Sunday, January 29, 2017

OUCreate: Create a domain / subdomain

The OU Create project is something new at OU, replacing the old faculty-staff.ou.edu and students.ou.edu webspace that was previously available. With OU Create you can get a domain of your own for $12/year, or you can get a subdomain at the oucreate.com domain for free, and the web hosting is provided by the fabulous people at Reclaim Hosting. If you have a Reclaim Domains project at your school, the instructions below should work in more or less the same way, but contact your system administrator if you hit a snag.

I would highly recommend to faculty that you acquire a domain of your own! It's one of the best ways to begin to establish your online identity. For the purposes of this Twitter4Canvas project, though, either approach will work.

For the remainder of this workshop, the instructions on the assumption that you have a domain of your own, and the examples in these pages will be coming from LauraGibbs.net, which is the domain I create thanks to OU Create. if you run into anything that does not work if you are using an oucreate.com domain, let me know and we'll check with the OU Create team at CTE for some help!

Getting Started

For the purposes of this project, I'll quickly walk through the steps you need to get the subdomain you will need to embed Twitter in your Canvas pages.

1. Choose domain or oucreate.com. Decide on a domain of your own ($12/year) or a free subdomain at oucreate.com (free). These FAQs will help you make that choice plus answer other questions you might have.

2. Choose a name. For a domain of your own, you can get help here on choosing your domain name. You can also get some advice there in choosing the name of your subdomain if you go with the oucreate.com option.

3. Sign up. There are detailed instructions for signing up here, complete with screenshots. For the purposes of this workshop, you will just be using the file manager, so you do not need to install applications or set application passwords, but I would encourage you to scan through all the information there to learn about the many things you can do with your new webspace, far and beyond the simple project I will be walking you through in this workshop.

4. Create a subdomain. If you created your own domain, you'll need to now create a subdomain that is dedicated to this project (if you chose the free oucreate.com option, all you have is a subdomain, so you can skip this part). To create a subdomain in your personal domain, follow these steps: creating a subdomain. The subdomain I created was called "widgets" because I am using this space to support not just Twitter widgets in Canvas, but also other kinds of javascript widgets. For the purposes of this workshop, any subdomain name will do: widgets, canvas, twitter — anything is fine.

And yes, I know, this technical set-up is kind of boring and even intimidating, but the fun is coming, I promise! For now, give yourself a pat on the back for having completed the first step in building your own webspace online. Later on, you will configure that webspace for https.

Meanwhile, if you are curious to learn more about what people are doing with Reclaim's Domains (now at more than 40 institutions of higher ed!), check out the University of Mary Washington's Domains blog — UMW is where this amazing project got started, and where it is still doing strong.



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