Changing a Domain Name

A very common support request we often get (from schools especially) is asking for assistance with changing a domain name. More specifically, switching the primary domain in a user’s account and moving all of their website data from originaldomain.com to newdomain.com. This means that we have to inform both the hosting platform (WHMCS) and the server (WHM) of the change. Let’s begin, shall we?

Support scenario:

Please change originaldomain.com to newdomain.com for user x. Their email is userx@gmail.com.

Before you Begin:

+ Make sure newdomain.com is actually available to register. Sometimes requests come in to change a domain, but the user hasn’t checked whether or not the domain is available. It will save you tons of steps to check now, as opposed to doing all of the work & then being greeted with a nice big error. The easiest way to check is by going to whois.com. Search the new domain that the user is wanting. If it says the domain is available to register, you’re good to go.

+Vist originaldomain.com in your browser to have an idea of what the website looks like. After you change the domain, you’ll be able to double check that the site looks identical in the new location.

Step one: Finding the Server

Figure out where originaldomain.com is located. While you could go into WHMCS & do a user search and then go to product tab to find out, a quicker (and more fun) way to locate the domain is by SSH via terminal. This option assumes you’ve previously added SSH keys.

ssh root@originaldomain.com

^Press enter. It will ask if you wish to continue connecting. Once you’re in, you’ll see:

root@server [~]#

Boom!

Step Two: Adjustments on the server

Log into the appropriate server. Search “List” from the left-hand sidebar and click List Accounts.Search for originaldomain.com.Click the plus sign next the account to expand your menu options. Click Modify Account.Type in newdomain.com. Click Save.

Step Three: Adjustments in WHMCS user Profile

Go to the user’s account in WHMCS and click on the Product/Services tab. Type newdomain.com into the Domain blank and click Save Changes
Go to the Domains tab. Type newdomain.com into the Domain blank and click Save Changes.

Now you’ll see that the nameservers are missing. This is because the domain hasn’t actually been registered. To fix this, run the Register module.

You’ll be directed to another page where the nameservers should populate automatically. Click yes to continue with the registration.

Step Four: Syncing

As a final step to make sure all systems & accounts are aligned, I like to run the Change Password Module under the Products/Services tab. This syncs the Client Area Portal with cPanel to give the user a smooth transition into the cPanel dash.

Whitelisting a Range of IPs in BitNinja

Log into BitNinja & go to https://admin.bitninja.io/ipmanager/whitelist

  1. Click the green button on the right that says + Add IP to Whitelist
  2. Secondly, add your IP range to the line next to CIDR

It’s important to note that IP ranges must be given to BitNinja in CIDR (Classless Inter-Domain Routing) notation. I just actually learned at CIDR notation was created in 1993 to pack up & consolidate IPs into chewable bites for routers across the Internet. I like to think of CIDR as a zip file of IPs.

If the IP range wasn’t given to you in this format, use a CIDR converter utility tool.

Moving forward now– let’s say that 92.247.179.240/28 is your IP range in proper CIDR format. You would add it to BitNinja like this:The final step here would be to click the blue Add to whitelist button.

Critiquing Domains 17

#Domains17 has been over for about a week now, and I’m only now getting to a place where I feel like I can write about it. There are already a few really good reflection posts about the event (touching on metaphors, belonging, professional development, #notaconference, & newness, to name a few) and I’m really enjoying reading them all. Though I can hardly take credit for the brilliant conversations and displays for forward-thinking projects that folks brought to the table last week, I do like to think that my work over the last few months was able to help make this possible. And for that, I am honored and grateful.Due to the nature of where I’d like to take this post, there was another reason that I wanted to push back publication: feedback entries. At the end of the conference, (and sort of on a whim, mind you) we decided to put together a quick survey in hopes for some brutally honest feedback. In writing this, I’m also over here giggling as I’m reminded of Sundi‘s comment to me at the end of day two: in a nutshell, everything rocked except for giving out the feedback form. Haha! (I secretly agree with you, Sundi.) As obnoxious as feedback forms may be, I believe that at least providing the platform to be honest is the crucial first step to improving.But before I share a few of my favorite responses, I wanted to explain briefly how I’d like to angle this post. Since my experience at the conference was mostly behind-the-scenes, I feel like it would be silly for me to try and top what’s already been said about Martha’s brilliant keynote, for example, or the thought provoking conversations that were born from the Domains Fair or Concurrent Sessions. Instead, I’d like to talk more about the behind-the-scenes complaints & critiques– both my own and the ones I received over the two-day event. And in the spirit of improving, whether for a “volume two” or just to better ourselves as human beings, talking honestly and openly about what didn’t work is important.

