Setting up and managing an internet domain can seem complex. There is software to install and update, security issues, and a whole level of management that “free and easy” services take care of for you.
The advantages include having complete control over the content you create and publish (including deciding to un-publish it) as well as much more capability and potential than managed services. There is also a cost for setting up a domain, but this counters the cost of convenience of hosted services that underwrote the costs by introducing advertisements into your content and being brokers of your information.
This site aims to break down that complexity by offering a series of activities that can help you practice these domain building skills. We use the metaphor of scale model kits- like plastic models they come with parts and instructions.
Don’t dismiss kits as mere toys! The act of assembly leads to an understanding of the airplanes, automobiles, buildings they represent. The practice of working with kits leads to an understanding and a motivation to apply those skills to the real working devices they represent.
They also can be fun.
How the Kits Work
Each kit comes with a set of instructions for how to complete them. And like the picture on the front of a scale model box, a domain kit includes a link to a functioning example.
When you complete a kit, look to the bottom of its page to find a link to a form where you can share a response, a place to not only describe what you accomplished, but also to provide a link to see it (or upload an image that represents it). These responses then become available to future builders of the same kit.
Also at the bottom of a kit you may find a set of helpful guides, links to related information to help you better understand the thing being built with the kit. If you know of something to add as a resource, there is a link to a form to share that guide for others.
If you have problems with a kit, you can leave a comment. But we encourage you to join and participate in the community space offered by Reclaim Hosting, where there is a special Newbies Corner area meant to help people new to domain building.
The idea of Domain Kits is based on previous project work on eCampusOntario’s Domain Camp and other institutions’ support of Domain of One’s own efforts. These other resources may help you:
- Guide to Extending With Domains of Our Own (eCampusOntario)
- Coventry.Domains Learn (Coventry University)
- OU Create Documentation (Oklahoma University)
Where to Go?
If the idea of domains is confusing or you are wondering why even bother with this, see the introduction to Domain Concepts. If you are ready to start, but need a place to try out domain building, find out how to set up a free StateU account to experiment with domains. This should be your first kit. Finally, see our suggested pathway through the other kits.