The Reclaim Hosting team has started approaching professional development with a little more intention and as a group. We’ve decided to make each month as its own unit, and February is the month of Domains and File Structures. Obviously there’s a lot of ways to take this topic, so Meredith broke it down for us into three separate sections. The first third of the month was for Domains (i.e. Add-on, Sub, Alias, and general management in cPanel). The second third of the month was centered around File Structures, so think types of directories, understanding .htaccess and error logging, etc. For the final third of the month, we devoted our time to file structures for specific applications to make sure we were familiar with the the standard Scalar files that are installed vs. the standard Drupal files that are installed vs. WordPress vs. Omeka, etc.
Over the course of the month, all Reclaim staff were expected to read about these concepts, write about what they’re learning, apply their knowledge in their work, and update/create support documentation on the subject.
For me, this month led to the following blog posts on these topics:
– How to redirect a top-level domain without impacting subfolders; self-taught moment based off of a support ticket I received
– What to consider when organizing faculty sites and coursework in cPanel; a conversation that I have with virtually every new DoOO admin during onboarding, and something I’ve been meaning to document for a while
– Creating different versions of cPanel for different user groups in WHM; a video tutorial that was desperately needed in our DoOO documentation
Yesterday we met to discuss our findings over the course of the past month and also prepare for March’s topic. Not only did I find this meeting to be helpful for the above listed reasons, but also it was nice to connect for a bit of team bonding. The larger Reclaim Hosting gets, the harder it becomes for us to all be in the same (virtual) room together.
Over the month of March we’ll be focusing solely on WordPress. Which should come as no surprise, as over 30% of web is run by WordPress, and as Jim noted during the meeting, about 85-90% of our client base. The itinerary for this month is still evolving, but is meant to be more exploratory and speculative. With a little more freedom on where/how to learn this month, I hope to be blogging even more about where I’m taking it.
One of the immediate areas that comes to mind would be the main Domain of One’s Own homepage design (stateu.org) that we hand out to new DoOO schools as the starting point for end users to log in with SSO and sign up for an account. This site is built on (you guessed it) WordPress, and is currently used as a wrapper for which we have embedded cPanel. There’s no doubt that I love this model for Domain of One’s Own, but I’m constantly wanting to find ways to improve it. Just recently, I sent out a survey to all DoOO admins about this very topic and the responses I received were fascinating. I’ll use a future blog post to go into this further, but there’s plenty of work to be done here, and its already been super cool to watch Jim, Tim and Chris run with it.