Zone Editor to continue.

     

  4. Find the domain or subdomain, you want to map to Tumblr in the list of Zone File Records. Under the Action column, click Edit.

     

     

  5. Leave the Name, and TTL fields set to their defaults. Update the Type drop-down menu to CNAME, and the Address field to domains.tumblr.com. Click Edit Record when you are done.

     

     

  6. Visit the Tumblr website and login with your Tumblr username and password.

     

     

  7. After logging in, click the Tumblr Settings icon.


     

  8. For the Tumblog, you’d like to use the Username click the pencil icon to edit these settings.

     

  9. Check the Use a custom domain checkbox. Type the name of the domain or subdomain you want to map to Tumblr into the box, then click Test your domain.

     

     

  10. If your domain mapping was successful, you’ll see a message that your domain is now pointing to Tumblr. Click the Save button before leaving the page. Keep in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your domain or subdomain to correctly point all visitors to the correct location.

     

8.5.Map Your Domain to GitHub


A Records vs. CNAME Records

When you are mapping aa domain on GitHub pages (or on any site really) an important concept you want to try and wrap your head around is the difference between A Records and CNAME Records. I’m getting closer to full comprehension, but a little help never hurts so I took the following definition from DNS Simple:

The A record points a name to a specific IP. For example, if you want blog.dnsimple.com to point to the server 185.31.17.133 you will configure

blog.dnsimple.com. A 185.31.17.133

The CNAME record points a name to another name, instead of an IP. The CNAME source represents an alias for the target name and inherits its entire resolution chain. Let’s take our blog as an example.

blog.dnsimple.com. CNAME aetrion.github.io.

To summarize, an A record points a name to an IP. CNAME record can point a name to another CNAME.

It’s good practice to point domains using CNAME Records when possible because IP addresses can change, and when they do an A Record will break because it is hard coded. You might think of CNAME Records as relative hostnames, hence the IP address can change regularly but the mapped domain will not break.

One issue with root domains (sometimes called “zone apex” or “naked domain”) is that they have to be set up as an A Record, not a CNAME. This means that with most DNS providers you can setup a subdomain CNAME (blog.jimgroom.me) to point to a service like GitHub, but you cannot setup your root domain (jimgroom.me) as a CNAME. That root domain would have to be an A Record. Make sense? Good.

 

Mapping your Domain on GitHub

As you might have guessed from the above definitions, there are two methods for mapping a custom domain on GitHub: CNAME and A Records. You can get a good overview of how Custom Domains work on GitHub here. Mapping a subdomain using a CNAME is recommended so the domain doesn’t break if the server IP changes, which may very well happen. That said, we understand sometimes you just need that root domain mapped, so an A Record is nice and will suffice.

 

Mapping your Root Domain with A Records

For this example, I’ll be mapping the root domain jimgroom.me onto a Github page. In terms of getting your Github pages setup for this see GitHub’s “Setting Up a Custom Domain with GitHub Pages.”

First, you need to find the Advanced Zone Editor under the Domains section in CPanel.

After that, you need to choose the root domain you will be mapping. In the example screenshot below you’ll see I have several, but you may only have one which would be the default.

Once you select the domain you need to create two A Records for it using the below screenshot as a template, through the Name will obviously be different depending on the root domain you are mapping. The two a Records will point to the following IP addresses on GitHub: 192.30.252.153 and 192.30.252.154. You need to create a separate A Record for each of these IPs.

Once you have created both A Records in the Advanced DNS Zone Editor you should be all set. GitHub has their own documentation with “Tips for Configuring an A Record with Your DNS Provider” that might also be useful. If you are having any issue see GitHub’s “My Custom Domain Isn’t Working” or contact us.

Mapping your Subdomain with CNAME Records

For this example, I’ will be mapping the subdomain blog.jimgroom.com onto a GitHub Pages Repository using a CNAME Record. Head to Advanced DNS Settings.

Once there, select the domain you will be mapping to if you have more than one.

Now you name to add a CNAME Record with the subdomain you are mapping in the Name field and the URL of your GitHub account in the CNAME field.

After that, you should be set. I found even if your repository is jimgroom.github.io/blog like mine is in this instance, you only need jimgroom.githib.io in the CNAME field.

GitHub provides a page with “Tips for configuring a CNAME record with your DNS provider” if you need more help, or feel free to contact us at Reclaim Hosting.