The -Isms.

Just going to jump straight in here. At the risk of getting rant-like, I believe ‘the -isms’ deserve a continuing, ongoing conversation, always. More specifically, I want to speak to racism, sexism, and ageism in the Ed-Tech field. This is not in reference solely to the Domains 17 event, but I did feel susceptible to it in OKC, and I know others felt it as well. I feel very proud of how we set the tone for Domains 17, and admire Adam’s opening words that encouraged community, friendliness, and openness. But we could have/should have done more before the conference. Secondly. As a fail-safe reminder: Under no circumstances should Respect be in correlation with age, gender, or skin color. Asking questions or making comments that highlight not the strengths, achievements, or thoughts of an individual, but their age, gender, or skin color instead is offensive and unnecessary.

The Feedback

Commenting on Concurrent Sessions:

Given that multiple sessions were running in parallel, it would be great if presenters wrote up a few sentences about their sessions to be included in the Agenda/Itinerary. I would certainly take a close look at those before choosing which session to join.

^This is so, so valid. I agree– I think that somewhere along the way I should have added abstracts to the website for folks to view in advance. I also believe that setting up a poster-size itinerary in front of each gallery with an itinerary specific to that space would have been super helpful. I found that a lot of folks didn’t really carry their itinerary around, but would instead come up to me and ask, “What’s in there?” as they point to a gallery. I would then shrug as I scrambled through everything I was holding to find my own folded copy of the itinerary with the insanely tiny font. (Who let me get away with that?)

Commenting on evening plans:

As a student who is not of age to drink yet, there was no incentive for me to attend at all. I felt that was a large barrier to the socializing for underage students.

^Again, this is valid. Here we are saying, bring your students! Bring all the students! and then making the base activity a rooftop bar scene. One of the main reasons we chose to rent out a space as opposed to taking over someone else’s space was for that reason specifically, so that should have been communicated more thoughtfully. And while we did make sure that all were able to attend all conference events, we could have added cornhole, life-size jenga (the venue offered those options), or other things “to-do” as opposed to just hanging out, drink in hand. Would have loved to have offered a mocktail or two as well (& better local beer options).

I think there was maybe too much attention paid to getting the music up and running. I think most people would have been OK with just the DJ playing some mellow tunes and kicking back and having conversations.

^I believe that this also speaks to something larger: People like to hang out differently. So when you bring everyone together for some good ole’ fashioned forced fun, there are bound to be mixed reviews. I’m a massive introvert, so my version of “hanging out” includes room service & Westworld. Last year the Reclaim team went to a cPanel conference and the venue for their night event was so freaking cool. Yes, there were drinks, but there was also karaoke, bowling, and a ton of space to chill & chat. So maybe a future set up should look a little more extrovert AND introvert-friendly.

The Notes to Self.

+Never assume anything with any venues. No one can read minds.
+Locate all thermostats ahead of time. (*eyeroll*)
+Make a note with venue staff on which doors can and cannot be locked. (*bigger eyeroll*)
+Add a tad more light in the main gathering space.
+The unplanned chunks of time still deserve a little research.
+Carry a pen, scissors, phone charger, and hotel room key everywhere you go.

Who wants a Domains 18? 🙋

FreeLance Star Article: CoWork FXBG

An article in the FreeLance Star was just published about our new CoWorking office space, CoWork Fredericksburg.

Give it a read

Article written by Lindley Estes; Photos taken by Suzanne Carr Rossi

Also, please enjoy the spelling of my name in the photo caption. ;)

Domain Mapping to WordPress

Mapping your Domain to WordPress

Steps at WordPress:

  1. 1. Log into your account at WordPress.com and go to Domains > Add Domain:

2. Click Upgrade next to already own a domain.

3. Enter the domain that you are interested in pointing at WordPress and then click Add.

4. If you didn’t already have a plan at WordPress already, complete the checkout process for the domain mapping and a WordPress.com plan.

Steps at Reclaim Hosting:

You now need to update your nameservers from Reclaim Hosting’s nameservers to WordPress’ nameservers.

