icon of a house with rule on a document
Noun Project icon by Serhii Smirnov licensed under Creative Commons CC BY

This collection of domain building activities or “kits” will rest awareness of what an internet domain is, both as an addressing mechanism, but also more broadly as a place where individuals can reclaim their digital identity from third party services.

Domain names are like the street addresses of the internet. Learn to understand the anatomy of a web address. They get more specific reading right to left. The domain name site is part of is eduhack.eu – the euis a Top Level Domain for the European Union, and eduhack is the name reserved for this project. Anything to the left of eduhack is a more specific site or project under that main domain of eduhack.eu. These in itself are a shorthand, as the real addresses of sites, that correspond to web servers somewhere that house the information on the site, are numerical addresses. The “real address” for this address is 35.214.233.20. Who would ever remember that?

The first part then of owning a domain is registering a unique domain name (and paying for) with a domain registrar service. This merely sets up a reserved name. If that is all you do, anyone visiting your domain will end up at a generic web page; there is no content associated with it.

The other part of owning a domain is than setting up an account with a company that can “host” your web content (most services can handle both the registration of domain name and the hosting of content on a web server).

What You Need

If you already have a domain and a web hosting account, you can use these domain kits to practice or review your web building skills (these activities are specific to web hosting platforms that offer an interface for managing domains known as “cpanel” – one of the most common management tools.

Maybe this is all new knowledge and you are not quite ready to pay for and jump into domain ownership. That is not a problem; we have a place for you to try all of the tools available at a free service that provides you domain management/creation tools for a limited time. If you decide to keep what you made, they can be transferred to a fully owned domain service.

A Domain of One’s Own

It is likely you were introduced to the concept of a “domain of one’s own” in a workshop, from a mention online, or maybe you just already have that knowledge.

The idea of a Domain of One’s Own is that it is an internet “property” that you manage and have control over. Some argue that it’s never fully owned like physical property, it’s always “rented.” The ownership aspect draws from Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own that made a case for women writers to have a safe space, and one they controlled, to do their writing.

Metaphors often used to explain what you can do there include a house with different rooms or a plot of land where you build a variety of spaces structures for different purposes.

a toy house built from plastic brick parts
Wikimedia Commons image shared under a Creative Commons BY CC-SA

Having multiple places in your domain is an important distinction. While there are services like WordPress.com where you can buy your own domain name like described above, it is only offering a single WordPress site hosted for you. A fully self-hosted domain as we describe here means you can build many different sites, not just one.

The owning of a domain is all part of a belief in the importance of individuals managing the information sources define our digital identity. If you have never done this, see what internet search engines return for lookups of your name. Even if you find links that truly are related to you, where is that information? Who controls it? Who owns the places where it resides?

Having a domain of your own is a way to assert this digital identity information with content that you directly control.

To learn more about the Domain of One’s Own concept, see the resources listed below. Otherwise, continue to the Domain Setup section to learn what you need to use these kits.