8.6.Map Your Domain to Blogger

Mapping your domain is an important part of coventry.domains it reinforces the idea that you don’t necessary need to host all your own applications. You should, however, be mindful of making your web presences part of a domain you control. If you would like to map a subdomain and have not yet created it, use this tutorial on creating subdomains before proceeding. To map your domain, or a subdomain, to Blogger, use these steps:

  1. To get started you’ll need to login to your control panel by going to the coventry.domains homepage and logging in.

  2. Here you’ll log in with you CU account and password.

     

     

  3. Once logged in you will be on the homepage of your control panel. The easiest way to navigate the panel is using the search feature in the top right panel. Click the Search box and type “DNS” (without the quotes). As you type, the cPanel page will begin to narrow down results. Find and click on Advanced DNS Zone Editor to continue.

  4. Find the domain or subdomain, you want to map to Blogger in the list of Zone File Records. Under the Action column, click Edit.

  5. Leave the Name, and TTL fields set to their defaults. Update the Type drop-down menu to CNAME, and the Address field to ghs.google.com. Click Edit Record when you are done. Keep this window open; you will need it in later steps.

  6. In a new window, go to the Blogger website, and log in with your Blogger/Google username and password.


  7. From your Blogger Dashboard, find the blog you’d like to use, expand the More Options menu, and click Settings.

     


     

  8. On the “Basic Settings” page, find the Publishing section, and click the Setup a 3rd party URL for your blog link.

  9. Under Advanced Settings, type the full subdomain or domain you are mapping into the box, leave the Use missing files host? option set to No, then click Save.

  10. You will be presented with a message that your domain cannot be verified, along with information about your existing DNS entry, and an additional DNS entry that needs to be made. This is normal. Copy the second entry under the Name, Label, or Host entry to your clipboard.

  11. Go back to the window or tab containing the Advanced DNS Zone Editor in your coventry.domains cPanel. In the Add a Record section, paste the text you just copied into the Name field. This information will be different for each domain. Set the TTL field to 14400, and the Type drop-down menu to CNAME.

  12. Go back to the window or tab containing the Blogger Advanced settings panel, and copy the second entry under the Destination, Target, or Points to the column to your clipboard.

  13. Go back to the window or tab containing the Advanced DNS Zone Editor in your coventry.domains cPanel. In the Zone File Records section, find the domain you were editing Action for and paste the text you just copied into the CNAME field. This information will be different for each domain. Click Edit record when you are done.

  14. Return to the window or tab containing the Blogger Advanced settings panel, and click Save.

  15. If everything was successful, your domain will now appear as the Blog Address. Keep in mind that it may take up to 72 hours for your domain or subdomain to correctly point all visitors to the correct location.

8.7.Map Your Domain to Squarespace


This post will take you through how to point your domain to Squarespace. After you connect your domain over at Squarespace (they provide a good tutorial for that process), a new panel will open providing you the records you need to enter into the Advanced DNS Editor at so your domain can be pointed correctly to Squarespace.

For Squarespace, you need to create two CNAME Records and four A Records. The CNAME records appear to be used as a way to verify your account. You can see an example of the two I created below. Keep in mind the Name field for the verify.squarespace.com CNAME will have a unique code in front of your domain. What I have listed below for the Name field will be a value Squarespace will provide.

 

The second CNAME you create will have www.yourdomain.com in your Name field.

 

You will then need to add four A Records pointing to four different IP address that Squarespace provides you.

 

 

Below is a look at the four A Records I created for this domain.

 

That should be all you need to get your domain mapped to Squarespace. I have never seen a service use both CNAME and A Records (not to mention 6 all told) for one domain, I imagine they are building in a lot of redundancy, which is not necessarily a bad thing, just a bit more work at the point of setup.

9.Exporting from DoOO


If you would like to export your data from your DoOO account, either because you are migrating your data or because you are closing your account, there are several options.

If you are leaving the university, you can migrate your domain from DoOO to Reclaim Hosting.

If you would like to move to a different hosting service, you can find information below on how to create a backup of your files and databases.  This compressed folder of your domain can then be imported into other web hosting services.

You can also find information on how to export the data from a WordPress installation in order to move it to another WordPress installation or move it to WordPress.com.

9.1.Migrate your Hosting

To migrate your domain from DoOO an outside Hosting account, you will need to access your cPanel.  Login at the top right of the page at coventry.domains (with your CU account and password).