WordPress uses the following nameservers:
ns1.wordpress.com
ns2.wordpress.com
ns3.wordpress.com

To change your nameservers, log into your Reclaim Hosting Client Area Portal and go to Domains > My Domains:

From the list of your domain registrations with Reclaim Hosting, choose the drop down next to Manage Domain and select Manage Nameservers:

From this screen, you can edit the nameservers to WordPress’ nameservers and click Change Nameservers to save them.

Please note that nameserver changes can take 24-48 hours to work globally as DNS propagates across the web.

Converting a Single WP Instance into a WP Multisite

Yesterday I had a user request that his WordPress blog was converted into a WordPress multisite. Totally doable, but unfortunately Installatron only has the “Easy Button” for a first-time installation, not an installation that already exists. (And nope, cloning won’t work either so don’t even bother.)

Transforming an existing install into a multisite is rather straightforward, but there are a few steps involved. Let’s do this:

Preparing +Installing a Multisite

You’ll need to start first by editing the local wp-config.php file for the install. This can be done straight from File Manager by going to the install directory, selecting wp-config.php and clicking edit. Copy/Paste the following lines into the wp-config.php file above the line that begins with “require_once(”

/* Multisite */
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );

Once you’ve added the lines, click save.

Now log into your WP dashboard, and deactivate all plugins. Plugins can be reactivated after the multisite switch has been made.

Go to Tools>Network Setup.

Edit the Network Title & Admin Email address if need be, and then click install. You’ll then be given a set of instructions that are pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll go ahead and walk them through here as well!

Editing .htaccess + wp-config.php

Go back to the editing window of your wp-config.php file. Copy/Paste the following code above the line that says /* That’s all, stop editing! Happy blogging. */ Replace yourdomain.com with your domain.

define('MULTISITE', true);
define('SUBDOMAIN_INSTALL', true);
define('DOMAIN_CURRENT_SITE', 'yourdomain.com');
define('PATH_CURRENT_SITE', '/');
define('SITE_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);
define('BLOG_ID_CURRENT_SITE', 1);

Once you’ve added the lines, click save.

We’re now going to edit the local .htaccess file. This file is considered a hidden file in your File Manager, so if you’re not seeing it right off the bat, go to Settings in the top right corner, check Show Hidden Files, and click save.

Now open the editing window of the .htaccess file in the corresponding directory of the domain you’re working with. Add the following code, replacing all existing WordPress rules.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ - [L]

# add a trailing slash to /wp-admin
RewriteRule ^wp-admin$ wp-admin/ [R=301,L]

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -f [OR]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} -d
RewriteRule ^ - [L]
RewriteRule ^(wp-(content|admin|includes).*) $1 [L]
RewriteRule ^(.*\.php)$ $1 [L]
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

Once you’ve added the lines, click save.

Adding a Wildcard Subdomain

In a non-Multisite scenario, creating an additional WordPress site involves installing the WP app, but also making sure that the location (i.e. subdomain or addon domain) has been created beforehand. There’s that extra step where you have to tell your cPanel where you’ll be installing WordPress before you actually do it.

A WordPress Multisite is self-service in the sense that you can create a WordPress site straight from the WP Multisite dashboard without dealing with other aspects of the cPanel. To achieve this, however, you have to tell your cPanel right from the get go: “Hey, I’ll be adding subdomains. I’m not sure what they are yet, so just accept all future subdomains that I create.” This is accomplished by creating a wildcard subdomain in your account.

From your cPanel, go to the Domains section and click on Subdomains.

 

  1. In the subdomain section, type an asterisk.
  2. In the domain section, select yourdomain.com from the drop-down menu
  3. Change the document root to match the directory of yourdomain.com
  4. Click create.

The last step

We’re almost there! You’ll need to Log out/Log back into your WP Multisite. Reactivate your plugins. Boom diggity.

Installatron: Import From a Different Account

Occasionally we’ll get support requests where the user wants to move (i.e. clone) content from one website to another website, and it just so happens that those domains are not on the same hosting account.

(As a refresher, domains within the same hosting account/cPanel can be cloned between each other pretty easily by using Installatron’s Cloning Feature.)

The following post is about cloning sites that are not on the same cPanel but still coexist on the same server.

We get a lot of requests that deal with WordPress instances, so that’s what I’ll work with below. originaldomain.com will represent ‘point A’, or where the content currently is, and newdomain.com will represent ‘point B’, or where the content is being moved.

