Purchasing your Webserver and Domain
Important: Please, please, please pay attention to your usernames and passwords for both your web host and domain registry. They will likely be different, and it is your responsibility to understand they are distinct, and need to be available to you throughout the semester.
Domain Name Registration
The cost of domain names vary depending on your extension. For example, traditionally domains ending in .com or .org are more expensive than domains ending in .info or .us. We do not require you to use any one domain extension, and more and more any one official application of a domain extension is becoming outdated.
NOTE: If you purchase from Hover, domain privacy is included in the cost of the domain name. If you purchase from someone else and are concerned about your private information being linked to your domain name, be sure to include privacy options in your purchase.
You can purchase your webhosting account from a variety of hosts online. Anyone from Bluehost to Site5 to Host Gator to InMotion, to name just a few. But, each of those hosts have you pay upfront for an entire year even if you only want it for the four months of this class (if you use one of these services be sure to ask if they will give you a pro-rated discount should you cancel after four or five months). If you want to pay on a month-by-month basis I would recommend using Cast Iron Coding (CIC). Even though Cast Iron Coding sells domains, we are requiring that you use a different domain registrar (such as Hover, mentioned above), so you can see how DNS and domain pointing works. Also, be sure you enter your domain and choose the self-management option when registering at CIC (see image below).
IMPORTANT NOTE: When you enter the domain name you registered at Hover, you may get a message that the domain name is already taken. That’s okay — as long as you choose “Self Management” in the Registration Options, you’ll be able to proceed.
The cost of an account with Cast Iron Coding is $10/month, and the first month will be pro-rated. You can get an account for cheaper at other hosts, but, again, you will likely be required to purchase at least a year of hosting up front.
If you do decide to proceed with a different host, please make sure you are getting a LAMP hosting environment with cPanel. (If you’re not sure feel free to send us a link to a service you’re looking at — so we can check it out for you.)
Setting up your Webserver and Domain
Pointing the domain to webhost: We have created a tutorial for pointing your domain to your web hosting space here. Please do this as soon as possible because it could take up to 24-48 hours for the domain to propagate on your web host. Also, note that if you are using a different web host than Cast Iron Coding, your nameservers will be different.
Creating your blog: We have also created a tutorial for installing a blog on your web hosting account here.
When you have finished setting up your domain, web host, and blog, your first post on your brand spanking new blog should be a discussion of your process, try and explain what you think is happening technically, and be sure to tag your first week’s assignments “domo” (no quotes) so you get credit for completing it. Finally, once you have a blog address, be sure to add it to your user profile on ds106.us so we can syndicate your work into the course site.
If you are setting up your domain and web host for the first time and have questions, you can feel free to email me. Or you can post your issue to the Tech Support group and we will be sure to get back to you immediately.
The Daily Create
If you are taking the course for credit, it is expected you will be doing at least three Daily Create assignments a week (see the syllabus here). You can find that site here: http://tdc.ds106.us.
Tuning into the ds106 Live Sessions
You can tune into each an every ds106 session via ds106 radio or our live video stream. The classes at UMW go live MW or T/TH from 6-7:15 EST. To tune in to the radio, go to the main ds106.us site and click on the link underneath the ds106 radio logo, from there you will have downloaded a PLS file which you can open in iTunes, VLC, or some other audio application.
Also, to view the live stream video go to http://dtlttoday.com/live. You can use the chat room there for discussion or ask questions, share comments, and generally heckle on Twitter, just be sure to use the #ds106 hashtag.
Adding yourself to the Spring 2012 Group on ds106.us
Finally, you should already have an account on ds106.us. We would additionally ask that you add yourself to the Spring 2012 Group in order to get announcements, assignments, etc. We will not send a blast email out to the sign-up list again to avoid spamming you all, and if you sign up for the Spring 2012 Group it will be easier to communicate with those who want to opt-in for updates and assignments.
Although we should add here that subscribing to that group is a requirement for the section 1 for-credit UMW students given it will prove the primary means through which we communicate assignments and course updates.