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the cPanel interface.  Now click on the ‘Manage Your Account’ menu at the top of your screen and select ‘Migration Information.’

Next click on the ‘Get Started’ button in the Migration Offer region of the screen.

9.2.Export Your Domain

To export your domain, you will need to access your cPanel.  Login at the top right of the page at coventry.domains (with your CU username and password).

Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the cPanel interface. It is divided into sections, making it easy to locate the different tools and services available to you.  To export your domain, we will create a backup of both the files in your domain and the databases that your domain draws from.  First, click on the ‘Manage Your Account’ menu at the top of your screen and select ‘Migration Information.’


To create a backup of your files and databases, simply click the blue button labeled ‘Add Backup.’  The system will take a moment to create a backup.  When it is complete, you will see the new backup appear below the button.  You can click on this backup to download the file.

 

 

Add Backup

9.3.Unlocking Your Domain

Transferring a domain you already own is not too much different from registering a new domain, except the transfer process requires an EPP code or an agreement code between your old registrar and your new registrar that allows the release of your domain.  Your new registrar will have information on how to transfer a domain.  When you start that process, you will be prompted to enter your EPP code.

How to find your EPP Code:

First, you will need to unlock your DoOO account by clicking on the red ‘Locked’ button.

Unlock screen

 

Next, click the now green ‘Get Code’ button.  When you click on the ‘Get Code’ button, the system will send you an email with your EPP code.

Get EPP

At this stage, here are a few items to note:

  • If you have Whois protection enabled, you must disable it temporarily before you initiate the transfer. This is because your new registrar will send an authorization email to confirm the email address paired with your domain. (This is an “are you really sure you want to transfer?” message.)
  • You must click the confirmation link in the email, or you will have to start the process over!
  • The domain must be older than 60 days.
  • The domain must have no other transfers in the last 60 days.
  • The domain transfer process can take up to 5 days.

Once you receive confirmation that your domain has successfully been transferred, you can begin setting up your new domain.

9.4.Exporting from WordPress

Exporting

If you would like to move your WordPress site from your DoOO account to either a free WordPress.com account or a different paid host, you can do so with the export system built into WordPress.

From the Dashboard navigate to Tools>Export

 

It’s probably a good idea to download all your content, but there are reasons you may want to download a partial archive. In some cases, if you will be importing your content into a new site using WordPress.org, your new hosting provider may have a file size limit on uploads. If your export file is too big, you can download a set of partial archives by using the following filters:

  • Content published within a time frame – set a Start Date and/or an End Date
  • Content authored by specific users. Use the Authors drop-down menu.
  • Posts belonging to a specific Category or Tag.
  • Only posts or only pages, using the Content Types filter.
  • Specific posts Statuses

This process will generate an XML file of your blog’s content. This format, which WordPress calls WordPress eXtended RSS or WXR, will contain your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags.

Note: This will ONLY export your posts, pages, comments, categories, and tags; uploads and images may need to be manually transferred to the new blog. The current version of the WordPress.org installation gives you the option to import uploaded files, but the blog you are importing from must be live and serving images properly in order for it to work. So, do not delete your blog until after media files have successfully been imported into the new blog.

If you are planning to export your content to another blog platform, it’s best to manually download and save your images from your WordPress.com Media Library to before trying to import/upload them into the new blog.

This information has been adapted from the WordPress support material on exporting a WordPress site.  For more information on exporting your WordPress site, please go to

Importing

Once you have exported your posts, pages, etc., you will import them into your new WordPress site.

Login to your new WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress site and go to the Dashboard.  From there navigate to Tools>Import

The import screen within the WordPress CMS

Choose the WordPress option at the bottom of the list of the services.  Next, you will see a screen that prompts you to upload the WXR file you generated through the export process.

File selection screen for the WordPress site import process.

Choose and upload your file.  You will then be prompted to assign an author to the posts that you are importing.  You can use this function to assign one author to all posts, or you can manually set the author for each post in the posts menu.

You will also need to reinstall your themes and any plugins that you would like to continue to use.

This information has been adapted from the WordPress support material on importing a WordPress site.  For more information on importing your WordPress site, please go to https://en.support.wordpress.com/import/.

 

Coventry.Domains Documentation by Isabel Galvis, Disruptive Media Learning Lab (Coventry University), 2017, is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 / A derivative from the Create Documentation by Oklahoma University’s Center for Teaching Excellence.