To begin, log into the newdomain.com cPanel & click WordPress under the Applications section.

Click the drop-down arrow on the right and click Import Existing Install.

On the following page, click Continue under the From Different Account section. (Clicking continue under From This Account will allow you to pull in an already existing instance from your own cPanel File Manager.)

  1. Enter the URL of the original domain. Make sure to include http:// at the beginning. This page is super picky!
  2. Select SSH, though FTP should work too. (Port will change depending on this selection.)
  3. Type the server address of the server that both websites are on.
  4. Enter the FTP/cPanel Username of originaldomain.com
  5. Enter the FTP/cPanel Password of originaldomain.com

6. Type the exact directory path of the WordPress instance. (For example: if your WordPress instance is sitting on originaldomain.com/super-cool-site, your directory path should be public_html/super-cool-site. That said, the directory path can be manually changed, so if you’re getting an error make sure you double check that your directory path is correct.
7. Enter the URL of the new domain.
8. Optional: add an additional directory. (i.e. newdomain.com/blog)
9. Select Automatically create a new database for the installed application.
10. Click Import.

That should be it! If your information is correct, you should see the site begin to clone over like normal. If you miss a step, have an extra space or get the directory path wrong, you’ll get a very misleading error. :)

Happy importing!

Domains Dinner: Get-Togetherness

I hesitated even writing this post. It’s just about one itty bitty detail of the Domains 17 conference. A detail that is normally overlooked or tossed to the side as “free time”. But the more I think about it, I want to actually address something I’m rather passionate about. I call it get-togetherness.

At conferences and larger group events that I’ve attended in the past, meal time is pretty open-ended. That is, if there’s no large banquet or buffet-style group meal, attendees are generally left to fend for themselves. And when you have folks that are coming in from out of town and aren’t familiar with the area, I’m not sure if this is the best way to go about it. Now it’s absolutely possible that this has only been my personal experience, but the most organization I’ve seen is a nonchalant “hey we’re headed here…feel free to join us” at then end of a presentation, or everyone DM-ing each other on Twitter to tag along to “the group” dinner. Which can be fine in some circumstances, but has the potential to overwhelm restaurants, or leave out those who may have used old-fashioned methods to make their dinner plans.

I’ve decided to give folks a little more guidance for Domains 17. Nothing mandatory, but the offer will be there. I want to be able to say, “we’ve done the bulk of the work for you– these restaurants all have great reviews, are super close to the venue, and won’t break the bank“. So that’s what’s going to happen!

With the help of Adam‘s on-the-ground-floor expertise, we have put together a list of restaurants. I have called them all in advance and have made a reservation for 10 at each place. On the first afternoon of the conference, we’ll put out whiteboards with each restaurant listed. People can choose to sign up wherever they’d like to go, while roughly observing the 10 person headcount.

Besides the already discussed benefits to this, my hope is that it will encourage a further sense of community & get-togetherness. My hope is that folks from the same schools will feel like they can branch out and, (pulling in an appropriate metaphor here), go sit at another lunch table. Again, there have been moments at past conferences where I would have happily done this if there had been a guarantee that I wouldn’t be showing up to a restaurant and having dinner alone.

So anyway, that’s my little spiel for the day. Check out the list of restaurants below, and get pumped! They’re all unique, all amazing, and have something for all taste buds. (Restaurant descriptions pulled from corresponding websites.)

S & B’s Burger Joint • 20 NW 9th St

Fresh, gourmet burgers and sliders. Full-service bar with unique Bloody Mary’s, over 65 beers, hand-dipped milkshakes, homemade pies, beer floats, soda floats. View Full Menu.

Iguana Mexican Grill • 9 NW 9th St

Urban core and authentic Mexican & Tex-Mex Restaurant. Fresh, from scratch, every day. View Full Menu.

Packard’s New American Kitchen • 201 NW 10th St

Located in the original 1920’s Packard Automobile showroom. Unique features are offered daily during lunch and dinner as well as changing freshly baked bread, veggie, and cheese boards. Packard’s offers seasonal craft cocktails, unique local beers, a carefully curated wine list, and an eclectic food menu. View Full Menu.

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes • 1000 N Hudson Ave

Barrios Fine Mexican Dishes is named after the Barrios family, who is the cornerstone of all of A Good Egg Dining Group’s restaurants. Pull up a seat on the patio & enjoy fine, fresh, made-with-love Mexican food. View Full Menu.

