Setting up your own domain on the Internet is not very difficult. In this video, follow along with author Chris Mattia to set up your own dedicated web hosting account in minutes. Use the learning playground set up on stateu.org to create your own live subdomain and begin exploring.
- [Instructor] To host your HTML pages and sites, you need some space on a live web server. For most educators, this is typically a free service provided to you on your campus web server and your URL ends up being something like www.myuniversity.edu/users/yourcampususername which is nice because it shows you're clearly associated with your university and you can't beat the price. However, the URLs are typically longer, not very personalized to you and the web hosting provided by many educational institutions for their students and faculty are typically fairly restrictive in terms of what types of files or services you can host on them.
If you want your own personal domain name such as yourname.com, you'll need to set up your own web hosting or be fortunate enough to teach at a school that's implementing a form of the domain of one's own project. It was piloted at the University of Mary Washington where all students and faculty can get their own domain and hosting. Many schools have followed suit with this and the hosting we're going to set up is modeled on that program.
If you go to stateu.org, you can test out the domain of one's own infrastructure and set up a free 30-day learning environment that's a subdomain of stateu.org. Okay, that's a lot of jargon to throw at you. Let's back up and walk through an example together. Click the Get Started link and then you're prompted to sign in with your LinkedIn, Google or Facebook account. I'll sign in with a Google account.
Click the link and then log in. Then you're asked to choose your domain or in our case subdomain. At a typical web host, you would likely be prompted to search for and register a full domain name like yourname.com. At stateu, you can choose a name that will go in front of the main domain name indicating that this site is yours. Subdomains are typically used for dedicated services or servers on a domain or a host.
You may be familiar with some common domains such as www which typically indicates the web server, mail which is typically the email server, or FTP which is usually the FTP server at a particular host or domain. Stateu treats your subdomain as if it was your own web server. So I'll choose my name which will make my address then chrismattia.stateu.org. Click to Continue to check and see if that name is available.
It looks like mine is so click the Register Now button. Since this is a learning playground, your own name is likely available. If you were really setting up a domain of your own, I'd strongly encourage you to think deeply about the name that you choose since it will be the address that you direct your students, colleagues, friends, and family to in order to find you on the web. Choose wisely and choose a name that reflects you personally and professionally. The address you choose here, like mine is christmattia.statue.org, will be your live personal learning space to test out for the next 30 days.
Click Register Now to have your subdomain created for you and setup. When your account configuration is complete, you should be taken to your C Panel or Control Panel for your space. Congratulations, you just set up your own live web server. When you sign up with a typical web host, these specific steps will be slightly different, but pretty much that's the experience. Now let's check and verify that your site really is live on the web.
Open a new tab in your browser. I'll press Command or Control + T and then go to your subdomain address, mine is christmattia.stateu.org, it doesn't look like much, but you should see the default page letting you know that you have a real live website to practice with. You can access this page from your desktop, laptop, or mobile device from anywhere in the world. Pretty cool, huh? Before we wrap up, I want to point out a few quick things about your C Panel.
First, there are a lot of tools and applications in here, but don't worry. We're only going to touch on three of them, WordPress, Moodle, and your File Manager. However, I do encourage you to poke around and see what else is available to you on a typical web hosting environment, especially if you've never set one up before. Be sure to check the email address for the account that you just signed in with. You should find a new account information email that contains your unique FTP credentials that have been automatically setup for you.
We'll use those in a later movie. So if you don't see the email, check your junk mail to see if it got automatically sorted into there. Closing your browser should log you out. If you want to get back into your C Panel, just go back to stateu.org, click Get Started, and choose the same login method and account that you just signed in with. You'll be taken right back here so no extra passwords or accounts to remember. In the next movie, we'll quickly set up a WordPress blog for you to test out.
- Coding a site, a page, or parts
- Managing digital assets
- Formatting headings and paragraphs
- Creating links to pages
- Linking to a PDF or a Google Doc
- Inserting your own images into an LMS
- Embedding YouTube, Vimeo, and SoundCloud media
- Making pages responsive for mobile devices
- Working with CSS using web developer tools
- Overriding existing CSS
- Setting up your own domain
- Using FTP