FLINT • 15 N Robinson Avenue

The Patio at FLINT is the quintessential Oklahoma City outdoor affair. The outdoor patio offers comfortable seating, fire pit, sunset views, walk-up service outdoor bar, & seasonally inspired cocktails. Inside seating available. View Full Menu.

Fassler Hall • 421 NW 10th St

Fassler Hall, a popular Tulsa beer garden, now has a second home in Oklahoma City’s Midtown. German gem is known for its German beer and live entertainment. View Full Menu.

James E. McNellie’s Pub • 1100 Classen Dr

Feature menus with fresh, reasonably priced food and an atmosphere that is ideal for everyone. The pub has a great selection of hard-to-find draught and bottled beers (350 at last count), plus great collections of single malt scotches. View Full Menu.

Louies Grill & Bar • 1215 N Walker Ave

Louie’s is a casual American-fare grill and pub. It serves a variety of mid-priced food and beverages in a come-as-you-are atmosphere. Louie’s is positioned as a neighborhood restaurant with strategically placed flat screen televisions featuring your favorite regional sporting events. View Full Menu.

CoWork Fredericksburg


CoWork Fredericksburg is officially up and running now, and I even have a tweet to prove it!

This is a big day for us at Reclaim Hosting given two short years ago Tim Owens and I were working in UMW’s newly minted Convergence Center, doing Reclaim off the side of our desk, and dreaming one day of having a space of our own. Well, today that’s come to pass, and the CoWork Fredericksburg “Our Story” page says it all:

Founded in 2013, Reclaim Hosting provides web hosting support for individuals and institutions that want to build out spaces online for personal portfolios, digital projects, and more. In January 2016, we were invited to speak at an Open Coffee event held at The Foundry, a local coworking space in Fredericksburg, Va. The Foundry was created by a non-profit group called FredXchange, with a mission to build a startup culture that encouraged community and collaboration.

As Reclaim Hosting grew, the need for some kind of dedicated office environment was a growing concern. But we didn’t want just any office– we wanted a space where we could also work alongside the community, invite them in, and collaborate. Just like The Foundry. As months passed, we became increasingly aware that The Foundry would be a perfect home base. So in December of 2016, we decided to take the plunge and make The Foundry our new home.

We’ve given the space a new name, a fresh coat of paint (to say the least), and a new website. After months of renovations and remodeling, we opened our doors as CoWork Fredericksburg in May 2017. We’re committed to building the community that FredXchange began, and we sure do hope that you’ll join us on this journey.

The space is pretty awesome if I must say so myself. A large, warehouse feel for the main working area with a class enclosed conference room, and a media/private office ticked away in the back. What’s cool is that we basically designed the whole thing on-the-fly, a telephone booth from Ebay here, shelving from Etsy there, farm table from local furniture store, etc. Tim and Lauren Brumfield did the lion’s share of the design and on-the-ground work, and I’m truly blown away by how good it looks from afar. I’ll be there in just over a week, and will be able to enjoy it IRL. 

The idea is to have a community of co-workers use the space, and given we have priced it pretty affordably ($20/day or $75/month) we are thinking there will be a fair amount of takers. The nice thing is that if it covers our overhead for the space we are already ahead of the game, and anything more than that is a bonus. So in this regard it’s not like we are depending on the space for ends meet. This frees us up to have some fun and experiment with the space, and not be solely driven by a bottom line, a laboratory of sorts.  

Now that the getting CoWork up and running is pretty much done, one of the ideas I’ve been playing with is converting the storefront portion of the other half of the space, which will soon be empty, into a video rental store. In my imagination at least, it will be a fully operational 1980s VHS video rental store that will rent VHS tapes and VCRs.  It will be called Reclaim Video, and I’ll run it remotely from Italy. I’ll have erratic store hours that I run on the web, some kind of Dr. Oblivion like telepresence, and everything will work of a kinda of barter system.  I like the idea of automating most everything, yet still being remotely present.  I’m imagining it as an installation along the lines of the UMW Console, and I love the idea of having a bizarre presence in the space from 5000 miles away. Anyway, it’s still just germinating as a kinda of crazy idea, but I do think it would be fairly simple to do on the cheap, and it might really be fun. So, if I can convince Tim and Lauren, you may be reading more about my new job as video store proprietor, a growth field for sure!